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January 14, 2015

To whom it may concern,

I first met Sydney in September of 2016. As an instructor of Education


Psychology course (EDUC 3502) and a practicum university consultant, I see the
development of teacher candidates first hand, both in their theoretical capacity and,
through observations, their teaching practice. I was immediately impressed by Sydneys
capacity and passion for learning about educational psychology. As the term went on and
I was able to see her teaching in her practicum placement, I saw what really distinguishes
her as an excellent educator.

Something else you should know about Sydney early on is that she has many
years of working as a dance instructor. She loves her work as a private dance instructor
so much that she refused to stop those dance lessons even as the work load of the
Bachelor of Education program increased. This was the first example of behaviour that I
have learned is typical of her: she is completely dedicated to her students.

When I visited Sydney in her practicum classroom, I saw firsthand the rich
learning environment that she fostered through her teaching. From start to finish, she
walked her students through a full range of learning experiences. Her lesson on numeracy
started with some activation questions and a courageously interactive activity. When she
brought out the math manipulatives, she gave the students a review of the expectations
and objectives of the lesson. I thought that was a nice touch because it let them get the
wiggles out and dispel any anxiety that might come with using a new strategy. The
students used the math manipulatives to apply the skills she taught through her engaging
and useful lesson. She created a safe and controlled space for her students to learn and
develop!

The lesson was fabulous exploration of early math skills recognition. Sydney
utilized a wide range of teaching techniques and adjusted her instruction to match the
learning needs of the individuals in her classroom. As a university consultant of many
years, I can tell you that many teacher candidates at the BEd level have difficulty
maintaining classrooms and designing useful lessons. Observing Sydneys practicum was
truly a special experience which I am pleased I did not miss.

I see hundreds of teacher candidates every term so I do not say this lightly:
Sydney set herself above the rest. She is the type of teacher that I would hope would
teach my daughters.

Warmly,

Dr. Jeffrey MacCormack


Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology and Inclusion
University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education