As we prepare to return to our renewed historic home at 371 Bloor Street West, UTS Head of Academics Marc Brims is anticipating all the horizons it will open for our students, from athletics to innovation to lesson plans to partnerships.
But he is most excited about the buzz that comes with new possibilities and empowering facilities for our students.
“The first time we gather in the new Withrow Auditorium is going to feel miraculous, especially since we haven’t been able to come together in large groups for the last couple of years. I think we’re going to see a lot of magic there.”
Imagine seeing an original student performance come to life in such a beautiful place. Marc, who coached UTS varsity hockey for four years, as well as foundation boys and varsity girls soccer, says our athletics program will be completely transformed with the UTS Athletics Centre’s Ridley Fitness Centre and McIntyre Gymnasium, which will finally have room for spectators. Then there are the high-tech tools in the Lang Innovation Lab, which will allow students to bring their creative ideas to life.
The constraints will be gone, Marc says, opening the door to new teaching approaches afforded by space and technology. The proximity to the University of Toronto, including the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, will allow our partnerships with them to flourish. So, too, will the experience of the UTS transformative education.
Marc joined UTS in 2015 as a History teacher, at a time when the affiliation agreement with the University of Toronto was uncertain. The signing of the affiliation agreement later that year was analogous to “steadying the ship,” he says, and soon the opening of our renewed home will “put the wind behind our sails.”
Our renewed school will bring in a new era and within, “We will create a new history for our school,” Marc says, built on the foundation of the UTS Strategic Initiatives for inclusion, mental wellness, socially responsible digital citizenship and a school culture free of sexual assault and harassment.
As Head of Academics, Marc is providing support for our ever-evolving curriculum, for example shifting studies in science to underrepresented narratives instead of the predominantly white and male scientists, or in history examining the experience of marginalized groups rather than just the traditional narratives of politicians and generals.
Marc also oversees the UTS Truth and Reconciliation learning theme for F1 (Grade 7) students. As the school commemorated the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in our country, the focus at UTS has become reconciliACTION – what concrete actions can we take to further reconciliation?
“As we learn more, the truths of our past are becoming more informative and getting deeper into our curriculum and learning process,” he says. “We’re building capacity at this school, one conversation at a time. Our renewed building further expands that capacity by literally changing the limits of our learning possibilities with a new environment.”
Before students return home to our renewed school, they need tools and equipment to help them realize their unlimited potential. Visit Build Avi’s Classroom now to see all of the tools and equipment students still need to realize their unlimited potential.