Greatest Impact

Dr. Geoff Madoc-Jones, PhD (photo creds: SFU.ca)

Week 10 – EDUC454D100 – July 11, 2017

This is the last “official” journal reflection for EDUC 454 D100 Summer Session 2017 at SFU. Wow. That sounded BIG… and it is. The final journal refection question is: What teacher made the biggest impact on you? It’s a BIG question because teachers play a BIG role in people’s lives and they have an integral part in setting the trajectory of your future and sense of self. Again, this sounds BIG… and it is. Teachers have a BIG responsibility and it goes beyond teaching curriculum and keeping students safe.

Even though I asked my students to reflect on this question, it has taken me some time to really think about what teachers had an impact on me which one had THE BIGGEST. Well, I have to admit, I don’t even remember the names of all of my teachers from K-12. So when I read Chris Kennedy’s Blog “Culture of Yes” and he names ALL of his teachers from K-12 in How Many Can You Name, I am humbled. I can’t do it. I can remember a few from elementary school, some from secondary, none from my undergraduate studies, and a few from my graduate studies.

Of these teachers, which one of them played the TSN Turning Point Teacher in my life? Many of the teachers I highly regard are those who believed in me, loved their subject area, and provoked my thinking. All three criteria are important to me (as well as it is for my daughter… go figure). Anyway, I can also think of two teachers who were mentors in my first year of teaching. They were equally wonderful. Admittedly, I would not be where I am without any of my teachers. This includes my supervisor and members of my EdD examining committee. Our learning experiences, in and out of school, influence what direction we choose or want to take. This is powerful.

Dr. Geoff Madoc-Jones is my edu-super hero. Why? Geoff definitely satisfied the criteria of believing in me, loving his subject matter, and being intellectually provocative. No question. So what about him that made him so special… to me? He was a risk taker, an innovator, and disrupter. I loved his creativity and willingness to make things happen. His kindness and ethics of care was seen behind the scenes. It’s not something that would be done in public. In fact, to the outside, he could be perceived as loud, arrogant, and pompous. Truth? He’s the kind of teacher I hope to be… an inspiration, a motivator, a visionary. I would not be here without him.


Pictures below are of my EDUC454D100 class participating in our last group facilitation project. First of all, I am so glad to be outside again… if feels so good. Second, we participated in another unique group facilitation project on FOOD and how food is sourced from around the world. Third, I learned more about eggs, rice, and salmon… and shopping organic. Wow. It’s so amazing when students lead the learning. It’s so incredible to learn from students, what they find interesting, and what they perceive as important. It’s so wonderful to have these student teachers engaged in the kind of learning that we want their studenst to engage in. Thank you EDUC454D100 for playing along with me. I loved that I had the opportunity to learn and understand the potential of BC’s New Curriculum with you and how to embed “quantitative approaches to environmental education” into my practice.

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