What education have you taken?
I am currently in my final year of the Bachelor of Education After Degree middle years’ stream at Brandon University. I began my journey at BU five years ago, in the fall of 2014, following my high school graduation from MacGregor Collegiate Institute. I graduated from my Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2017 with a Major in English and a Minor in psychology.
What accomplishments (awards, scholarships, volunteer work, organizations, memberships, etc) are you proud of?
During my time at Brandon University I have participated in several different student groups and dedicated my time to the university community. In my first degree, I was a member of the Peer Wellness Educator’s group as well as a Student Leader in the Leadership program. I have also spent countless hours working at the Healthy Living Centre where I have developed lifelong friendships with my peers and connections with community members. Over the past five years I have not only worked hard to achieve my goals, but have also taken advantage of opportunities and learning experiences. I have been fortunate enough to receive several different awards and scholarships for my academic success and feel that I could not be where I am today without the help of my family, peers, and professors that took the time to push me forward. I am honored to have been the recipient of the Board of Governors Entrance Scholarship, the Wilfrid F. McGregor Memorial and Elizabeth May Markle Bursaries, Brandon University Students Union Endowed Undergraduate Bursary, Manitoba Scholarships and Bursary Initiative as well as the Dr. Wilfred W. McCutcheon Scholarship in Education.
Throughout my education degree, I am proud to have held leadership positions on both the Brandon University Students Union and the Education Student Society. Being both the Education Director and the Social Convener has allowed for me to develop valuable leadership qualities that will help me continue to build strong connections with others and become a well-rounded teacher. My ability to consider different perspectives, be collaborative, supportive and dedicated has contributed to giving back to the community and participating in events.
Tell us about yourself/ your background/ your history.
I grew up on a small acreage outside of MacGregor alongside three of the most supportive and caring people I know, my parents and my younger sister. Growing up I was always reminded about the importance of treating people how you wanted to be treated and how making mistakes was proof that you were trying. I spent much of my childhood taking both dance and fiddle lessons, playing a variety of sports, as well as engaging in outdoor activities. I have always had a passion for learning and interacting with new people, driving my desire to travel and explore new places. Today, I am happiest spending time with family and friends and interacting with both the elderly and children I have been lucky enough to work with. In my spare time, I enjoy indulging in a good book, spending time at our cabin, boating or in my kayak, and engaging in creative activities, such as photography.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. Throughout both elementary and high school I was impacted by several different teachers that showed me the importance of not only believing in yourself, but how the smallest acts of kindness can encourage you to do things you never thought possible. Although I did not realize it at the time, I have grown to appreciate the importance of always being reminded to step out of your comfort zone and trying new things as it has been a vital component to my personal development throughout my time here at BU.
My passion for working with others has always been evident; however, after working and volunteering with various organizations in high school I was inspired to positively impact and make a difference in a child’s life. Over time I have learned that some things cannot be taught, but rather must be experienced. Some of the most valuable life lessons I have learned are those from children, as I truly believe that they teach us more than we will ever teach them. Their desire to help others and promote kindness aligns with my philosophy as a teacher as I hope to create an environment that celebrates individual successes and provides them with various learning opportunities to help them reach their full potential.
I am beyond excited to start my career and help shape compassionate human beings that can use their knowledge and experiences to better our world.
What is your philosophy in life?
Although I find that my philosophy for life is continually changing, there are two things that have always stood out to me: spread kindness wherever you go and surround yourself with people who encourage you to be your best self. I have always valued the importance of showing compassion and being kind to one another as we never know what someone is going through. I also believe that our successes in life are greatly influenced by the individuals that we surround ourselves with making it critical to find people that both encourage and support you in the decisions that you choose.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Following graduation this spring I hope to get a job teaching in an elementary school somewhere in Manitoba. One day I would like to travel abroad to teach English in another country and learn about the different types of education systems that exist throughout the world. Eventually, I would like to return to Brandon University to complete my Master’s Degree in Inclusive Education as I would like to become a resource teacher and work in collaboration with others to develop both individualized and universal supports for students.
Mackenzie is in her final year of the After Degree Program in the Faculty of Education. Mackenzie is a strong academic student with a current B.Ed. GPA of 4.18
Mackenzie is an active member of the Education Student Society (ESS) and has worked to ensure the student body is engaged in their program and handled the coordination of Education wear for all Education students this past year.
Mackenzie has met with great success in her practicums, receiving stellar recommendations from her Faculty Supervisors and Cooperating Teachers. Mackenzie’s 2018 fall placement Summative Evaluation came with this note from her Faculty Supervisor:
“I wanted to be sure that Mackenzie Wright is considered for any available awards. She is perhaps the most capable student teacher that I have ever had the pleasure of supervising. Her performance was outstanding in every area. She had those Grade 7 kids eating out of her hand! She is dedicated, skilled, creative, reflective and professional. I think the final practicum is the one upon which these decisions are usually made but she could easily assume responsibility of her own classroom right now!
….As I said to them, watching their interactions with the students, gave me faith in the future of education! “
I believe this kind of character feedback from a Faculty Supervisor speaks to the intent and personal qualities that deserve recognition through this award.
Mackenzie has demonstrated her commitment to her post-secondary education and as noted, has every potential to become an exemplary educator.