Riverside has recently welcomed many student teachers from UBC and SFU. The Eddy sat down with some student teachers, both those serving their short practicum (observing in classrooms) and those serving their long practicum (teaching) to discuss their role and why they want to pursue teaching as career.

When asked what made Aimee Oliverio, Ms. Glenda Ottens’ student teacher, pursue teaching, she said that she had always loved music and teaching seemed to be the best way to give back to the community. She just started her short practicum in November as a PDP student from SFU.

Jeff Cornwall, a student teacher in mathematics and PE finished up from his long practicum in the PDP program at SFU, said “It’s a really nice feeling to come to school every day, and have that reminder that this is really what I want to do for my career.” “[Student teaching] was honestly one of the best experiences of my life.” He taught in Ms. Laura Epp’s and Mr. Mario Luongo’s classes.

Martha Walkowski is from the student teaching program at SFU and is completing her long practicum in Mr. Horton’s class, said, “I enjoy working with students and I really want to be a part of leading the future generation.” She teaches Grade 9 science and Grade 12 biology.

Suzanne Coulson, another SFU student teacher completing her short practicum in PE and Biology with Ms. Cindy Cuccione and Ms. Bree Mireau, respectively, is the daughter of a long time Riverside teacher, Ms. Carol Coulson (who is now the Principal at Dr. Charles Best), and is also finding the experience challenging but rewarding.

Completing her short practicum, Vivian Hui, from UBC, said that the experience has been amazing so far, and has solidified her decision to pursue teaching both biology, a subject she was comfortable with, and English, which she had less experience with. Vivian teaches Science and English under Mr. Michael Kaiser and Mrs. Sheri Thomasen.

Scott Kanou, who teaches Japanese and Art with Mrs. Catherine Yamamoto and Ms. Teri Bates, said that he wanted to be a teacher since he came to Canada in the fifth grade. “I didn’t know a single word of English. My ESL teacher really inspired me, and helped me get into the community. I am very grateful for that.”

Jonathan Lee is working with Mr. Jeremy Brown and Mr. Sean Robinson in the science department, finishing up his short practicum for UBC. “If anything, being here at Riverside has really empowered me to become a teacher, and teaching is coming to me a lot easier than I thought it would be.”

Riverside is honoured to invite these young teachers in to the ‘R’side’ community, and wish them all the best in their future careers.