What Makes a Great Teacher?

January 30, 2014 at 3:17 pm

oswald_xtrasmAt our fourth annual Teacher Recognition and MMSA Teaching Awards Dinner this week, all of us present were reminded by our students and by our guest speaker the Honourable Theresa Oswald about why we do what we do.

We heard from members of the MMSA Teaching Awards Committee about our inspiring, innovative faculty members who mentor their students on a daily basis and exemplify professionalism, clinical teaching, patient advocacy and interdisciplinary collaboration.

As Med II student Phoebe Thiessen looked back on a successful first year, she gave significant credit to the teachers and their dedication to prepping and delivering lectures, leading tutorials and demonstrating clinical skills. “I believe it is the inspiration, innovation and mentorship incorporated into each interaction between student and teacher that is the real demonstration of the quality of education here,” she said, speaking also on behalf of Med II rep Angela Cung.

Oswald, Minister of Jobs and the Economy, and a former teacher who served as minister of health for seven years, has high regard for teaching and teachers.

“Look around you because the good teachers are going to reveal themselves to you every single day probably in what they say –please listen to that stuff. But it’s the things you are not going to find in a book like when you know that someone has lost somebody they love, you put on a shirt and tie.”

Med III students Hoang Nguyen and Adrian Stacy agreed. “As teachers, you are asked to teach us not only about the human body, diseases and treatments but also to be our role model, to guide us through emotionally charged situations and to mentor each of to become compassionate and caring doctors,” Nguyen said.

On a similar note, Med IV students Melina Zylberman and Elizabeth Smith sent a thoughtful message to our faculty members: “We are so grateful for the time you have all taken out of your busy schedules to make a difference in our careers. Pathophysiology, diagnostic criteria and treatment guidelines can all be memorized from books, but it is from your words that this information develops a meaning and comes to life, and it is from your experiences that we learn the art of medicine; the emotion and passion behind it.”

Oswald called on the students to ask themselves which teachers are making an impact on them today? “This is my challenge to you: notice the people that are around you who will teach you amazing things…I believe your Faculty, and Manitoba, has the best teachers this country has to offer. And let’s never forget it.”

Teaching is such a privilege to our bright, motivated young people who will become our community’s future caregivers. Thank you to all faculty members for your commitment to the teaching mission and imparting your knowledge and experience to the next generation.

How would you like to see this event evolve in the future?

Congratulations to all MMSA Teaching Award winners! View list of nominees and photos from the event here.