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UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 7 | May 2, 2002

Never Stop Learning

The key to growth is new ideas.

By Michelle Cook

The ink is barely dry on her Bachelor of Education degree, but new elementary school teacher Lori-Lynn Chin already has one professional development activity planned: learning to play golf.

Chin believes in continually taking up different activities -- volleyball, guitar, and now golf -- to remind her what it's like to enter a classroom for the first time, and learn new things. A commitment to growth and new ideas is the foundation of her teaching philosophy.

Chin's first foray into education was teaching children piano while she was in high school.

After graduating, the Fort McMurray, AB native went to Victoria but she ended up earning a science degree at UBC. She travelled around Australia and the South Pacific for a year before starting her Education degree, specializing in special needs.

Chin says the lure of the special needs field was that she didn't know a lot about it. Her interest was sparked when she volunteered at a hospital, working with physically and mentally challenged children.

"In the beginning, I really wasn't sure of my competence and comfort level," Chin remembers. "Eventually, I was able to look beyond that, and that made me think about working with these children."

The experience left Chin with a firm belief that special needs students should be included in regular classes. She hopes her specialization will help her to reach each student in her classroom.

While at UBC, Chin continually sought out additional opportunities for professional development, attending numerous teachers' conferences and an autism workshop. She says working with UBC teachers who shared their own personal insights and imparted their passion for teaching was also a "phenomenal" learning experience.

Her enthusiasm and dedication to developing every child's academic, personal and social potential earned her a Dean of Education Scholarship, and high praise for her practicum work at Queen Mary Elementary School, where she taught 21 Grade 1and 2 students.

This month Chin moves to Kelowna, where she will substitute teach. She says her ideal school would have lots of caring, competent teachers and parental involvement, and special needs students would be fully included. Maybe there will be a golf course nearby, too.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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