Earlier this month, Dr. Vidya Shah officially joined the Faculty as an assistant professor in the area of Leadership and Education.
Shah was awarded her Ph.D in Educational Administration and Leadership by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Prior to her preferment, she served as a seconded member with the Faculty of Education since 2013 where she predominantly taught as a course director and contributed as a researcher to both the Bachelor of Education and Master’s of Leadership and Community Engagement (MLCE) programs.
“Prior to her work with the Faculty, Shah held leadership positions at the Toronto District School Board and worked within both local and national community organizations,” said Dean of the Faculty of Education Lyndon Martin. “We welcome Vidya to the Faculty and look forward to working with her in the coming years.”
Having already taught a number of courses in the Faculty including Urban Education; Studies in Communities & their Schools; Teaching for Diverse & Equitable Classrooms in Ontario; and Enacting Leadership & Policy and Initiatives in Program Design, Shah intends to support the conditions necessary for all educators to bring their whole selves to their work through meaningful relationships, critical dialogue and fundamental questions.
"I have been most fulfilled and most connected to my students and colleagues when I have had the courage and the support to bring my whole self to this work, and to engage in deep, personal reflection about who I am in this shared space of teaching, learning and being,” she says. “This reflexive approach to teaching has enabled me to accept the discomfort of not knowing, and to engage in difficult and necessary conversations for learning and unlearning.”
As she navigates her transition into her new position, Shah extends the words of advice that have most helped her own development to future teacher candidates, noting "it is critical to take risks with teaching and learning; to embrace change and question everything; nurture relationships with one’s colleagues, students and families; to practice staying open, vulnerable and self-reflective; to proactively look after one’s own mentality, physicality, emotions and spirituality; and—most importantly—having fun and enjoying the process."