Division News

Division News

New Teacher Orientation 2015

Posted on September 4

New principals and teachers at Northland School Division (NSD) enter the school year full of excitement and enthusiasm. This after attending NSD’s New Teacher Orientation at St. Theresa School in Wabasca-Desmarais. The three day (August 18-20, 2015) event is held annually to help educators become familiar with First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) perspectives, cultural traditions and various initiatives across NSD. The orientation kicked off with the opening ceremony at St. Theresa School. The ceremony included opening prayer by Community Elder Cecilia Beaver, a traditional drumming performance and welcome speeches by M.D. of Opportunity, NSD and St. Theresa School representatives.

The first classroom session was hosted by Solange Lalonde, Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC). She educated newcomers on how to weave FNMI content into the curriculum using resources on the ARPDC Moodle Website http://learning.arpdc.ab.ca/course/index.php?categoryid=7. After learning where to find FNMI education resources, staff gathered information about literacy instruction and literacy assessment from the Division Literacy Team. Christopher Carson is the new Principal at Conklin Community School this year. He says he enjoyed collaborating with so many passionate teachers.

"It was inspiring to be with other teachers and administrators who share the passion of education,” said Carson In addition, it's calming to know that not only do we have support of the personnel at Central Office but we can also call on experienced educators in other Northland schools for advice and support."

Another impactful session was performed by Center of the Sky Founder Bee Calliou. Bee provided valuable information about historical relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and how it impacted the Royal Proclamation, the Canadian Constitution, the creation of treaties and residential schools. Ravindra Somwaru, who is teaching at Kateri School in Trout Lake this year, says the orientation was an eye-opening experience.

The orientation was very informative, engaging and enlightening,” said Somwaru. “It provided invaluable information about the protocols in the community, First Nations' culture and an opportunity to learn from people who have a wealth of knowledge and experience working within the communities.”

In conjunction with New Teacher Orientation, students, parents, staff and community members gathered at St. Theresa School for a community engagement BBQ dinner. Dennis McLeod and Melvin Bigstone capped off the evening hosting a fiddle concert. 

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