Greg Tjosvold wins Prime Minister's award for teaching

Port Coquitlam middle school teacher wants to inspire children to read, write and code

Greg Tjosvold of Port Coquitlam's Citadel middle school has won a certificate of achievement for exemplary teaching practices from the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence.

"It's an honour and it's humbling," said Tjosvold, who was thrilled to be recognized but also embarrassed because there are so many good teachers in School District 43.

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Tjosvold is an author, world traveller, tech enthusiast, blogger, photographer and educator who was nominated for inspiring his Grade 6 students. He came to the teaching profession late in his career, having already spent years in technology, and wanted to make a difference, especially to boys who sometimes struggle in school.

Working with Finger Food Studios, Tjosvold has used the Sphero and Scratch to teach students beginning coding and developed the Authorship program to teach middle school students to conceive, write, edit, print and bind their own novels.

"Its just about being able to tackle that big project," Tjosvold said about the Authorship program. "We don't give kids enough opportunities to do that."

Students who write their own stories from start to finish tend to do a better job, he said. "I wanted to give them writing they actually cared about — that's really a good motivator."

Tjosvold also works with gifted learners in an interdisciplinary inquiry-based program called MACC, where students learn about electronics.

The award comes with a $1,000 prize.

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