Distinguished Teaching Award
- Form [PDF, 55.71 KB]
- Guidelines [PDF, 18.11 KB]
- Recipients [PDF, 7.89 KB]
Distinguished Teaching Award Recipient 2012, Dr. David Hay
When Dr. David Hay discovered he could actually study knights and castles in school, he never wanted to leave the educational environment. It’s good fortune for the University of Lethbridge that he still hasn’t.
The winner of the 2012 Distinguished Teaching Award says he’s always had a love of history, and it’s his great fortune that he’s been able to turn it into a rewarding career.
“As teachers, we should never forget just how lucky we are to be able to make our living helping people learn,” says Hay, who came to the University in 2000, his first professorship after earning his Phd from the University of Toronto.
“It really is a pleasure to go into my classroom and study history with my students. I’m often reminding myself that not a lot of people get to do what they love everyday and I have that opportunity.”
Hay discovered early that history was his calling. He remembers being a disinterested student until Grade 4 when he saw another social studies class was studying knights and castles.
“I thought, ‘Wow, you get to do this in school?’ I’d been doing that at home by myself and started to realize you could study history in school.”
It didn’t necessarily put him on a path to be an educator but it ignited a passion.
“I was the first person in my family to go to university so I never really had that as a model,” says Hay. “I never knew what the professor life involved and how I would go about being one. I just figured I’d keep studying history until they told me I had to get a real job.”
Hay’s course load includes Western Civilization, Main Themes in Medieval History, The Crusades, Medieval Britain, Violence in Medieval Society, and The Twelfth Century Renaissance.
His courses are in demand by students, and often the cause of enthusiastic discussion beyond the classroom. His course on The Crusades is the most popular offering by the Department of History.
“To see students progress is very gratifying,” says Hay. “I also just enjoy hearing new ideas and being able to explore them together with my students. If I were to summarize my teaching philosophy, I would characterize it as a pedagogy more of practice than of theory – which is merely to say that I have learned more inside of the classroom than outside of it.”
Hay is known as a reflective scholar, constantly changing his teaching in response to his own reflections and the advice of students.
The result has been consistent improvement in the organization and delivery of course content, and in subsequent evaluations by his students.
A widely respected and popular teacher, Hay has a teaching performance rating that, over the past decade, has never dipped below the outstanding level.
“It’s satisfying to get the recognition from my colleagues because I hold them in very high esteem,” says Hay. “As well, to read the comments from my students, that they had a positive experience and learned something in my classes, is deeply satisfying to me.”