Having not been together in person since class on March 13, 2020 when the University switched to a virtual format, Professor Sejal Patel was excited to reconnect with Leah Balkovec, her former first-year Human Development I & II student. They bumped into each other at a community ice skating rink, where Leah works as a skating coach for young children.
About Leah Balkovec
Leah is a third year student in the Early Childhood Studies program who aspires to work as a teacher after graduating. She noted that her favourite part of the Human Development I and II courses was “learning about how a child’s brain processes information”, and that she “gained an in-depth understanding about child growth and development.” Leah shared that she has “been able to apply what [she] learned from Human Development I and II to [her] placement and work place settings.” During the pandemic, Leah shared that she found connecting through group chats and over the phone helpful in liaising with her classmates while learning online, despite the challenges of not being able to interact in person. During stressful times, such as during exam period, she “found that going for walks, working out, and listening to music were great stress relievers.” Leah shared that her choice of the Early Childhood Studies program was the result of her “passion for working with children” and that she appreciated the “hands-on experience in the field” that she gained from the program.