Years as an ELC Teacher: 1992-2000
I'm Robin Roberts and I was a UVic ELC instructor from 1992 to 2000.
There are too many students who had a special impact on my life to count. ELC students bring gifts of learning and culture from their countries constantly, emphasizing for us how teaching and learning is such a two-way street.
As I love one-on-one work the most— as those who might remember me know I expanded the Tutorial Centre and wrote its first manual—I enjoy tutoring for the creativity it demands in almost every moment.
Having UVic students come into the classroom, share their perspectives and then answer questions—rotating through all students in small groups. In particular, as I was being targeted for being lesbian (at first both by a couple of teachers and then by half a dozen students who refused to come to my class when that teacher "outed" me), I remember the opening of students' mindsets about the topic when I brought in UVic students from the LGBT association. It was such a relief for me to help everyone open up, especially knowing that a relatively high percentage of ELC students were sent away from their home countries to avoid being targeted there. I know that's an odd memory to be a 'favorite'— but I know it made a difference, and it set the tone for my later work as a litigant in Canada's Equal Marriage case.
Teaching has given me immense gratification, as I love learning about the different cultures, and I love the one-on-one challenge of figuring out— in the moment—how best any particular student learns, and will therefore be able to grasp answers, become appropriately creative with them and grow in ability.