Trey Twigg wants to be a teacher because he has a desire to make a real, positive difference in the lives of students. His commitment to being a driver of change and a role model for his children led him to the University of Lethbridge, where he's pursuing combined degrees (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education) with a focus on Indigenous Studies.

Growing up, my education journey was not the best experience as I struggled throughout because of my undiagnosed learning disability. Ultimately, my desire to help students dealing with the same experiences I encountered inspired me to become a teacher.

Meet Trey: Silent leader. Determined. Unique.
Hometown: Cardston/Kainai Nation, AB
Program: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education | Major: Indigenous Studies

"Trey is an outstanding student because of his commitment to education and working with youth. Before entering the Faculty of Education, he was/is a talented hockey player and he worked as an educational assistant for the Kainai Board of Education," says Dr. Robin Bright (BA ’79, BEd ’82, MEd ’88), professor in the Faculty of Education. "He is knowledgable about the Blackfoot oral tradition and has impacted his peers' understanding of what it means to work towards integrating Indigenous knowledge thoughtfully into their work in schools."

What are three unique facts about yourself?

First, to break the cycles of alcohol and drug abuse in my family and community, I never have drank alcohol or done drugs my whole life. Secondly, I am someone who has a learning disability, but I do not see it as a barrier to my ability to learn; I simply see it as my brain works differently when overcoming challenges. Third, I am the son and grandson of Residential school survivors and the first grandchild of 15 grandchildren to attend university.

Why did you choose to pursue Education at the University of Lethbridge?

When I was looking for a university to attend, I had heard a lot of positive things about the Education program at the University of Lethbridge. I decided to research the program further and found that it was highly regarded in the field of education. I learned that the program not only provided a comprehensive education in teaching theory and practice, but also offered a range of practical experiences through their partnerships with local schools and communities.

Additionally, obtaining an education degree from the University of Lethbridge is considered to be a great achievement due to the University's reputation for producing highly skilled and effective teachers. The faculty members are renowned in their areas of expertise and are dedicated to providing students with the support and guidance needed to succeed in their studies and careers.

Ultimately, I chose to attend the University of Lethbridge because I believe that to become the best in any field, you need to learn from the best teachers and be surrounded by the best resources available. I am confident that the education I receive at this university will prepare me to be a highly effective and successful teacher in the future.

Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge? Has your academic plan changed since you began your studies?

Ever since I was young, I have had a strong desire to become a teacher and study education. However, pursuing a combined degree has also given me the opportunity to explore Indigenous studies, which has allowed me to discover my passion for learning about the challenges faced by Indigenous communities. These areas of study have offered me an opportunity and a foundation to better serve my Indigenous community.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience so far?

During my time at ULethbridge, I have had the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of experiences that have contributed to my growth as a student. While I cannot pinpoint a single experience that stands out, I have come to appreciate the unique learning environment that ULethbridge has to offer. One aspect of this environment that I find particularly valuable is the presence of expert instructors who are passionate about their respective fields. Their enthusiasm and knowledge are contagious, and I have learned so much from them.

How have your professors or instructors impacted your education?

Throughout my journey as a student-teacher, I have been fortunate enough to have a great team of instructors who have helped me develop my skills. One of my professors, Dr. Robin Bright, who taught Language in Education, stood out for me. Her teaching style and approach have positively impacted my education.

Robin taught me that each individual has a unique way of interpreting and understanding the process of reading and writing. She encouraged me to approach the subject with an open mind and be receptive to the diverse ways in which people learn. This lesson has been invaluable to me as an aspiring teacher, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from such an amazing instructor.

Tell us about any learning experiences out in the field and how they have impacted your education

During the first few days of my practicum, I was fortunate enough to witness the incredible impact that a teacher can have on a child's learning experience. In the classroom setting, I encountered a non-verbal student who wasn't able to communicate unless it was absolutely necessary. However, I noticed that other students in the class were drawn to me and actively participated in the various activities. As I got to know the students better and spent more time with them, I began to notice that the non-verbal student was slowly coming out of his shell and becoming more social. This was a significant change since the student had not been very communicative before.

I found this experience to be incredibly cool, as it highlighted the power of a teacher to positively influence a student's learning process. It showed me that teachers have the ability to make students feel comfortable and engaged in the classroom, leading to a more effective and enjoyable learning experience for everyone involved.

What piece of advice would you give to future Faculty of Education students?

It is crucial to trust the process. Regardless of how challenging or daunting it may seem, it is essential to keep the faith and believe in the process.From personal experience, I know that being a student can be overwhelming, stressful, and discouraging at times. However, it is important to remain focused and committed to your goals. Take each day as it comes and stay motivated to keep pushing forward.

Do not be afraid to seek help when you need it! There is no shame in asking for assistance or guidance, whether it be from your teachers, peers or support staff.

Remember, the journey of being a student may not be easy, but it is worth it in the end. Stay positive and stay the course, and you will come out on top.

What excites you most about becoming a teacher?

As an aspiring teacher, I feel an immense sense of excitement about the prospect of being able to make a real, positive difference in the lives of my students. One of the things that draws me to teaching is the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with my students and to create a safe and supportive learning environment where they can grow and thrive. I believe that being a teacher means being a mentor, a role model, and a source of guidance and encouragement when the going gets tough. Ultimately, I see teaching as a calling, one that requires patience, empathy, and a deep commitment to helping others succeed. With every lesson I teach and every interaction I have with my students, I hope to inspire them to reach for the stars and realize their full potential.

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