Education’s ‘unlimited potential’
BEd grad grateful for classroom, research experiences
At age seven, she called it playing a “game of school.”
She and her cousin would set up chairs and a table in the corner of the room where Elvina Mukhamedshina assumed the role of teacher and her cousin, the student.
“I loved marking whatever papers I assigned to him, giving him these fake marks,” Mukhamedshina said, “but I never consciously thought that I was going to be a teacher.”
This June, Mukhamedshina [BSc/2016, BEd/2019] joins some 150 BEd graduates completing their two-year teacher preparation.
Reflecting on her experience at the Faculty of Education, Mukhamedshina says she is grateful for the opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.
Connecting with community
As a new Manitoban from Russia, Mukhamedshina discovered she could connect with her new community by re-connecting with her love of working with children. She enrolled in education after three years of working at Mini-U, WISE Kid-Netic Energy, Kumon, as well as the YMCA, all while working to complete her BSc.
“Mini-U revealed a side of me that I really didn’t realize I had,” Mukhamedshina said. “It was an opportunity to work with kids, to see them grow, to transfer my own knowledge and skills onto them, and to see them succeed … it was very fulfilling and empowering.”
With a vibrant community of some 30,000 students, faculty and staff, Mukhamedshina enrolled at U of M because of the options and opportunities it offered.
“I chose U of M because I could still continue exploring other sides of myself,” she said, noting she took courses in economics, sociology and psychology, French and anthropology. “And after finishing my science degree, it felt natural to stay here because … it really felt like home.”
Two years in the Faculty of Education BEd program prepared her for success in the classroom by providing her with a solid grounding in teaching strategies, theory and research. Most valuable of all, classroom experience in four practicum courses gave her the opportunity to put her lessons into practice.
‘We learned about what it means to be a culturally inclusive teacher, what it means to be a teacher who understands universal design, what it means to integrate technology into your classroom and how to integrate Indigenous perspectives.’
“That’s where learning happens,” she said. “You learn what worked or didn’t, and you make it better in your next practicum.”
Course work included ways to integrate technology into the classroom, and researching innovative and forward-thinking approaches to teaching in education.
Integrating technology, forward-thinking approaches
“We learned about what it means to be a culturally inclusive teacher, what it means to be a teacher who understands universal design, what it means to integrate technology into your classroom and how to integrate Indigenous perspectives,” Mukhamedshina said.
She gained valuable research experience, winning an Undergraduate Research Award, and presenting at WestCAST—an education conference for all of Western Canada’s Faculties of Education. These experiences provided a solid foundation for when she plans to pursue graduate studies, she said. She realized the BEd program provides a pathway to teaching, but also research in future studies whose insights she can bring back to the classroom.
“I can see that the field of education has unlimited potential. I had a taste as an education researcher, but also as a practical educator in classroom.”
As senior stick for Education Student Council, she gained valuable leadership experience and developed important relationships with her peers and faculty—the highlight of her BEd experience.
“You grow together with your peers throughout these experiences,” she said. “I’ve also had amazing professors here at the Faculty of Education, who have inspired me to be a forward- and critical-thinking educator, and I really enjoyed my time here.”
To find out more about how to apply for a teaching degree at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, click here.