Standard 1: Value and Care for All Children

Educators are responsible for fostering the emotional, esthetic, intellectual, physical, social and vocational development of students. They are responsible for the emotional and physical safety of students. Educators treat students with respect and dignity. Educators respect the diversity in their classrooms, schools and communities. Educators have a privileged position of power and trust. They respect confidentiality unless disclosure is required by law. Educators do not abuse or exploit students or minors for personal, sexual, ideological, material or other advantage.

These artifacts represent my experience interacting with children from different parts of the world. On separate occasions, I had the good fortune of traveling abroad and teaching students in the Ukraine, Japan, and Swaziland. Each of these trips delivered challenges and rewards as I progressed through different stages of my personal and professional development. The life lessons I took away from these trips continue to enrich my daily interactions with people.

The common thread that connects my travels to my work in the field of education is my interaction with the children.  Each traveling adventure took place in very different cultural and political contexts: In the Ukraine I was an inexperienced volunteer teacher at a local elementary school; In Japan, I was a paid foreign English teacher at a private after-school program; In Swaziland I was placed at a local soup kitchen/ community school and approached education from a humanitarian perspective. These were very different experiences but the children were the same everywhere: curious, fun, and innocent. The heart of a child transcends boundaries, race, gender, religion and every other label or category placed on human beings. All children want is to be in a safe environment where they are allowed to learn, to have fun, and be cared for.

I have always had a soft spot for children. Throughout the years, I have learned to treat children with respect and dignity, even under challenging circumstances. It is not surprising to learn that, among all the conflicts and differences between countries over resources and national interests, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. This goes to show the development of children is of great importance to all.

Armed with the knowledge and the training from UBC Elementary Teaching Education Program, I strive always to protect and foster the healthy development of all children in a professional manner. I continue to exercise my position of power and trust with due diligence.