Niagara University in Ontario’s Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education program hosted a three-day conference for teacher candidates that focused on critical issues in education.

Teacher candidates in Niagara University in Ontario’s Bachelor of Professional Studies in Education program connected with faculty, staff, professionals, and community members during a Teacher Education Conference, March 19-21 at the university’s Vaughan, Ontario, campus.

Over three days, the students could attend 70 workshops facilitated by 38 presenters, including faculty and teacher candidates. In addition, five organizations manned resource tables, and engaging activities were hosted by Education Student Council co-chairs Courtenay Austin and Beth Osborne. Teacher candidates were also able to share their teaching portfolios with colleagues and education professionals during dedicated sessions that provided an opportunity to discuss best practices.

NUO adjunct professor Dr. Ashleigh Molloy entertained attendees with creative and energetic melodies during the conference’s opening ceremonies, followed by a keynote address from Superintendent of Education Farooq Shabar, who shared thoughtful insights into the challenges and rewards of teaching.

On Wednesday, teacher candidates and staff heard from Dr. Cordelia Yates, a professor in the Sharon Walker School of Education at Morningside University, Iowa, who discussed educational inequities and the achievement gap. Long-time friend of NUO Robert Cutting, of Kanienkeha’ka ancestry, shared stories and asked critical questions on the closing day.

The inaugural Teacher Education Conference was established in 2023 to support the professional seminars and the teacher candidates. Assistant Professor Dr. Laura Hermans-Nymark and Faculty Fellow Dr. Said Sidani organized and facilitated the conference.