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Holiday Season Thoughts…

As the holiday season is fast approaching and I have the luxury of time to read my favourite books, watch  my favourite movies and meet my favourite friends and family, I realize how fortunate I am being surrounded by my family and friends while doing what I like most – teaching science at UBC, doing research on using educational technology to improve science teaching and learning and being a part of such a vibrant and supportive community colleagues. This past year was my first year at the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education at UBC.  It was a new adventure for me, as I had to teach new courses, meet new people and work on new projects. I also was able to live in Vancouver with my family and stop my 3600 km commute to Toronto (although I do miss teaching physics at Ryerson, I do not miss visiting Pearson airport and living away from my family…). I cannot express how grateful I am for all the support and encouragement I received at my new Department. Many of us have children at school or had children at school at some point of time. Whenever we like our children’s teachers we take it for granted and whenever the teachers are not who we would like them to be, we start blaming the education system. This year I had chance to work with future teachers and become an insider. Most of the teachers I met were there because that was their calling. I enjoyed teaching them because as much as I taught them, I felt I learned from them (believe it or not I was even able to do my own owl pellet dissection). I still think that we don’t teach them enough science (or maybe other subjects), but one thing I know. Many of our student-teachers get out of the program inspired and ready to become life-long learners. I hope all of our graduates are able to find good teaching jobs! I was also very fortunate to be part of the BC Association of Physics Teachers . I am proud of the web site I was able to create for the organization. Meeting physics teachers from BC high schools, colleges and universities inspired me. We had wonderful events this year and I am proud to be part of them. When you know how  many people around you enjoy what they do and are excited to come to work most of the time (who would be excited getting out of the house in December in Vancouver?), this makes you want to be part of the community as well. I also was very fortunate to become a member of the local Toastmasters Club (Club 59). This was pure luck as I found the Club by accident (it was my birthday gift to myself) and I love the people there. I made new friends in the Club… I also had amazing tennis friends who pulled me to start going to the gym… I have to admit, I am just trying to catch up there, but my motto is participation… I am also grateful to my friends from all over the world who kept in touch via Facebook and Skype. Having friends means a lot and thanks to modern technology, we can keep in touch even if they are far away… This was an exciting year for me and I know it happened thanks to the people around me at home, at work, at tennis and Toastmasters. I wish all of them a wonderful holiday season.

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