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Forest Hill CI staffer named teacher of the year by Niagara University

Forest Hill CI staffer named teacher of the year by Niagara University

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Niagara University (NU) College of Education named Forest Hill CI's own Tim Rudan a teacher of the year at its Annual Professional Recognition Awards. Rudan was one of two teachers selected for the honour and was feted at a ceremony at NU on October 8.

The Department Chair for History and Social Sciences at Forest Hill CI began his career in investment banking, before turning to teaching abroad in Turkey, India, Nepal and Malaysia. “I loved the experience,” he recalled.  Following that stint, he enrolled in the Masters of Education program at NU. 

Rudan is no stranger to recognition for his outstanding work in the classroom. In 2010, when he taught at Weston CI, he was named “Greatest High School Teacher” by Humber College. He was also honoured as Outstanding Staff Advisor by Toronto Police Services and the Canadian Safe Schools Network during his time at Weston. 

Forest Hill CI Principal Peggy Aitchison said that Rudan’s success lies in his commitment to students and to his profession. “Tim brings an open mind to the art of teaching,” she said. “He accepts students for who they are and works to bring out the best in them. He is consistently positive and encouraging…[and] his students know that no matter what, he is on their side.” 

Rudan himself attributes his success in part to that very important connection with students. “Everyone deserves respect,” he said, adding that he takes time to get to know all of his students and learn what is important in their lives. “I think teachers are one of the best agents of change in society thus I feel I have a moral responsibility to model behavior and guide youth to success.”

His approach is also influenced by his own memories of being a high school student. “I attended a great school but I was closeted and worked a lot; it made it hard to connect with teachers,” he shared. “Growing up gay and feeling you're the only one can have negative consequences.” 

With the help of older peers he gained confidence as a student. Now as a teacher, he works hard to make sure that all his students feel included.

Rudan offered this sage advice for beginning teachers: “Being equitable and inclusive should be a priority…teachers need to collaborate and celebrate to create a positive environment for everyone.” 

Wise words from a teacher with an impressive track record of success and, just as important, a kind and caring person who is a positive role model.

 
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