Chris Mara-2018 Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence

Certificate of Excellence Recipient, Wasse Abin Wikwemikong High School, Wikwemikong, Ontario

Transcription – Chris Mara-2018 Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence

[Black screen fades up to close-up of man in interview setting, against a mottled background. Music playing.]

[Caption: Chris Mara, Wasse Abin Wikwemikong High School]

[Chris speaking in interview setting alternates with voice over accompanied by still photos, as follows: Chris with students in classroom, examining a circuit a student is making; Chris wearing safety goggles and giving a thumbs-up; five students gathered around their robot, in progress, in school hallway; Chris with students and robot at robotics competition; Chris and student robotics team at competition, with one student holding a plaque, another holding a trophy and all wearing medals.]

Chris Mara: The number-one factor that contributes to student learning is teacher passion: teacher passion for the subject area that they’re teaching; the sense of wonder, curiosity, excitement around your subject. That excitement, that curiosity, that passion … creates an energy that the students really get excited about as well. You want to see their eyes sparkling. You want to hear what they have to say about either what you’re teaching or the project they’re engaged in. They’re taking incredible risks and putting themselves out there. The push is no longer coming from you as a teacher, but the students have taken over the momentum and are driving the project themselves.

[Chris speaking in interview setting alternates with voice over accompanied by still photos, as follows: overhead shot of Chris and group of students at a round table working on laptops; a robot in progress; two students working on assembling a part; a boy inserting a part into the robot; and a smiling girl holding two wrenches.]

Chris Mara: The perfect place for my students to learn? A space with space. I currently run a robotics program in the smallest room in our school. A tech-dedicated space where we have the manufacturing equipment, where we’ve got the 3D scanners, we’ve got printers, maybe even a CMC machine in there. Students being able to say, ‘This is the place where I can come and focus on my learning but also be myself and who I am.’

[Chris speaking in interview setting alternates with voice over accompanied still photos, as follows: two students assembling a part; one student working on robot; and a group of students posing with Chris at workbench.]

Chris Mara: Technology is also the students’ world. Technology is the sea that this generation swims in. The variety of technologies that are available, the richer our solutions will be, the more comprehensive, the greater the … efficacy of the solutions.

[Cut to voice over with video of Chris at a podium, addressing fellow recipients, with several listening, and then still photos, as follows: a group of students with robot at competition; and Chris at the whiteboard in the classroom, with students in groups at desks in the foreground.]

Chris Mara: My biggest piece of advice for pre-service teachers would be to teach who you are. On a fundamental level, you become the subject.

[Fade to black.]

[Cut to white screen, with the Government of Canada FIP followed by the Canada Wordmark.]

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