The Green Apple interview
Fraser International College Instructor Sharla Stolhandske has gained much wisdom from her experiences in both science and higher education.
She shares her achievements and offers insights in this inspiring interview.
I’m a geography instructor and a biology instructor. I’m also a lab instructor. The fact that I get to teach different disciplines is something that really excites me. I never get bored! I tend to be the voice for the science department, but also the geography department at FIC because there's not a lot of people in both.
The only challenge I find in teaching is probably what a lot of instructors find these days, which is teaching students how to collaborate when they may never have done it in the past.
Science especially requires a high level of collaboration, and sometimes I feel like I'm the first person that has told them that they need to work together. I think teamwork is a skill that needs to be learnt, much like any other.
I have quite a diverse work background. My undergrad was in the sciences, but after that I worked in the agriculture industry, both in research and education components. I worked in marine conservation in the same capacity, and I also worked in tourism. I realised I love science, but that I also wanted to help people who didn’t understand the science, so I also love education. I’ve always been interdisciplinary, as I recognise there’s a language specific to science but that we need to be able to explain things clearly from an education perspective.
My masters was in urban studies, which is weird given I grew up on a farm, but I guess that was the fascination, to learn more about that environment. I wanted to do something that would be impactful.