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Meadows West educator earns Distinguished Teacher Award

May 14, 2024 News Story
Jacqueline Tabios

A Meadows West School teacher is being recognized for her dedication to education. 

Jacqueline Tabios will receive a 2024 Distinguished Teacher Award from Brandon University later this month. According to BU’s website, the award is presented annually to “teachers who have inspired their students to continue their education.”  

Tabios, a Grade 5 teacher, was nominated for the award by her students and Meadows West principal, Wayne Wyke. She will receive the honour at the BU Faculty of Education convocation ceremony on May 30. 

“There are so many great teachers that are very deserving of this award, so to receive it is quite an honour and privilege,” said Tabios, who is also a literacy and numeracy support teacher.

“It’s validating to be acknowledged for all the hard work and dedication that I give to my students.”

In his letter of support, Wyke described Tabios as a teacher who “goes above and beyond” what is required of her. He also noted that she “fosters deep conversations” with her students and finds unique and various ways to engage them in their learning.

“I’m very intentional about making learning engaging for my students,” Tabios said. “You’ll see in my classroom that I promote a lot of STEAM and project-based learning. It’s important to plant those skills, so that students can be lifelong learners in our ever-changing world.”

That forward-thinking approach to teaching was exemplified during a recent class project on the human body.

“I like to give them opportunities to express their creativity and show their learning and understanding in different ways,” Tabios said. 

“With the human body unit, I had one group of students who did coding with Dash robots to show the pathway of the blood. Another group of students wrote a script they acted out. They filmed themselves in front of a green screen to show the different types of muscles.” 

“I also have one student who just loves Minecraft Education. Sometimes it’s difficult to get him engaged, so I asked him to build me the skeletal system using Minecraft, along with providing me with facts. He became a bit of an expert on the subject.”

“Another group talked about the respiratory system using a Makey Makey kit, while another group of students did an animation that showed how bones heal.”

Makey Makey is an invention kit that connects everyday objects to computer keys using a circuit board, alligator clips and a USB cable. 

Tabios said one of her shiest students took the lead in the class presentation after using the technology.

“He was super enthusiastic about it,” Tabios said. “I guess I tapped into his interest and that made him shine. I saw a real sense of confidence in him after that and the other students saw him in a different light too.” 

“Seeing little moments like that motivates me. I know I’ve done my job when I can step back and just watch them work together. The best thing is when you say, ‘Recess time!’ and they want to keep working on their projects.” 

Tabios started her teaching career 19 years ago, the last eight at Meadows West. A 2005 graduate of the University of Winnipeg, she previously taught at Principal Sparling School. 

She said the biggest lesson she tries to instill in her students is that learning is a process and a lifelong journey.

“Learning doesn’t happen just like that. It’s difficult, it can get messy, but you must take the risk,” Tabios said. “Mistakes will be made throughout your journey, but that’s completely OK. The most important thing is that you believe in yourself and that you continue to work hard and persevere, because nothing good every comes easy. You need to put in the time and effort and one day you’ll reach that eureka moment.”

In addition to the Distinguished Teacher Award, Tabios will receive $200 to go towards Meadows West’s student leadership activities.


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