Community of Practice: Teach Like Finland by Walker
During my Pre-Internship I had the opportunity to go to the new Harbour Landing School where I attended a professional development day where teachers get together in what is called a Community of Practice. For my cooperating teachers Community of Practice, a roomful of teachers discussed the book, “Teach like Finland” written by Walker. It was interesting to myself, and teaching partner, that many of the topics that were being discussed were already being discussed in our university courses. For example, incorporating learning outside, building relationships with students, taking breaks, and creating a safe environment for students.
Treaty Education Camp 3.0
In October (2017) myself and fellow pre-interns we privileged to attend the U of R S.T.A.R.S. (University of Regina Students and Teachers Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppressive Society) third annual Treaty Ed Camp. This camp entailed a PD opportunity for pre-service teachers, educators, or the general public. This event focused on the importance of bringing in Treaty Education to all classrooms in a multitude of ways. Treaty education can be integrated into many subject areas, there are many ways to connect treaty education to student interest. At the camp, we saw many examples, through different sessions, of how other people are doing this in their classrooms or how they are contributing to the truth and reconciliation process by visiting classrooms. Overall, I have taken away many ideas that I plan to implement into my future classroom.
In the fall (2017) I was granted the opportunity to take part in professional development, provided by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner and taking place at the University of Regina, in the field of teaching treaties in the classroom. As a pre-service teacher, this reinforced the importance of reconciliation and the role that educators play in the healing process. Both in the classroom and in society, we must work hard to first recognize the horrible truth that has happened on the land now known as Canada and second, to deconstruct notions of colonialism. While this is a rather broad topic, it is one of the most important that we discuss, as educators, with our students.
In early February (2017) I had the privilege of attending the Blanket Exercise training held by U.R. STARS (University of Regina’s Students & Teachers Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppressive Society). As a result of attending this training, I am now able to facilitate the Blanket Exercise. While this activity offers a unique dimension to the exercise it is the content that you learn and emotions you feel through this exercise that is of the most importance. Overall, it was a valuable experience that every educator should have. The exercise can be modified to the audience, for example there is an elementary and high school version. This Blanket Exercise highlights the harsh realities of Canadian-Indigenous history in an effective and interactive way that aims to take steps towards reconciliation. This exercise is one of many I wish to bring with me into my future classroom.