Q&A: Arielle Desamito, MT'19

Updated: Jan 11, 2019

Arielle Desamito, MT'19, is a second year teacher's education student at OISE and current 2018-2019 OISE Student Ambassador. In this Q&A, Desamito discusses why she was inspired to become a teacher, how she participates in the OISE community and her top 'life-hacks' for students.


Tell us about yourself. What are you currently studying and where did you complete your undergraduate studies at previously?

My name is Arielle (pronounced R-E-L) and I’m a second-year Master of Teaching (MT) student in the Intermediate-Senior division, with teachables in Chemistry and Mathematics. I completed my Honours Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (with thesis) at the University of Windsor (it’s right by Detroit) in 2016. And yes – I was named after the mermaid!

How did you become interested in this area of study? What were your motivations to attend OISE?

I haven’t always known that I wanted to be a teacher, but the idea was sparked during my grade 11 chemistry class. I had an incredible chemistry teacher (shout out to Mr. Tracey!) who ignited my love for science. Since then, I knew I wanted to be a chemistry teacher.

After my undergraduate degree, I applied to a few teacher education programs around Ontario, with OISE being my 'dream school'. I was so intrigued by the program; getting Ontario Certified Teacher(OCT) certified, plus receiving a master’s degree at an internationally-acclaimed educational institution? Who could say no?!

Are you involved in any other volunteer or extra-curricular focused activities?

Outside of class, I am involved with the Master of Teaching Student Association (MTSA) as the Director of Outreach and Communications. I also volunteer as a Practicum Mentor for Year-One MT students, and am the Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) representative for my cohort. In my spare time, you can find me rehearsing for local musical theatre productions.

What do you hope to accomplish as an OISE Student Ambassador?

As an OISE Student Ambassador, I want to provide a student perspective on what to expect throughout the MT program, as well as tips to make the most of your time at OISE. I also hope to answer questions regarding the MT program, moving away for graduate school and ways to get involved.

What are your top U of T or OISE ‘life-hacks’?

My top life-hacks include:

  • Try to get a student discount anywhere and everywhere.

  • Rent out a locker. It’s so convenient to have a place to keep your backpack, extra snacks, and even your coat and boots during the winter months.

  • Dress in layers – it might be cold outside, but your class on the 4th floor will feel like a sauna with your comfy sweaters and thick socks.

  • If you’re able, take the stairs. The lines for the elevators will get extremely long during peak times, but the stairs are almost always empty. It’s great for your health and the environment.

  • It may be intimidating at first, but talk to your instructors. They have a wide breadth of knowledge, tons of experience and even connections that may benefit you.

How can students get involved in the OISE community?

Whether you decide to register for a workshop or conference led by OISE faculty, attend events put on by your student association, or chat with someone new while waiting for an elevator– there are tons of ways students can get involved with the OISE community! Have any questions? Ask me!

So far, what has been the most memorable moment for you in your studies at OISE?

My most memorable moment for me during my studies at OISE was my Mathematics teachable course. My instructor, Gurpreet, presented us with new and noteworthy ways to help develop our students’ interest in mathematics and filled each class with engaging activities that we could (and did!) use during practicum and beyond.

What is your favourite thing about OISE?

My favourite thing about OISE is the myriad of opportunities to get involved in the community, as well as the partnerships with school boards and external organizations. Whether you’re interested in things like sustainability, teaching internationally, social justice, or Indigenous studies, there is a way for everyone to get involved.


Have any questions or comments for Arielle? Comment below, or email her at oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca