Congratulations to Joy Richardson, one of our two Madeline Korfman Memorial Scholarship recipients!
Here is what her nominator had to say:
“From the very beginning of her time in the program, Joy has demonstrated a love of learning, passion for teaching, and compassion for learners and colleagues. She is deeply reflective on her practice, embraces feedback and seeks out collaboration and innovation. She embodies an inquiry stance, curiosity for learning, and a commitment to create opportunities for everyone to flourish. Her name really suits her… when you enter Ms. Richardson’s classroom, you feel the joy that comes from a teacher with a big heart.”
“I am very honoured and humbled to receive this award,” says Joy. “This has been a difficult year and taking so much of the program online was not what any of us planned or would have chosen. I am grateful that the educators at UBCO were able to see my passion for teaching and my love for students, even through a zoom screen. I am humbled because there are some incredible teacher candidates in my cohort and many who would be equally deserving of this honour. I am grateful for how they have shaped me and helped me become a better teacher.”
Originally, from the United Kingdom, Joy became a Canadian citizen in 2009 and has lived in Kelowna for the past 16 years (with a brief two-year gap where she returned to the UK). Joy has a Bachelor of Biblical Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C.
Prior to starting her Bachelor of Education, she worked as a Certified Education Assistant (CEA) in School District 23 for seven years. For as long as she can remember, she has always wanted to be a teacher.
“I was inspired by some incredible teachers in my childhood and have always had a natural affinity for helping people understand things better,” says Joy. “Like all educators, I love those “aha” moments when the lights come on and things suddenly make sense. I love to see young people engaged, inspired and confident in themselves.”
Joy recently completed her Community Field placement at the Academy of Inquiry and Adventure Okanagan (AIAO) in Vernon, where she participated in many land-based practices.
“The excellent teachers and their community partners were very generous in sharing their understanding of the land and it enriched not just my teaching practice but my personal life as well as I fell more in love with this place we call home,” says Joy. “AIAO has a really special family feel – a community that has been intentionally nurtured over many years. The experience left me with much to ponder and take with me into my future teaching practice.”
While AIAO will always bring fond memories as Joy reflects upon the program she finds her experience learning about Syilx culture and language from Dr. Bill Cohen, and the colleagues he has welcomed into their classes, has been the most impactful.
“As a more recent settler, I have felt deeply moved by the welcome and grace of the Syilx people and I am excited to incorporate more Indigenous ways of knowing and being into my teaching practice”
For those considering taking the Bachelor of Education program, Joy recommends wholeheartedly diving in.
“The program is structured in such a way that you gain a good foundation in educational philosophies and principles alongside hands-on experience in schools. So if you are unsure if teaching is for you, this is a great way to find out,” says Joy. “Teaching requires your whole heart and to get the most out of the BEd, commit to it and take in all the different opportunities offered.”
Joy also suggests reading faculty’s published research as it is a great way to understand what is at the forefront of educational theory today.
With the program nearing its completion (about 22 weeks left!), Joy shares what she is most excited about in her future classroom:
“I am excited about building equitable learning communities where each and every student is honoured for who they are and where students can bring their funds of knowledge and learn together as they follow their passions and curiosities. I am excited to learn alongside my future students and see them go on to change the world.”
About the Scholarship
This scholarship has been endowed through a bequest by Madeline Betty Korfman to honour her love for teaching. Madeline Korfman taught school in southwestern Saskatchewan before relocating to the Okanagan in the mid-1900s. This scholarship is awarded to two teacher candidates who significantly demonstrate a “love for teaching” based on the recommendation of Okanagan School of Education faculty.