Langley prof singled out for teaching excellence award

Langley prof singled out for teaching excellence award

UFV’s Joanna Sheppard and her student-centred, community-focused approach brings results

The world is a classroom for professor Joanna Sheppard.

From September to April, she teaches kinesiology at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) in British Columbia (primarily at the Chilliwack campus), utilizing classrooms, gyms, fields, and hallways as sites for instruction.

It’s not unusual to see her students setting up PE-style games on the greenspace on campus, or walking to the nearby gym carrying hula hoops.

Then every spring, she brings 35 UFV kinesiology and education students to Antigua for an intensive four-week experiential learning opportunity that places students in elementary schools to provide life skills enhancement to school children through health and physical education activities. (This year’s trip was cancelled due to COVID-19.)

This dedication to teaching has led to the Langley woman being named the recipient of the UFV teaching excellence award for 2020.

RELATED: Langley nursing students and Lower Mainland universities match volunteers with health care workers

“Joanna is a talented teacher who has an incredible gift of being able to connect with students and inspire them to learn,” says her colleague, UFV professor emeritus Kathy Keiver.

“She is passionate about her teaching and this passion is infectious. Her connection to students has long-lasting impacts on their professional practice and lives. Joanna cares deeply about her students, serving as a role model and mentor,” Keiver added.

“Her ability to engage students, her use of innovative active learning strategies and field experiences in her teaching, and how much she supports and cares for her students, all deserve recognition.”

Sheppard’s belief in integrating the whole university culture into her students’ learning experience means that she brings her classes to guest lectures and encourages them to attend special events, and has them make their presentations and set up displays in common areas like the atrium on the Chilliwack campus.

She also connects them community events such as health fairs and the Terry Fox Run.

“The classroom is not the only teaching environment,” she said.

“I believe in utilizing all the spaces, people, and services that make up a campus to model for students how we all work together to support and educate them,” Sheppard elaborated.

Another defining aspect of her approach to teaching is that Sheppard believes in allowing her personality and life experience to inform her interaction with students.

RELATED: Many B.C. post-secondary institutions say fall classes will be offered mostly online

“I believe in approaching teaching with responsible enthusiasm. I embrace allowing my personality to show in my lectures and interactions with students so that they see me as a whole person, and I encourage them to do the same in their practice, balanced with professionalism.

“I share this part of me to create an environment of trust, commitment and passion. I want my students to know that they are more than just a number. They each have their own story, their own journey – and the time we spend together is important not only professionally but personally.”

At the core of her practice is her dedication to helping her students develop as people, as well as professionals, and to then take that legacy into their own careers.

“I come to the practice of teaching with a philosophy of care and compassion,” Sheppard said.

“I want to help my students be the best student they can be, to really push their practice, utilize the information they’re absorbing, and then take it and apply it in the community.”

Sheppard also supports student engagement in the UFV community through her involvement with the Kinesiology Student Association (KINSA), the KINPALS mentorship program, and UFV FUNdamentals (a spring break camp for youth that she runs at the Abbotsford campus).

Sheppard’s scholarly interests include qualitative research in physical education curriculum models; teaching games for understanding; social and personal responsibility through physical education; life skill development; physical literacy; and open-ended questioning within a provincial, national, and international environment.

She brings what she’s learned from her research into physical literacy and the pedagogy of physical education to her teaching practice.

And she is a lifelong learner herself, engaging in opportunities to improve as a teacher.

“I have appreciated my decade at UFV. My teaching practice has improved and I have grown professionally through the opportunities offered to me through the Teaching and Learning Centre and professional development opportunities. I’ve become a stronger professor and teacher and that helps me help students with their own educational journeys.”

These days, Sheppard is learning a whole new role, that of mother.

She and her wife Celine welcomed baby Jack Roland in December.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

EducationLangleyPost-secondary Education

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Langley prof singled out for teaching excellence award

Langley prof singled out for teaching excellence award

Langley prof singled out for teaching excellence award

Langley prof singled out for teaching excellence award

Langley prof singled out for teaching excellence award

Just Posted

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020.   THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More Langley-area business closed due to COVID-19

Any business with three or more cases among employees can be closed

Vancouver Giants victorious over the Royals in Kamloops Thursday, April 15. The G-Men won, 4-0. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Giants young goalie shutouts Victoria, 4-0

The Langley-based WHL team earn another victory over the Royals Thursday in Kamloops

Critter Care’s first ever 50/50 winner is Kim Madill, who took home $28,852.50. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Winner takes home $28,852.50 through Critter Care’s first virtual 50/50

Kim Madill instantly donated part of the funds to the Langley-based wildlife society

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is moving forward on efforts to help citizens of Hong Kong remain in Canada rather than have to return. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Painful Truth: Canada’s immigration hopes may not be enough in post-COVID world

In a world of declining birth rates and rising wealth, where do new Canadians come from?

An agreement between the City and the Langley Lions Housing Society would set out income and age requirements for the new Birch replacement building (Langley City image)
Langley Lions housing project gets go-ahead from City council

An eight-storey structure will replace the fire-gutted original Birch building

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Most Read