Division News

Division News

Motivational week of learning at New Teacher Orientation

Posted on August 31

An educator described Northland School Division's (NSD) New Teacher Orientation in Wabasca-Desmarais as one of the best introductions to any workplace she's ever had. From August 22-26, 2016 at St. Theresa School, new educators became familiar with First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) perspectives, cultural traditions and various initiatives across NSD. The week began with opening prayer from local Elder Nora Yellowknee; and welcoming remarks from Local School Board Committee members Louis Cardinal and Ernie Grach, Gord Atkinson, Superintendent of Schools and Lois Byers, Official Trustee.

During the week, educators developed a better understanding about Northland communities, Aboriginal culture, literacy assessment tools, classroom management practices and health and wellness ideas that can be integrated into the classroom. Laurie Elkow, a newcomer at Mistassiniy School, says the highlight session was Bee Calliou Schadeck from Center of the Sky. Bee educated teachers about Canada's history and how it impacted Aboriginal peoples. During the presentation, she wove in personal stories while explaining Residential Schools and the impact it has in our school communities. In addition to in-school sessions, activities such as kayaking, pontoon boating, golf, and beach volleyball were organized to help teachers bond with each other. Chelsea Cattroll, one of many to participate in golfing at the Eagle Point Golf Course, will begin her education journey at Peerless Lake School this year. She says the orientation helped her feel welcome and comfortable.

"I immediately felt welcomed by everyone that I met and I felt like I had become part of the Northland family right from the start," said Cattroll. "I really valued that all the guests at orientation had a valuable message and contribution to ensure that I would have a successful start as a beginning teacher and reassured me that everything would be alright and that they would be there for me. If I were to reflect on what I feel was left out of the orientation week, I would have a hard time coming up with things that I feel were missed, as I feel it answered all of my questions I had going into the orientation. I left with a sense of community and I found it valuable to have face to face interactions with the staff that I will be working with this coming year."

A special thank you to Karen Alook, Head Cook from St. Theresa School, Leanne Gladue, Head Cook from Mistassiniy School, Gina Kotash, Casual Cook and Emily Hunt, Operations Manager from School Food Services, for preparing delicious meals for new teachers, central office staff, principals and guests during New Teacher Orientation!