The Diversity, Equity, and Respect (DER) Committee is pleased to introduce a new initiative we are calling “Have you met students in the Faculty of Education?” DER graduate student representative Jane Sewali-Kirumira spoke about the value of sharing student experiences as a part of the Dean’s regular meetings with Black and Indigenous students. DER wondered how we might further share the experiences of students in the Faculty of Education. It’s particularly important to connect with students given the challenges of teaching and learning remotely.
In this issue, we introduce Esosa-Leslie Ikuobase, an Elementary Education student who is currently student-teaching.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 24-year-old female, dual-citizen (U.S. and Canada) third-year student at the U of A preparing for my introductory professional term. I enjoy going to the beach, playing softball, visiting the mountains, listening to music, and hanging out with friends and family. I also enjoy painting during my free time.
What brought you to study teacher education?
To this day, I still remember the wonderful moments I had with my teachers growing up. Working in a daycare allowed me to realize the passion I have for teaching, watching children grow into unique individuals.
What brought you to the Faculty of Education?
Originally, I obtained my associate of arts degree from Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. After moving to Edmonton four years ago, I met many people who spoke highly of the U of A Education faculty and I knew that was my calling.
Tell us about some of your experiences in your program. What excites and inspires you? Are there challenges you've experienced?
I’m inspired by the level of inclusion and diversity in this Faculty, everyone is friendly and I feel heard—in classes, in resources and as a student. I've had the opportunity to be educated by some one-of-a-kind individuals through the Faculty of Education and I’m excited to begin my professional career in the Edmonton School District. As a transfer student, I have faced my fair share of challenges such as transferring credits from a different school, but I’ve had amazing help and support along the way.
How are you feeling about your upcoming student teaching?
I’m so excited to enter my introductory practicum and apply the things that I have learned so far, but a part of me is nervous to be teaching in a classroom for my very first time.
What are your hopes and dreams in your work with children and youth?
My hopes and dreams are to become a teacher and inspire children the way my teachers inspired me growing up. Eventually, I would love to see what other avenues of education may be in my future.
What's your favourite lunch or snack to eat while studying?
Apples! I don’t know why, but something about the crunchiness helps me concentrate.
What's your favourite distraction?
My favourite distraction is watching TV—it allows me to take a mental break. And weather and time permitting, there's no better distraction than a vacation.