SANDRA DUBREUIL, an elementary music teacher at W.H. Morden Public School in Oakville, was recently honoured with the Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) Teaching Award for excellence in teaching in the Beginning Teacher category.
According to an OTIP news release, Dubreuil's philosophy is all students in her class, no matter their ability, can learn to enjoy music and how it can be such a large part of their lives. With music, they create memories, recalling senses, smells and feelings.
"I feel very honoured to have been nominated for this award and extremely proud to have been selected as the recipient," she said in an interview. "Behind each teacher is a great support system of colleagues, family members and mentors who need to be recognized. There are so many teachers on staff who have helped and inspired me to be a better person, and a better teacher. I have also had other wonderful mentors along the way that have been truly inspirational. I still have a lot to learn, but it's exciting and challenging each step of the way."
Dubreuil has created meaningful experiences for Life Skills students, gifted students, and students who come with little or no musical experience, according to OTIP. For example, she connected students with those in other countries to learn about each other and play songs together. Some students composed full band compositions and additional parts to include new instruments in a piece.
As stated in her nomination, “Sandra’s tireless efforts have given her students a real sense of pride in what they can accomplish.”
Janice Bunn, Vice-principal at W.H. Morden Public School, said Dubreuil is a devoted teacher.
"Sandra provided an incredible program for her students and has encouraged everyone to be invested in music," Bunn said. "Sandra worked with a team of teachers to put on 'Shrek the Musical' which was above and beyond anyone's expectations. In every area in the classroom and beyond, Sandra met the diverse needs of her students, and encouraged everyone to reach for the stars."
Teaching music is certainly a passion for Dubreuil.
"I love giving students opportunities to connect curriculum to the real world to make their education valid and showing them there is a bigger picture. I love challenging them and expecting them to challenge themselves, to expect more from themselves. I love seeing pride when they achieve something they didn't think was possible."
She added: "What students do with their education directly affects the options and pathways they make available to themselves for their futures, if you love what you do, you will excel, and most importantly, to be truly happy and create a positive effect on others lives as well."
The Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan (OTIP) and the Ontario Teachers’ Federation co-sponsor the OTIP Teaching Awards for excellence in teaching in the publicly funded school system. Three awards are presented: secondary school teacher, elementary school teacher and beginning teacher.
More information and a video honouring Sandra are posted on the Teaching Awards, visit www.teachingawards.ca