Delta School District science teacher Van Chau has been given one of the highest honours from the province for her work with Delview grade 10 to 12 science and biology students.
Since 1994, the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence have honoured over 1,600 exceptional elementary and secondary school teachers in all disciplines. Teaching Excellence Awards recipients are honoured for their remarkable achievements in education and for their commitment to preparing their students for a digital and innovation-based economy. Each year, the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence awards up to 10 Certificates of Excellence and up to 25 Certificates of Achievement.
This year, Delview Secondary’s Van Chau was chosen to receive one the 25 Certificates of Achievement.
As a teacher with the Delta School District, Chau encourages her students to be independent learners, to be punctual and to be paragons of grit and perseverance, qualities she models and believes are necessary for lifelong learning.
A leader in her field, Chau has written or co-authored several high school science textbooks for B.C., many of which are used across the province.
But it is Chau’s creative approach to engaging her students in the classroom that has made her a school favourite, and worthy recipient of this award.
“Ms. Chau is an exceptional teacher who challenges her students in creative and intellectual ways. She goes beyond teaching her students and wholeheartedly supports them in overcoming obstacles that they might face in the classroom,” says a former student.
In each of her science and biology classes Chau organizes, or lets students organize, hands-on activities so they can ‘do, know and understand’ the curriculum. Activities that students may experience in her classrooms range from replicating Darwin’s finches by designing bird beaks using items such as plastic forks, to creating a Facebook or Twitter page about an enzyme and then interacting with other student’s enzyme pages as their enzyme, making connections based on how enzymes actually behave.
Says Morgan Kyle, Principal at Delview Secondary, “Van’s commitment to enhancing her students’ learning is evident in the great work she does, and is why the Province has awarded her with a Certificate of Achievement. We at Delview couldn’t be prouder of her— this award is very deserved.”
In her classroom, Chau also stresses reconciliation with First Peoples. Her biology students learn to classify animals important to Indigenous Peoples, determine its species name and the name First Peoples have given it, as well as write a description of its significance in legend and draw it in the style of West Coast Indigenous art.
“This award recognizes Ms. Chau and her amazing and creative approach to engaging with her students,” adds Laura Dixon, Delta Board of Education Chairperson. “For our students, to have an educator who not only embodies the excellence of the profession, but is a role model for women in STEM careers can make a huge impact on students’ life-long approach to learning. The Delta Board of Trustees extend our congratulations and gratitude for all of Ms. Chau’s contributions to our District and our students.”
For more information on the Prime Minister’s Certificate of Excellence and Certificate of Achievement go to: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/pmate-ppmee.nsf/eng/home