After spending three weeks in Prince Rupert, a group of training teachers has nothing but good things to say about the North Coast and the people who embraced them.
Evan Huang, Brian Jackson, Jessica Tennant and Zach Robertson are part of the University of British Columbia’s Bachelor of Education program and did their community field experience within the Prince Rupert School District (SD52) in part of April and May.
All four thoroughly enjoyed their stay, calling students, staff and the community as a whole remarkably friendly and welcoming.
“Whether I was walking down the street, in a store or in the hallways, there was somebody saying ‘hi’,” said Tennant.
“It’s like I sneezed and it was over. I’ve had such a good time in Prince Rupert,” said Jackson.
During their field experience, the four pursued their choice of assignments within the district that included assisting with and teaching classes, one-on-one work with students and leading after-school activities. Most assignments took place at Prince Rupert Middle School, Charles Hays Secondary and Pacific Coast School.
A comment repeated by all four individuals was how much they enjoyed the students.
“My favourite part was interacting with students and having fun with them,” Robertson said.
“They’re so open, welcoming and down to earth,” Tennant said.
Being part of a smaller school district and community has its advantages, said Tennant.
“In a small community, whether it’s in a district or the community itself, there’s more opportunities to be involved and not just be an observer. In a big city you’re just kind of a number sometimes,” she said.
Seeing students outside of school isn’t something Haung is used to, but it was something he appreciated.
“This kind of stuff doesn’t really happen in Vancouver. It helps to build connections,” he said.
Forming relationships with students is something the four strive to do in their careers, with Jackson believing an alternative education setting is the easiest way to do that. Jackson spent most of his time at Pacific Coast and had nothing but good things to say about the school.
“Pacific Coast is a great embodiment of my philosophy of education. There’s a bit of a stigma attached to it that teachers have been telling me about, and students are sensing it too. I think it’s a real shame because the kids there are fantastic students and people,” he said.
The four expressed their gratitude for the hospitality homestay families and district staff gave them, saying it was hard to say goodbye to everyone.