Scott Alexander: Learning at the intersection of relevance, relationship
Year: 2018 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Oak Bay Secondary School
2121 Cadboro Bay Road
Victoria, BC V8R 5G4
School telephone: 250-598-3361
School website: https://oakbay.sd61.bc.ca
Subjects and grades taught: Social Studies 9–11, Planning 11, History 12, Scholarship Prep 12
Scott Alexander is passionate about his country and his profession. Topping that, though, is the passion he has for connecting the students at his large school to the world they live in. A model of a lifelong learner, Scott also inspires his colleagues to be better educators.
Scott has founded his teaching on the idea that learning takes place where relevance, relationship and rigour intersect. There, he creates a learning space where all students have the opportunity to grow. Through mentoring and coaching, Scott brings about character-changing experiences for students.
In the Classroom
- Augments his captivating storytelling with technology: for example, he enlivens lessons on Second World War battles by having students pin significant events on a real time Google map so they can connect the location to its historical significance
- Connects historical events to the present: for example, students learning about the struggles to establish democracy in pre-Nazi Germany reflect on the modern United States; Scott challenges students to analyze, debate and form opinions based on facts and historical texts
- Stresses the importance of emphatic service and giving: students have raised thousands of dollars to support community efforts; he also brought Youth in Philanthropy to the school, which sees students work to spotlight local charities and win $5,000 to donate to an organization of their choice
- Social Studies 11 students consistently achieve results significantly higher than the provincial average; Grade 12 students are recipients of numerous university scholarships, including prestigious, high-value ones, thanks to Scott's support during the application process
- Collaborated with the head of the English department to create a rubric and writing samples designed to achieve consistent writing standards across both the Social Studies and English departments
- Created a website for educators and students overflowing with lessons and resources; it has had more than one million hits in the last decade; he gives new teachers in his department full access to his Google drive folder of lessons
- Created a multi-layered platform for participants in the Library of Parliament's Teachers Institute for Parliamentary Democracy to record and share their experiences and best practices
"Mr. Alexander prepares students for the world by teaching them how to cope amidst changing technology, by providing confidence and self-knowledge through mentorship, and demonstrating how to live a life rooted in one's personal values."
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