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Nadene Carline: A passion to be a teacher

One teacher’s legacy creates an inspiration for future educators.

For Johnny Carline, his late wife Nadene’s passion for teaching was well known. He didn’t realize how well known until stumbling upon an article about her, after she passed away in 2023.

“My youngest son discovered a 2006 article in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education which had high praise for her,” says Johnny. “Nadene had been too modest to even draw it to our attention, so we didn’t know about it until after her death. Reading it reminded us—and particularly me—of how important she felt her work with student teachers had been and how she loved those student teachers as much as the kids.”

That article inspired Johnny to create the Nadene Carline Passion to be a Teacher Prize at the UBC Faculty of Education.

“The award was just out of love, to begin with,” says Johnny. “She was an amazing wife and mom, and my two sons and I wanted to do something more than just a celebration of life. We wanted something more permanent.” He also emphasizes Nadene’s life and work as an example for future student teachers “was particularly important.”

The article in question was co-authored by Dr. Anthony Clarke, emeritus from the UBC Faculty of Education. He was instrumental in placing student teachers in Nadene’s classes.

“I had the good fortune to visit Nadene’s classroom on more than 70 occasions to supervise teacher candidates,” says Dr. Clarke. “Over time, I realized that Nadene was not only a very gifted and talented teacher but also a very gifted and talented supervisor.”

Dr. Clarke was so impressed that he decided to document Nadene’s exceptional methods.

“At the time, I didn’t feel that many of the existing theories about teaching and learning fully captured the magic that Nadene seemed to possess. The article that I wrote in the journal Teaching and Teacher Education—to this day—that piece of writing is one I treasure most.”

Nadene’s warm and responsive nature characterized her approach to kindergarten teaching. According to Johnny, when it came to her pupils, she had three goals.

“First of all, to help kids become good human beings, and that involved working with and cooperating with other people,” says Johnny. “Secondly, it was to have them love to learn and then—only thirdly—teach them the subject matter scheduled as the focus of the lesson. But learning how to become a good human was always at the forefront of what she did.”

The Nadene Carline Passion to be a Teacher Prize reflects Nadene’s rich career in education. When creating the award, Johnny and his family hoped it would inspire future teachers with the same creativity and passion that defined Nadene’s career.

“We wanted the award to be practical and useful to individuals so they could feel the impact,” says Johnny. “And to be ongoing and last beyond our family—given Nadene’s greatest love outside the family was teaching.”

Dr. Clarke adds some final words on his hopes for the award and recognition of Nadene’s teaching legacy.

“There are many, many wonderful teachers throughout our school system. We cannot recognize all of them individually, but Nadene’s prize says ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ to all them for the magic they bring to teaching and learning. Nadene represents what we love and treasure about education.”