Angela Cottrell graduated from the Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care in 2010 and came to us with a lot of practical experience and knowledge in the CYC field. We are proud to introduce Angie as she goes on to teaching and we wish her great success.
In December 2009, I applied to the Professional Linking Program (PLP), at Simon Fraser University (SFU). This is a teaching certification program, set up specifically for those individuals with at least 5 years experience, who work in a para-professional role with children and youth in the school system. In the spring of 2010, I received my acceptance to the program. It was a wonderful moment, due in part to my course work in Child and Youth Care (CYC), and the accumulation of an educational journey I had begun over 12 years prior,
I chose to pursue my Bachelor of Education and my teaching certification via the field of Child and Youth Care, as I believed the foundation provided in this course of study would be an important component of working with children and youth. This belief has been confirmed, and I have discovered, upon beginning the PLP program this past summer, that I have been exceptionally well prepared for the field of teaching. The developmental component has been integral to understanding the cultures of curriculum and framework for pedagogy. Dr. Melder-Crozier will be happy to know that I hear her voice reminding me to "know the man, know the theory," as we explore theories and theorists and their place in the educational landscape. Further, my knowledge of developmental theory and counseling strategies has given me a depth of understanding not available to the typical education student who pursues course work normal for this training.
The practice of self-reflection, a central component in CYC, and in particular, the intensive, reflective work done during my last year at UFV, taught me the importance of incorporating this practice in my daily work. Self-reflection is an integral component of teaching and the ability to do so as a regular part of practice, to have this skill be intrinsic because of my exposure and practice in CYC, is a gift. I am acutely aware of the ecology of a child's life, which makes my approach to students and learning well rounded. Further, the collaborative nature of child and youth care has afforded me skills, techniques and abilities to work with a diverse group of learners in a way that is inclusive, mutual and respectful. I believe it would be helpful for all educators to come to the field of teaching via this route as it affords a solid foundation understanding the child in all their complexities.
I would also like to applaud the entire staff of University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). This University has a unique manner of supporting students. I find myself urging students and adults alike to consider UFV for their education. When I speak to this I describe UFV as collaborative, respectful and truly progressive in their approach to learners. Further to this, the graduation ceremony, which took place in June, 2010, served to highlight the richness of the UFV experience and the diversity of both learner and instructor. There will be additional course work I will be doing in conjunction with my education degree, and I will elect to do these courses at UFV.
Thank you for this opportunity to speak to both my experience and current course of learning, as well as to say thank you for the being a University that includes students in real and meaningful way in all facets of University life.