Student Stories: Meet Tuskonne Blais

What study place do you enjoy most on campus? NITEP Classroom

What is your favourite study snack? Popcorn

What kinds of classes can you expect in your first couple of years at NITEP? 

Some of the courses you might take at NITEP are Math, Sciences, lots of English classes and your main NITEP courses, the education courses. And some Canadian studies courses, as well as a lot of electives of your choice. In addition to my NITEP degree, I’m also doing a diploma in Education or Special education, and I recommend it to those who are interested, Still, they also have other options, like outdoor education.

Do you have some favourite educational topic or favourite class that you especially love or made an impression on you?

If I can recommend one course to a NITEP student. It will be EDCP362D Curriculum Design and Evaluation and Creative Writing with Billy Ray. That was really good, and I also like the Wellness days that they hosted here at NITEP. I’m also doing special education, and I really enjoyed those- my favourite class for that is probably the autism course I’m taking right now.

What’s the difference between your current education experience at UBC and your previously education experience? 

A lot more freedom to choose what you want to take! And things that you want to do, like in high school, I didn’t have as much options to choose from. So a lot more freedom.

What kind of learning curve will you encounter, and how do you overcome it? 

I think moving from a different province was, like, a big learning curve and having to meet new people and stuff. So that was really hard to adjust to all the courses and stuff, move and then make all new friends. Figur[ing] out campus.. was like a big Learning curve coming to university.  There’s a lot of support here if you need it, and we can reach out, and because within NITEP, everyone is so close, you always have someone there if you need somebody.

What is your experience living on campus? Would you recommend living in residence for new students who came to the program? 

I think, first, you should consider residence because it’s close to classes, so it’s not a far walk, and you can meet people. And I made two really good friends living in Fairview last year. They are sisters, and we all became really good friends. We still hang out after they graduated- well, one of them’s graduated.

What most impressive experience did you have at UBC?

Last summer, I think I was pretty impressed by my grades. I got all A’s! I’m pretty proud of myself.

Do you have any learning tips? 

I feel like if you study at home, you might want to just lay in bed instead, so studying in a public space might help you to concentrate easier.

What advice would you give to a student? Worried about completing science or mathematics?

Advice that I would give to the student completing mathematics is to ask if you need help, like with math questions or anything to ask your professor cause they’re more than happy to help. And the same with science. Or work together with friends. If you have friends in the course, work together to do your work.

How would you describe your program experience so far?

I think it’s been pretty good so far. I have many friends in the NITEP program because everyone is super close. It’s a small cohort, so I really like that. So I think it’s been really good.

In the beginning, how did you decide to follow this educator path? / Who inspired you to go into teaching?

I grew up in a really big family with lots of kids, so I really enjoy being around kids, so I think that kind is what inspired me to do a teaching [program].

Why is Indigenous Education important to you?

I think that the education system lacks Indigenous perspectives. For me, becoming an Educator and learning how to bring that into the classroom, it’ll allow for a better experience for Indigenous students. And I think it’ll help Indigenous students become more successful having those experiences.

What is the one piece of advice you would like to give to the new student? 

My advice to fresh NITEP students is to reach out for support when you need it and to know that NITEP is a very close community and everyone’s there to support each other.