For Educator and Instructor, Sara Shahbazi, she has learned through her experience that no matter where you find yourself in the world, being an educator is a multifaceted role built on relationships and being responsive to the voices and needs of the students and people within the community.
While currently working as a Sessional Instructor at the University of Windsor's Faculty of Education in both the Bachelor of Education Program and Graduate Program, Shahbazi shares that Windsor is a unique place to live and work because it is home to a wealth of knowledge, experiences, cultures, and languages. To Shahbazi, it's a place where each student (child and adult learners) adds value, texture and meaning to the learning environments they are a part of.
"I always carried with me a passion and love for learning. My desire to continue into academia grew while studying in the Concurrent Early Childhood Education program at the University of Windsor," she says. "Throughout the five years, I had the opportunity to engage in specialized learning, surrounded by my cohort, professors, and mentors. In that time, I attended St. Clair College's Early Childhood Education Program, where I first learned about the significance of play in stimulating and shaping child development and learning. This was a pivotal moment in my learning because it sparked my interest in how children learn and make meaning of the world."
While obtaining her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Education (M.Ed), Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts and Early Childhood Education Diploma, Shahbazi explains that teaching at the faculty has brought her the freedom and flexibility to connect with our local community.
"All educators bring to the forefront experiences that shape their practice; for me, my personal, professional, and academic experiences have greatly transformed my way of thinking, reflecting, and doing," she shares. "As a sessional instructor, I apply a philosophy that bridges knowledge and skill with experiential learning through a social constructivist lens."
Describing herself as passionate, reflective and intentional, Shahbazi shares that what empowers her daily:
"I have thrived from the relationships I have made, the path's I have followed, the failures I have overcome, and the goals I have sought," she states. "But most of all, it has been my relationships with my students at the elementary and post-secondary level that drives me. It is their trust in me, their voices, experiences, feedback, curiosities, and growth that continue to inspire me to evolve as an educator and academic; this is how my journey was paved and continues to be unveiled."