UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 7 | May
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
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
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.