Since he was a kid, Tyler Fairbrother dreamed of becoming an elementary teacher, but it almost didn’t happen.
Tyler’s first two years at Simon Fraser University took place not in the Faculty of Education, but in SFU’s Beedie School of Business.“My dream had always been to become an elementary school teacher, but my parents encouraged me to explore some other potential careers, so I decided to go to Beedie to see if business was for me,” says Tyler.
During this period, Tyler joined the Business Mentorship Program offered by Beedie to first-year students. “My mentor was fantastic and assisted me through all aspects of my first year here at SFU; I knew I could always count on her for support! Our mentor group was extremely close, and we still get together for dinner and paint nights.”
Despite enjoying his studies and the support he received from his colleagues and his mentor group, Tyler came to the realization that business just wasn’t his calling. He began considering a transition to Education and pursuing his childhood dream. “I visited an Education undergraduate advisor in my second year. They supported me through the whole process of transferring faculties, which turned out to be very easy.”
Since transferring to the Faculty of Education in the Bachelor of General Studies program, Tyler has taken what he learned and experienced in Beedie and has given back by becoming a Peer Mentor himself. As a peer mentor, Tyler provides support and lends a helping hand to new students as they transition to SFU and university life. The experience has been a rewarding one.
“Since my mentor played such an important role in my first-year experience, I really try and build supportive and caring relationships with my mentees by attending mentorship events and maintaining communication with them. Being a Peer Mentor has been one of the most rewarding things I have done throughout my time here at SFU,” says Tyler.
For Tyler, making the move to Education has been fulfilling and life changing. Continuing his passion for teaching, he has applied to several teacher education programs and hopes to fulfill his dream of becoming an elementary school teacher. “In many senses, it felt like I had finally found my place within SFU. I loved all of my courses and could not have been happier that I was studying something I truly loved!”
For those entering SFU and the Faculty of Education, Tyler’s advice for you is to take advantage of what SFU has to offer, including your faculty’s peer mentorship programs.
“The transition to university can be intimidating, but when you enter SFU, and more specifically the Faculty of Education, you are joining a community. You will be surrounded by support, encouragement, and a shared desire to make sure that your university experience is a special one. Once you are in this community, do not be afraid to explore what SFU has to offer! There are so many opportunities available to you, and with SFU’s focus on flexibility, you are put in control of shaping your own learning experience.”