Sonia Furstenau, B.A., M.A., B.Ed.

BC College of Teachers Certificate Number L184958

Highlights of Qualifications

●  IB experience and training

●  Successfully developed a middle years project-based classroom

●  A strong commitment to fostering social and environmental justice

●  Middle school, high school, and university teaching experience

●  Certified French as a Second Language teacher; basic knowledge of Spanish

●  Excellent organizational and administrative skills

●  An active commitment to community


Bachelor of Education Degree, Post-Degree Professional Program,
University of Victoria, 2008
Master of Arts Degree, History, University of Victoria, 2001
Bachelor of Arts Degree, History and Medieval Studies, University of Victoria, 1998

Volunteer Activities

Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Volunteer, 2011-present
Results Canada, Volunteer (2001-2011); Board of Directors (2003 – 2008)
Oikocredit Canada West, Board of Directors 2009 – 2012
Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, Social Justice Chair, September 2010 – June 2011

Teaching Experience

Dwight School Canada, Shawnigan Lake, BC
September 2012 – Present: Senior Humanities

I am currently teaching first and second year IB History (Route 2) and Theory of Knowledge. I am also the IB Extended Essay Coordinator. My extra-curricular activities include leading the Environmental Action Committee and the school Knitting Club, and I have coached the school cross-country and track and field teams for two years.

Dwight School Canada, Shawnigan Lake, BC
September 2011 – June 2102: Middle School Project-Based Learning

I taught a project-based program to a group of academically diverse middle school students. The projects have had a consistent focus on creating actively engaged citizens who recognize the agency that they have in their community and in the world. The students researched the global coffee industry, made presentations on healthy food and helped the kitchen implement a healthier snack program, and they led the whole school in the Amnesty International Write for Rights day, generating 160 letters from the 120 students who attend the school. I was responsible for ensuring that the projects fulfill all of the requirements of BC ministry curriculum for English, Social Studies, Health and Career Education, Applied Skills and French.

Colquitz Middle School, Victoria, BC: Grade 8 English, Social Studies, French, PE
September 2010 – June 2011

As a full-time teacher, I was responsible for teaching Math, English, Social Studies, PE, and French to grade 8 students. Much of the learning focused on projects that had social justice themes. Some examples included comparing the Black Death to the current AIDS epidemic in Africa, creating informative presentations related to “The Story of Stuff”, and holding a mock trial of Charlemagne to determine if he had been a just and fair king. The students also worked together to raise funds for a class trip so that all students could attend as well as raising money to donate to two local NGOs that support communities in Africa and India.

Spectrum Community School, Victoria, BC: History 12 and Social Studies 11
April 2010 – June 2010

I took over two courses from a teacher on medical leave. In addition to ensuring all learning outcomes were met, I was responsible for preparing the grade 11 students for the provincial exam. I introduced a project-based approach to the grade 12 course, including having the students play assigned roles in a press conference during the Vietnam War and engaging in a debate informed by research around the Palestine-Israel conference. I also arranged to take a number of the Social Studies 11 students for a 45-minute meeting their Member of Parliament, Dr. Keith Martin, and I had the Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May spend 90 minutes with the class discussing curriculum-related issues connected to Canadian democracy and climate change.

Greater Victoria School District and Glenlyon Norfolk School: Teacher on Call
March 2009 – April 2010

I was actively teaching in both the Greater Victoria School District and at Glenlyon
Norfolk School (GNS). During this period, I also took one month to volunteer my time at GNS in order to direct grade 9 students in their Shakespeare Day scenes.

Monterey Middle School, Victoria BC: Student Teacher
October 2008 – December 2008

During my final practicum, I taught two groups of grade 8 students in Social Studies and Language Arts. I developed my own approach to the curriculum, including a cross-curricular unit on Shakespeare, which culminated in each class doing a filmed production of Richard III, copies of which I edited and burned to DVD for each student. I also taught a unit on Europe during the Middle Ages.

University of York (UK): History Tutor, Introduction to Early Modern British History, January 2005 – March 2005

Duties included preparing seminar classes for three groups of students each week that complemented the week’s lecture, helping students develop essay writing skills, marking students’ assignments, meeting with individual students, and carrying out administrative duties.

University of Victoria: Teaching Assistant and Seminar Instructor
September 1998 – July 2001

As a graduate student at University of Victoria, I was a Teaching Assistant in a number of History courses, including Introduction to Medieval History and Topics in Canadian History. I was also a Seminar Instructor for two years for an Introduction to Film Studies course.

Other Employment Experience

RESULTS Canada / RESULT: ED Educational Fund National Administrator and National Treasurer
February 2004 – January 2009

RESULTS Canada is a national non-profit advocacy group that works to create the political will to eliminate hunger and extreme poverty in the world. RESULTS: ED Educational Fund is its charitable arm. As National Administrator, I was responsible for the administration of both organizations. This included management of significant budgets, fiscal monitoring of multi-year grants, working with staff and volunteers (both French and English), and assisting the Executive Director and National Coordinator. As a volunteer with Results, I published more than 70 letters to the editor and 5 op-eds on issues of justice and international development in newspapers across the country.

Centre for Studies in Religion and Society,
University of Victoria Graduate Student Coordinator, Coastal Inquiries Project

April 2001 – September 2002

The Coastal Inquiries Project is an international graduate student exchange program involving three Canadian and three European universities. My duties included corresponding with European students who were coming to UVic, finding accommodations, helping with the organization of the conference that was held at Dunsmuir Lodge in August 2001, assisting with excursions around Vancouver Island, and supporting the students and co-ordinators during their stay in Victoria.

Sample of Publications

  • Reading the Past as God’s Narrative: History as Salvific Process in the Writings of Hugh of St Victor. MA Thesis, University of Victoria, 2001
  • “The real cost of that morning cuppa,” Toronto Star, May 16, 2003.
  • “Coffee and Conscience,” Vancouver Sun, May 22, 2003
  • “Pick Fair Trade Bananas,” Epoch Times, May 8, 2008.
  • “Fair trade bananas: Avoiding the high costs of cheap food,” BCTF Social Justice Newsletter, Fall 2010.