Professor Nick Mount of English calls teaching "the most rewarding job on the planet." (Photo by Derek Shapton)

One of U of T’s top teachers thanks his mentor

Professors across Canada write to those who inspired their teaching careers

U of T English professor Nick Mount has written a thank-you letter to his teacher.

Mount and the other 2011 3M National Teaching Fellows are launching a campaign to celebrate the importance of great teachers by thanking the mentors who inspired their own teaching careers. Mount kicks off the campaign Feb. 4, with a tribute to Professor Weir, a teacher he met while at Cariboo College.

An advertisement appearing in The Globe and Mail and University Affairs features a letter written by Mount thanking the woman who first made him aware of the possibility of attending university.

"I was a high school dropout returning to school for the first time in 10 years. You liked my essay on Heart of Darkness, and you asked me something nobody had ever asked me before, 'Have you ever thought of going to university?' Well I did."

Mount says the 2011 Teaching Fellows, 10 university educators from across Canada rewarded for teaching excellence, came up with the campaign idea while on a 3M retreat in Banff.

"The state of teaching at Canadian universities has been much in the news recently," he said. "It's a public discussion, and we wanted to contribute to it in a public way, as opposed to typical academic responses like essays or a conference."

Mount hopes that people learn from the campaign that good teachers became teachers because of other good teachers. While he joked that he got into teaching for "the cash and company car, of course," he said "There is no more rewarding job on the planet."

The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) invites anyone to leave a story about the teacher who's most affected them at the Thank Your Teacher website.


The Bulletin Brief logo

Subscribe to The Bulletin Brief