Karen Bowater – Inspiring Students to Excel in STEM

2021 — Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

WJ Mouat Secondary School
Grades 9 to 12 - math
Abbotsford, British Columbia


“Mrs. Bowater possesses an ability to make students feel secure and respected during these learning exercises. By demonstrating respect for the process of making mistakes and learning from them, Mrs. Bowater opens the doors of learning and self discovery in a manner very few teachers, and in fact people in general, are able to do. I realize how fortunate we all were to cross paths with this extraordinary educator during our years in high school.”


Teaching Approach

Karen’s approach to teaching is about leading students to successful academic and personal outcomes, and not a one way transmission of information. For her, pedagogy must have the objectives of developing critical thinking, a sense of citizenship, consideration for others and participation in the wellness of others. She understands that you don’t lead people by telling them what to do, you lead by example. In this regard, the measure of her success is the enthusiasm and the drive for excellence that she imparts to everyone around her.

In the Classroom

In most classrooms, there are two distinct roles - that of student and that of teacher. While this a fact officially, the pedagogical setting, and indeed the teacher-student relationship is not always that simple. Karen has the skill and aptitude in getting students to teach each other and process information together. She has the ability to earn respect by giving respect. Her classes are a space where students feel safe and where errors are learning opportunities instead of embarrassments. The discussions generated in class are fun, productive, and inclusive. Everyone is made to feel valuable to the discussion. The outcome is self-confidence, motivation, and ultimately, success.

Outstanding Achievements

Karen is the definition of an engaged community member and does so with an energy that inspires those around her. With the help of other teachers, she had huge success in hosting the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Abbotsford. She was the Chair of Student Programming. Over 900 students from all over Canada came to Abbotsford where there was no shortage of school spirit, new friendships, and guest speakers.

Karen’s commitment to education is exceptional. She perceives success not in terms the number of students who go on to post-secondary studies, but rather on the success of each individual. She treats every student like she has all the time in the world to discuss their issues and always provides support when it’s needed. Time spent with a student is not work. It is an investment in the person’s abilities and potential. While transcripts are not her main focus, her results are impressive. It was a surprise to no one that she received the prestigious Teachers Building Leaders Award from the Loran Scholars Foundation - a national charitable organization that award scholarships for students entering university in Canada on the basis of character, commitment to service and leadership potential.

Get in touch!

W J Mouat Secondary
32355 Mouat Drive
Abbotsford, BC V2T 4E9
Facebook: @wjmouatsecondary
Twitter: @wjmouat