Livia Beqo, a student in the BEd French concurrent program in York University’s Faculty of Education, has won the 2013 Helen G. Mitchell Award from the Ontario Modern Language Teachers’ Association (OMLTA).
The award is granted to one graduating student in each Faculty of Education in Ontario who has achieved excellence in both the academic and practicum program in the pre-service year. The recipient must demonstrate the attributes of a potentially outstanding French, musique and orthopedagogie student-teacher at the primary/junior level.
“For me, the art of teaching involves having an unquenchable thirst for learning. It is having the ability to see the world rearranged in different ways in an attempt to inspire creativity, innovation, interconnectedness and transformation grounded on social justice and human empathy,” says Beqo. “I believe that teaching in a second language like French helps to further promote this interconnectedness and active political participation among students, especially in the Canadian context. I am grateful to the York Faculty of Education, my amazing professors, mentor teachers and colleagues for being such an inspiration to me, as well as further encouraging my love for learning. I am very humbled to have been selected as the recipient of this award.”
This year’s recipients will be acknowledged at an awards ceremony on March 23 at the DoubleTree International Plaza Hotel during the OMLTA Spring Conference.
“In the three years that I have supervised York Faculty of Education Students in their practicum placements, I have had only one mentor teacher contact me directly to praise the high calibre of a teacher candidate – more specifically, a teacher candidate in the Bachelor of Education (French) program,” says Stefanie Muhling, a course director in York University’s Bachelor of Education French concurrent program. “The teacher candidate who incited this response was Livia Beqo.”
Muhling says Beqo’s practicum experience with students in French as a Second Language programs in Canada and her volunteer work with schools in the developing world displayed a high standard of commitment and excellence. “She demonstrates a passion for teaching, learning, communicating and connecting, upheld by an exceptionally strong work ethic and commitment to social justice,” notes Muhling.
For further information on the award, visit the OMTLA website.