Sunteți pe pagina 1din 22
My dear Colleagues, President Suzanne Moore Vice-President Pat Liss Treasurer Janelle Picton Secretary Frances
My dear Colleagues, President Suzanne Moore Vice-President Pat Liss Treasurer Janelle Picton Secretary Frances
My dear Colleagues, President Suzanne Moore Vice-President Pat Liss Treasurer Janelle Picton Secretary Frances
My dear Colleagues, President Suzanne Moore Vice-President Pat Liss Treasurer Janelle Picton Secretary Frances
My dear Colleagues, President Suzanne Moore Vice-President Pat Liss Treasurer Janelle Picton Secretary Frances
My dear Colleagues, President Suzanne Moore Vice-President Pat Liss Treasurer Janelle Picton Secretary Frances

My dear Colleagues,

President Suzanne Moore Vice-President Pat Liss Treasurer Janelle Picton Secretary Frances Gauthier Collective
President
Suzanne Moore
Vice-President
Pat Liss
Treasurer
Janelle Picton
Secretary
Frances Gauthier
Collective Bargaining Chair
Steve Muzyka
Employee Benefits Chair
Wendy Chase
Health & Wellness Chair
Colleen Kachur-Reico
Professional Development
Chair
Allison Graham
Workplace Safety & Health
Kathy Dubesky
Equity & Social Justice
Chair
Rebecca Sheffield
Education Finance Chair
Jason Sparling
Resolutions Chair
Lindsay Bouchard
Public Relations Chair
Suzanne Moore
Lindsay Bouchard Public Relations Chair Suzanne Moore The past school year has been a year of

The past school year has been a year of changes — ups and downs, challenges and victories, set backs and successes—but always an invigorating time.

So too for our work on

the SRTA. It is in looking back that we

recognize the growth and progress of the

SRTA over the 2011­2012 school year:

�� Finalized SRTA Collective Agreement

�� Completed Policy & Procedure Handbook

�� Very successful use of PD funds (see pg 3) created need to overhaul guidelines

�� Created PD Brochure for each staffroom

�� Hosted the MTS Hockey Tournament for the first time

�� Purchased hockey sweaters for our SRTA/ SRSD hockey team

�� Hosted the first ever SRTA Golf Tournament

�� Changes to the Constitution

�� Our resolution passed at AGM

�� Seven of our members are currently on MTS provincial committees

�� Created Liaison committees with SRSD and SRPA

�� Began creation of LBGTQ policy with and for

Contact Information:

204­270­0215

srta.mts@gmail.com

http://seineriverta.weebly.com

srta.mts@gmail.com http://seineriverta.weebly.com SRSD �� Violence in the Workplace Legislation, policy

SRSD

�� Violence in the Workplace Legislation, policy template and workplace survey shared with SRSD

�� SRTA Arena sign installed at Ile des Chenes Arena

�� Meet ‘n Greet with Board successful

�� Members voted in Short­term Disability after successful education campaign

�� Presented budget recommendations to the board

�� Created a workload survey for members to reflect changes in the workplace (pgs 4­5)

�� Began a Scholarships Committee for SRTA

�� Hosted two Maternity/Parental workshops for parents­to­be

�� Improved dental benefits

�� Sponsored a team to participate in the MTS Annual Golf Tournament

We have had to say goodbye to four of our

executive members. Steven Muzyka, the SRTA owes you big time for all the work you put into securing our 2010­2014 Collective Agreement. Thanks for that, as well as all the other contributions you made while on the SRTA executive for the last four years. This was all the more special because you and Erin celebrated a marriage and welcomed twin boys during this time.

Frances Gauthier, not only were you a

(Continued on page 2)

�� ��
�� ��

��

��

�� ��
�� ��
�� ��
�� ��
�� ��
�� ��

(Continued from page 1)

devoted secretary for the SRTA, but you also worked tirelessly on the Collective Bargaining Committee. Thanks for all energy and devotion to the SRTA for the last four years. Best wishes to you and Steve and impending baby!

Allison Graham, once again you pitched in and took over a portfolio that needed help. Over the past three years on the SRTA executive, you have served in three portfolios, all the while giving birth to two boys. Best wishes to you and Jason and impending baby #3. You deserve a year off!

Janelle Picton, you were not able to attend meetings this year because of your hectic schedule, yet you managed to keep the books up­to­date and accurate. Best wishes to you in your impending marriage!

Meanwhile, back at home base, a group of people is excited about working on the executive next year:

��Suzanne Moore, President

��Pat Liss, Vice­President & Collective Bargaining Chair

��Lindsay Bouchard—Secretary ��Chantal Tytgat—Treasurer

��Wendy Chase—Employee Benefits

��Colleen Kachur­Reico—Health & Wellness

��Jason Sparling—Education Finance ��Jonathan Waite ­Professional Development ��Rebecca Sheffield—Equity and Social Justice ��Rebecca Brown—Public Relations ��Kathy Dubesky—Workplace Safety & Health

We are indeed fortunate to have such a dedicated group of people who are willing to give up their personal time and effort to benefit all of the members of SRTA!

Professional Growth Models (PGMs)

There have been several questions brought up surrounding the development of PGM’s in our division:

Who decides what is to be included on the PGM? Can I be told what goals I should be stressing? Do I have to include some of the division’s and/or school’s initiatives?

It is easy to become complacent about our workload when one has been in the same position for several

years. One could easily become over­ confident and could be neglectful about continuing to grow professionally. Indeed, one member was asked to revisit a submitted PGM that had the dates of 2006­2007!

It could be considered prudent to consider including goals regarding the latest divisional incentive surrounding improved literacy. An assessment goal around the incoming provincial report cards is also forward­thinking.

There are often new initiatives going on in the school. As a team member of the staff, it would show some willingness to add to the culture of the school by focusing goals on these initiatives.

But, most of all, the one most responsible for the PGM is the teacher! There are many new and diverse ways to grow professionally, and it is a RESPONSIBILITY by law to do so. One’s PGM needs to reflect this.

Speaking of PD, there is information on page 6 about the FAB 5 conference to be held this fall for all teachers with 5 years of experience or less. I highly recommend that as many as possible take advantage of this wonderful resource.

Professional Development for 2012­

2013 will begin September 4. Guidelines and forms will be posted on that day and applications will begin to be assessed shortly thereafter. In the meantime, all those completing their 2011­2012 PD can send their materials to me over the summer (see page 1).

Dental Plan Gives Back!

The SRTA Dental Plan has been doing well, primarily due to market conditions. Therefore, in September, we will vote on the following options:

Option 1: We could choose the 21.6% decrease in premiums; given the present state of our plan and the economy, we could sustain this decrease for up to seven (7) years

Option 2: We could consider increasing the coverage from $1200 to $1500 and

Premium

2010-

2011-

2012-

Decrease

per Month

2011

2012

2013

(proposed)

Single

36.07

31.27

25.00

Couple

73.85

64.03

51.25

Family

119.22

103.37

82.75

decrease the premiums by 21.6%, but based on current information, premiums might change in about three years.

Plus: Singles will get a refund of $57.75; couples, $31.50

Decisions will be made in September, and changes will take effect January

2013. Please let your school rep know

what your preference is.

Amita Khandpur, teacher at ESAI is featured on page 7 of this month’s The Teacher, Egypt Book Healing Effort. Amita has compiled a book called Through the Eyes of Children, which features drawings and recollections from her former Grade 3 students in Egypt as they experience the revolution in their country. Money raised from the books ($20 each) is for medical supplies and care for people injured in the

revolution. www.facebook.com/ revolutionbook

In September, be on the lookout for the SRTA bulletin boards that will be installed in all SRSD workplaces. These bulletin boards will keep SRTA news and activities in the forefront for all members.

Have an awesome summer everyone! Drink deeply of all the sights and sounds of your richly deserved time off. :)

members. Have an awesome summer everyone! Drink deeply of all the sights and sounds of your
members. Have an awesome summer everyone! Drink deeply of all the sights and sounds of your

2

by Allison Graham, Chair of Professional Development PD Applicants Per Category � Total of 130
by Allison Graham, Chair of Professional Development PD Applicants Per Category � Total of 130
by Allison Graham, Chair of Professional Development PD Applicants Per Category � Total of 130
by Allison Graham, Chair of Professional Development PD Applicants Per Category � Total of 130
by Allison Graham, Chair of Professional Development PD Applicants Per Category � Total of 130
by Allison Graham, Chair of Professional Development PD Applicants Per Category � Total of 130

by Allison Graham, Chair of Professional Development

PD Applicants Per Category

Total of 130 applications

110 applicants supported by the SRTA PD Fund

130 applicants applied; 20 were denied

PD Funds Used Per Te rm

Currently have applications for $70,566.10 of PD money.

Paid out $29,949.20 to applicants.

Paid out $17,337.50 to division for substitute costs.

� Paid out $17,337.50 to division for substitute costs. PD Applications Per Te rm � Terms

PD Applications Per Te rm

Terms 1-3: Maximum $21,020/term

Summer: Maximum of $10,200

for substitute costs. PD Applications Per Te rm � Terms 1-3: Maximum $21,020/term � Summer: Maximum
for substitute costs. PD Applications Per Te rm � Terms 1-3: Maximum $21,020/term � Summer: Maximum
General: 100 respondents (out of a possible 270) 73% classroom teachers 70% K­8 71% female
General: 100 respondents (out of a possible 270) 73% classroom teachers 70% K­8 71% female

General:

100 respondents (out of a possible 270) 73% classroom teachers 70% K­8 71% female equal representation across the years of teaching experience (approx 17% each level, except 25+ years) 41% see themselves in the same assignment in 5 years; 17% retiring

66% ­­ Prep Time Interruptions/Expectations

In­school influences that eased workload:

31% ­­ Interactions with Colleagues 28% ­­ Uninterrupted Lunch Period

Effects to teaching and/or student learning:

have become an issue:

45% ­­ Covering the Curriculum 45% ­­ Implementing Changes 48% ­­ One­on­one time with Students

Outside­the­school influences that had large

percentages of some or significant impact on workload:

54% ­­ Pax & Spleems had some, or significant impact on workload 49% ­­ Implementation of New Curriculum 52% ­­ Provincial Testing/Reporting Requirements 51% ­­ Guided Reading 54% ­­ Testing of Guided Reading/Comprehension 4x/ yr 69% ­­ Funded Students

In­school influences that had large percentages of some or significant impact on workload:

45% ­­ Daily Five 48% ­­ Guided Reading 67% ­­ Extracurricular Activities 68% ­­ Funded Students 56% ­­ Class Size 79% ­­ Adaptations of Programs 80% ­­ Student Behavioural Problems 70% ­­ School­Wide Activities

Effects to teaching and/or student learning: no

change:

41% ­­ Behavioural issues 45% ­­ Class Size 49% ­­ Class Composition 40% ­­ Teaching Time 55% ­­ Relationships with Students 45% ­­ Self­Directed Learning 39% ­­ Student Achievements

Effects to personal life:

52% ­­ Feel overwhelmed by all the demands 44% ­­ Spend all my free time trying to catch up 30% ­­ Rarely socialize with staff 33% ­­ Question my abilities as a teacher 32% ­­ Don’t have time to get involved with extra­ curricular activities 54% ­­ Am hopeful that things will get better and easier 53% ­­ Know that I am not alone 20% ­­ Feel energized by the changes

(Continued from page 5)

quality programs when there is too much to do.

I like to do my best when I do

something. I feel that I do not have enough time and training to do all these programs well.

This list has many more negative choices than positive choices. For this to be an accurate account of what is going on there should have been a 50/50 split.

I get no help from staff regarding sports teams, supervision and practices.

My family life has not had any major changes because I have given up a lot of personal time for many years now and that has not changed.

I have begun seeking counselling and taking anti­depressants.

Just all the new programs and more and more expectations is somewhat overwhelming. Really don't feel supported by admin and resource.

The impression given by divisional administrators is that they no longer trust teachers in implementing the curriculum and that teachers are

constantly being watched and judged.

I keep trying to remind myself that

teaching is only a job and I can only do a certain amount in that job in order to stay healthy and positive for my family

I don't want to continue to be part of an

organization that puts priority on making the people in administration "look good" instead of focusing on the students and their needs.

If workload doesn't change or

increases

I love my position.

it

is a sign to look elsewhere.

I feel supported by this division. The school seems to jump on every new program

I feel supported by this division.

The school seems to jump on every new program all at the same time and places too many demands on the classroom teachers. In some ways the administration takes away the teacher's ability to make sound decisions about resources and methodology.

I have had to simply push some things

aside and say I can't do it all also concerned that they want to add more in way of Reading/Writing Continuums think I will write Tootles

in my sleep. They also expect more with less EA Support or sub­time to do all this testing.

If programming is new to you, it is going to take more work in the beginning. I

think the question should ask teachers if they were comfortable taking risks with their teaching by trying programs. Lots of people don't like to grow or change. Administrators need to maintain the ability to be curriculum leaders. How they do it is another topic all together.

Most of the programs that I have implemented in my classroom (such as Daily Five, Words Their Way, Animated Literacy, Power of Ten and math centres) have definitely increased my workload, but I would like it noted that it is not a negative workload impact. I think we need to work hard and be very creative if we want to reach the needs of all our students! This in turn takes extra time to plan, invent, create, prepare and implement.

There seems to be a big push in our division for the multi­age classes. It almost seems that if a teacher does not agree with this that they are seen as being defiant, scared of change and basically not a good teacher.

We have had little to no say lately as to what and how we teach.

I have a small class with very mature

well­disciplined students so I'd had an excellent year.

The large class sizes are difficult with classes that mix numerous funded students, academically weak students, EAL students and students with significant behavioural concerns with little support from resource. Sometimes it feels like a gong show trying to manage every minute in the classroom. It is even worse when you feel like the administrator doesn't support you.

I never been that behind in my

curriculum after 23 years of teaching

I have a really good group of kids but I don't feel I have gotten to know them well as always scrambling to meet

assessment deadlines and little change!

the younger teachers very concerned for their jobs, and feel the pressure to mold themselves to the prescribed picture in a culture of fear, not a culture of supportive growth.

In all my years in this division I have never been asked to fill something in as negative as this survey. It saddens me to think that my union has not done its homework and listens only to people who complain. It seems as though this survey assumes that every teacher has it bad, their administrators don't listen, and there is no support for anyone. How insulting!

Not having release time to do things like report cards and reading assessments puts an incredible amount of stress on me. The kids react because you are not available to help them as you normally would. Four times a year seems excessive!

Some colleagues have had difficulty letting go of what used to be and this has made the year stressful for the rest of us.

I

way too many

made the year stressful for the rest of us. I way too many This year, I

This year, I have not been able to teach as much of my programs as I usually do because I’m always testing. I'm supposed to help students with their reading but I hardly have the time to do that and then, I have to test again!

I find it hard to balance a young family

and work during the times that I feel overwhelmed with things to do, implement, cover etc. My job is so important to me, but I don't always feel like my best "self" when I'm overloaded.

I enjoy my job and the students and staff I deal with.

There is the feeling, not from our principal, but the overall feeling from the division, although not said, is that we are not doing anything well. I see

Administration has been supportive but I don't feel that the school team shares the same vision and that makes everything challenging.

I find that there's lots of pressure

coming from our superintendents. It seems they want to compete with big divisions in Winnipeg and they expect teachers to do it all. I find that it's at that level that they do not really understand what teachers have to do when we have to do all that testing; especially in Immersion.

I was told that I shouldn't keep a

student in class during gym or music if he/she did something during recess. However, I was told that it is okay to keep a student in class during gym and recess to test them.

The division is trying to implement too many programs at the same time. Teachers cannot implement or give

(Continued on page 4)

�� Sandbagger award: Melinda H apparently … one of the greatest short games going. ��
�� Sandbagger award: Melinda H apparently … one of the greatest short games going. ��
��
Sandbagger award: Melinda H
apparently …
one of the
greatest short games going.
��
Homebody award:
Suzanne M …
she
came
around and took pictures and
kept the club ready for us.
Last minute save: Robert
M….thanks for coming on
board at the last minute to
make our last team a
foursome.
��

Prizes went to:

��

Most Honest Score went to Eric

��

O., Melinda H., Gisele C., and Kathy D. Their score was 34, that is pretty darn good for highest score. There was some real golf going on out there! Closet to the Pin: Robert M

��

Longest Drive, Men: Ted (whom we all referred to as Colleen’s escort…inside joke) Ladies:

��

Kathy D. Biggest Marshmallow: Jill O.

��

(we had to see how far we could tee off with a marshmallow. Jill wacked it way past her competitors…with an iron!) Best Dressed, Men: Gerald N.

Ladies: Gisele C …

check

out the

��

pictures! Best “comment”: Eric O…”I’ve been short all my life”

��

Most “desired” golfer: Joel S

he …

cart girl!

was being stalked by the

Feedback was very positive and we hope that we can make this an annual event. We are confident that participation will grow next year because if you weren’t there, you missed a great time!

Submitted by Laura Nault, Health and Wellness Committee Editor’s Note: My apologies for the quality of the pictures. My camera was running out of power and I had neglected to bring batteries!!

out of power and I had neglected to bring batteries!! 3 teams of golfers set out

3 teams of golfers set out beautifully sunny and warm Wednesday evening May 30 th to have some fun and get some exercise and of course, do some community building. As one of the organizers for the event I don’t mind saying I think it was a great success.

on a

Every participant spoke of how much fun they had, how “perfect” their teams were and how great the food was. Southside Golf Course did a terrific job of hosting from the very colourful golf carts they provided, the supreme shape of the fairways and greens, and the awesome service in the restaurant. Honourable mention also needs to go to the girl on the cart who kept the beverages coming!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank each and every participant, as well as my colleagues on the Wellness Committee and of course,

as my colleagues on the Wellness Committee and of course, our president for supporting us in

our president for supporting us in this wellness endeavour.

6
6
6

6

I have been teaching in the division for almost ten years and have applied for

I have been teaching in the division for almost ten years and have applied for positions in other schools. I have not received any of the positions. Are all of those positions pre-determined?

It is easy to make that conclusion when we are regularly interviewing for positions that are similar to what we are doing now, and the position is being filled by the term teacher currently filling that position.

To be fair, we need to consider a few things:

a) How good are our resume and cover letter? We would be well served to have them reviewed by a professional. Things have changed in 10 years and we need to remain current.

b) How well did we interview? Were we prepared with information about, or practice with, initiatives that the division/school is incorporating?

c) Did we ask questions of the interviewers that were meaningful and forward- thinking ?

Just because we have served the division well in the past does not automatically mean that we will get the positions we apply for. We need to always remain current professionally, and to be the type of people who would blend well with the receiving administration and staff.

blend well with the receiving administration and staff. What is the greatest source of legal trouble
blend well with the receiving administration and staff. What is the greatest source of legal trouble
blend well with the receiving administration and staff. What is the greatest source of legal trouble

What is the greatest source of legal trouble for teachers in Manitoba?

According to one of the legal counsels to the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, most of the cases dealt with have roots in comments that the teacher made in the staffroom.

We would be well cautioned that the staffroom is NOT to be a place where teachers can complain or vent about students, parents, administration, et al. Bringing negativism to the staffroom drains our positive energies that we could otherwise use with our students. Rather, the staffroom should be a place where we can build relationships with each other, hopefully with humour and light banter.

What is the greatest source of misconduct among teachers in Manitoba?

According to the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, the greatest breach of the Code of Conduct occurs with #7: A member does not bypass immediate authority to reach higher authority without first exhausting the proper channels of communication.

See questions on page 10 to view changes and penalties to the Professional Code that were brought to AGM and accepted by the delegates.

SRTA website:

http://seineriverta.weebly.com

My principal changed my teaching assignment drastically, citing MTS’s statement that, “A teacher is a
My principal changed my teaching assignment drastically, citing MTS’s statement that, “A teacher is a
My principal changed my teaching assignment drastically, citing MTS’s statement that, “A teacher is a

My principal changed my teaching assignment drastically, citing MTS’s statement that, “A teacher is a teacher, is a teacher.” What’s that supposed to mean?

Your administrator is correct. The Manitoba Teachers’ Society has strongly defended that statement over the past years. However, some members have taken that statement to mean that teachers can be made to teach anything in their present school, or in another school.

Many of us have our specialties and prefer to remain in that field. If a teacher’s assignment changes so much as to seem punitive, the Manitoba Teachers’ Society should be contacted.

The Manitoba Teachers’ Society is moving away from the term “teacher” and replacing it with the term “member”, thereby eliminating the distinction between classroom teachers, counsellors, resource personnel, clinicians, student services personnel and administrators. We are all members.

I am a substitute in the division. Can I pay into the Teachers’ Retirement Pension Fund (TRAF)?

TRAF deductions are not mandatory for substitutes, but a substitute may apply to have deductions applied to TRAF on a regular basis.

What is the difference between a staff reassignment and a transfer?

According to SRSD Regulation CGI—Professional Staff Assignments and Transfer:

(Re)assignments are defined to be school/program specific, whereas Transfers involve a change in assignment outside of the teacher’s present school. Transfers are the responsibility of the Assistant Superintendent – Instruction.

(Re)assignments and transfers may be initiated by either the Division or the Teacher:

Division:

The Assistant Superintendent - Instruction will determine suitable placements for Teachers:

1. Declared redundant due to student enrollment.

2. Transferred to best serve the needs of the students of the Division.

3. Reassigned for development purposes.

Teacher:

May request (re)assignments and transfers:

1. In the same school.

2. Within the Division.

If I have a 50% permanent contract, does that mean I teach all morning or all afternoon?

No. The length of the teaching component in a school day is 330 minutes. You should be teaching up to 165 minutes if you are half time. In those 165 minutes, you should also have your prep time— at least 20 minutes a day, in blocks of no less than 30 minutes. If you teach less than 165 minutes, but still get paid 50%, that’s OK, but you cannot be teaching more, and getting paid 50%.

My principal was evaluating me this year, and the final evaluation was not at all
My principal was evaluating me this year, and the final evaluation was not at all
My principal was evaluating me this year, and the final evaluation was not at all
My principal was evaluating me this year, and the final evaluation was not at all
My principal was evaluating me this year, and the final evaluation was not at all

My principal was evaluating me this year, and the final evaluation was not at all positive. What can I do?

According to SRSD Regulation GCN— Evaluation of Professional Staff:

The teacher shall have (10) days from the date of the final summative report to appeal his/her evaluation to the Superintendent or designate and subsequently to the Board.

When observing a teacher for the first time, the emphasis should be on offering plenty of useful advice

Every formal supervision, or series of formal supervisions, should normally be preceded by an interview to determine the objectives of the lesson and the manner in which the teacher plans to achieve these objectives. These should be followed by a subsequent interview as soon as possible, preferably within the three days following, to discuss the observations made.

When it comes to evaluations, it is important to realize that these will be placed in your personnel file and may be used against you. Do not sign the evaluation unless you are finished with it. Your first step would be to contact either me (your local association president) and/or a staff officer at MTS, who can determine the next procedures to follow. You also have the opportunity to add a statement of your own as an attachment to the evaluation that will also be placed in your personnel file.

The resource person in our school told me to sign an IEP for a student in one of my classes. Shouldn’t I have a say in the IEP planning?

It is often difficult for resource personnel to meet with all the teachers involved with a student and to ask their input regarding the IEP.

Regardless, every effort must be made to include senior high teachers in planning for their students’ special needs. It is not only up to the resource personnel to make up the plan and then inform the teacher how the IEP is to be implemented. Resource personnel are there to help create the plan, help implement the plan and to be a source of resources for the classroom teacher.

Who is the oldest teaching retiree in Manitoba?

Who is the oldest teaching retiree in Manitoba? Although we are not privy to her name.

Although we are not privy to her name. the oldest teaching retiree in Manitoba is currently 107 years old and has been retired since 1970!!

Is it true that our MTS fees are going down? Yes. At the 2012 MTS

Is it true that our MTS fees are going down?

Yes. At the 2012 MTS AGM, the

members approved a $47 decrease in MTS fees for the 2012-2013 school year — almost $4.00 per month!

What are the new changes to the Code of Professional Conduct?

What are the new changes to the Code of Professional Conduct? The changes emphasize the role
What are the new changes to the Code of Professional Conduct? The changes emphasize the role

The changes emphasize the role good faith plays in a member's conduct.

One addition is that “A member’s conduct is characterised by consideration and good faith. She or he speaks and acts with ”

respect and dignity

Another addition is that any criticism of the professional activity of a colleague be first directed to that person. The change now says any criticism of “the professional activity and related work” of the colleague.

However, it also adds sections in which members do not have to talk to the offending person first such as when “taking any action that is allowed or mandated by legislation” or “where a member acting in good faith and without malice in the discharge of the legitimate duties of his or her appointed elected position.”

It was pointed out that under certain laws anonymity is guaranteed or mandated for people reporting workplace problems.

http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html

problems. http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html What are the penalties to a Breach of the Code of
problems. http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html What are the penalties to a Breach of the Code of
problems. http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html What are the penalties to a Breach of the Code of

What are the penalties to a Breach of the Code of Professional Conduct?

Delegates to the MTS Annual General Meeting voted in favour of new penalties, including fines of up to $2,000, suspension or termination of MTS membership and payment of costs up to

$5,000.

If approved by the provincial government, the changes would effectively give the Society, through its review committee, the power to impose the new penalties. Currently, the committee can only admonish, censure or recommend the education minister revoke or suspend a teacher’s certificate.

http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html

What are the new changes to our Disability Benefits Plan premiums?

the new changes to our Disability Benefits Plan premiums? Premiums for the Disability Benefits Plan are

Premiums for the Disability Benefits Plan are decreasing by 0.32% next year, due to some excellent work by the DBP team. Through proactive methods, members needing assistance are contacted and helped regain a quality of life.

Premium decreases by salary:

$50,000

= $160.00 decrease

$75,000

= $240.00 decrease

$100,000

= $320.00 decrease

Our resource person told me that I was teaching the wrong way and gave me
Our resource person told me that I was teaching the wrong way and gave me
Our resource person told me that I was teaching the wrong way and gave me

Our resource person told me that I was teaching the wrong way and gave me a package of material to use for one of my adapted students.

It is unfortunate that who someone is trying to do the right thing for a student forgets to act professionally. The only people on staff who are qualified to evaluate you are the Principal and Vice-Principal; anyone else making judgments about your teaching could be in breach of Code of Professional Conduct.

As for the package of material that was presented to you to use with the student, you have the right to use it, or use something else that you think is more appropriate. You are the one teaching the student in that classroom, and you are the one who can best judge what needs to happen.

I am quite confident that the resource person was trying to help you, but he/she needs to be sure to ensure that what is being offered is being done as a suggestion. He/She cannot demand that you use the material. He/She can, however, ask to see how you are meeting the student’s needs, and the goals of the IEP, and can make suggestions to help you achieve those.

Proper documentation on both ends will help to alleviate any concerns and will ultimately help the student achieve success.

When it comes to filling positions, does the division have a pecking order?

According to SRSD’s Regulation CGI— Professional Staff Assignment and Transfer:

Principals will give first consideration for all openings to the teachers presently on their staff.

4. Second consideration will be given to

teachers on the divisional staff:

i) Teachers declared redundant or returning from leave.

ii) Transferred for developmental purposes or to best meet the needs of the students of the Division.

iii) Where a vacancy is present, the Assistant Superintendent will provide a list of teachers requesting a transfer to the school. The Principal must consider all transfer requests and interview those teachers who are qualified:

a. Should the Principal find a suitable candidate from the teachers who have requested a transfer, they will make a recommendation to the Assistant Superintendent - Instruction.

b. Teachers not considered or accepted for a transfer will be provided with the reason(s) for the decision. The Assistant Superintendent- Instruction will be kept informed of the reason(s) provided.

Recommendations for hire outside the Division will not be considered until (4ii) is satisfied.

June 14, 2012 Up to 10 per cent of a school divisions K­3 classrooms will
June 14, 2012 Up to 10 per cent of a school divisions K­3 classrooms will

June 14, 2012

Up to 10 per cent of a school divisions K­3 classrooms will be allowed the flexibility to go beyond a cap of 20 students, Education Minister Nancy Allan says.

However, she said during a news conference to announce more details of the class size caps, that no classroom will be allowed to exceed 23 students.

By September 2017, school divisions in Manitoba will be required to cap their kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms at 20 students.

cap their kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms at 20 students. MTS President Paul Olson said the

MTS President Paul Olson said the plan strikes a good balance.

"It's a good start to a great idea. The announcement balances the need for smaller classes with the option of going above 20 to 23 kids in a few cases where that flexibility is needed," he said. "Most importantly, smaller class sizes in K to 3 will enable teachers to work more closely with the students in their classrooms. It will create an even stronger foundation that those students and their future teachers can build upon all the way to grade 12, and beyond."

Where Grade 3 students are combined with students in higher grades, those classrooms will be subject to a 23­

student class size cap, the minister said. School divisions will also be required to report class sizes to parents and the public as the initiative progresses.

School divisions are now eligible for funding based on their kindergarten to Grade 3 enrolment, Allan said. In applying for funding, school divisions must indicate how they would use that funding as part of the smaller class size initiative.

In the 2012­13 school year, funding can be used to hire additional teachers to reduce class sizes, provide professional development directly related to smaller class sizes or plan work directly related to achieving smaller class sizes where possible.

The minister said the kindergarten to Grade 3 class size initiative complements other early learning and child­care initiatives including legislation which would require early learning or child­care facilities to be included in all new schools and major renovation projects. School divisions cannot displace school child­care facilities in their planning of how to achieve the class size caps.

Allan also said the government worked with an oversight committee, which included members from the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, Manitoba Association of Parent Councils, Manitoba School Boards Association, Manitoba Association of School Superintendents and Manitoba Association of School Business Officials, to develop the definition of Manitoba’s class size cap and provide recommendations for implementation.

“Parents have been well­represented in discussions about class sizes, as well as the recently introduced provincial report cards,” said Judith Cameron, president of the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils. “I feel confident this move will create a better learning environment for younger students.”

http://www.mbteach.org/news/newsarchives.html#media2

May 26, 2012 Many teachers across the province are growing concerned about teaching responsibilities being
May 26, 2012 Many teachers across the province are growing concerned about teaching responsibilities being
May 26, 2012 Many teachers across the province are growing concerned about teaching responsibilities being

May 26, 2012 Many teachers across the province are growing concerned about teaching responsibilities being done by education assistants.

That was the message from a few teachers’ associations at the MTS Annual General Meeting. Delegates voted to lobby the provincial government to define a process “for the laying, investigating and resolving complaints” around non­teachers performing teaching duties.

The Rolling River Teachers’ Association, which introduced the issue, said the issue is serious and growing.

“In some schools EAs outnumber teachers,” said Rolling River President Dan Kiazyk. “EAs are doing teachers’ job.”

He said it has become increasingly vague as to where an EA’s responsibility ends and a teacher’s professional responsibility begins.

“This is contrary to the welfare of students and teachers.”

http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html

May 26, 2012 MTS will ask the provincial government to not allow parents to opt
May 26, 2012 MTS will ask the provincial government to not allow parents to opt
May 26, 2012 MTS will ask the provincial government to not allow parents to opt

May 26, 2012

MTS will ask the provincial government to not allow parents to opt their children out of any portions of the Manitoba curriculum.

Delegates to the Society’s annual meeting voted to lobby the province after a long debate that touched on a wide­ range of aspects of the curriculum.

While the original intent of the resolution was that parents not be allowed to opt students out of human sexuality instruction, delegates voted to make the policy more comprehensive as an apparent show of support for the full curriculum.

Teachers opposed to the move were mostly concerned about the perception MTS was against choice by parents and also that some Hutterite colonies might leave the public education system.

Those in favour said the vote showed support for the curriculum and that all students should be exposed to it, while value judgements and context can be left to parents to discuss with their children.

http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html

children. http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html The provincial executive for 2012-2013 Paul Olson, President
children. http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html The provincial executive for 2012-2013 Paul Olson, President
children. http://www.mbteach.org/AGM2012/agm2012news.html The provincial executive for 2012-2013 Paul Olson, President

The provincial

executive for

2012-2013

Paul Olson, President �� Norm Gould, Vice­ President

��

Members at large:

��

James Bedford

��

Ray Desautels

��

Mary Chalmers

��

Darren Hardy

��

Mike Mann

��

Winston Hrechka

��

Sean Kemball

��

Jason Oliver

��

Arlyn Filewich

��

Beatrice Walker

��

Suzanne Jolicoeur

13

May 2, 2012 Changes to the Public Schools Act that mandate the reporting of bullying
May 2, 2012 Changes to the Public Schools Act that mandate the reporting of bullying
May 2, 2012 Changes to the Public Schools Act that mandate the reporting of bullying
May 2, 2012 Changes to the Public Schools Act that mandate the reporting of bullying

May 2, 2012 Changes to the Public Schools Act that mandate the reporting of bullying incidents are now in effect.

The provincial government introduced the new measures last year but they did not go into effect until late last month.

Employees of a school division, and those in charge of students during a school­approved activity such as a sporting event or field trip, must report unacceptable student conduct to the principal as soon as possible.

Unacceptable conduct includes abusing another student physically, sexually or psychologically, verbally, in writing or otherwise, and repeated or deliberate bullying of another pupil of a serious nature including cyberbullying.

"No one who hasn't lived through bullying can truly understand the pain and the effect it has on the child and on the whole family."

When a principal believes after an investigation that a student has been harmed as a result of unacceptable conduct, the principal must, as soon as reasonably possible, notify the student’s parent or guardian.

“This builds on the great work being done at the grassroots level by parents, by teachers, by principals and by school divisions,” Education Minister Nancy Allan said when the changes were first unveiled. “This legislation is meant

changes were first unveiled. “This legislation is meant to support and complement those efforts and to

to support and complement those efforts and to ensure they are happening across the board.”

Safe schools legislation that came into force in June 2004 made it mandatory for Manitoba schools to have a code of conduct and emergency response plans in place. In June 2008, school board obligations were expanded to include policies regarding appropriate use of the Internet and electronic devices such as cell phones and digital cameras to curtail cyberbullying.

Suspected cases of abuse will continue to be reported to Manitoba Child and Family Services and criminal activities will be reported to police as required by law.

http://mbteach.org/news/

newsarchives.html#bullying

by law. http://mbteach.org/news/ newsarchives.html#bullying Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair MTS/SAGE/MCEC
Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair MTS/SAGE/MCEC is hosting Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME! Ever
Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair MTS/SAGE/MCEC is hosting Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME! Ever
Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair
Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair
Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair
Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair

Colleen Kachur­Reico MCEC Sage Co­chair

MTS/SAGE/MCEC is hosting Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME!

Ever tried to figure how most people can intuitively “read” other people and make split second decisions about how to interact with them? The process of social communication requires perspective taking.

Perspective taking is not one thing but requires many things to happen at once, including conceptual processing (central coherence), figuring out the gist of the situation (executive functioning), and considering the thoughts and emotions of oneself as well as others (theory of mind).

This workshop will explore how central these concepts and their related skills are to all social contact, nonverbal or verbal, intentional or non­intentional. Audiences rave about this workshop day as being filled with research­based information but practical enough to allow audience members to better understand the specific social communication and academic needs of their students/ children.

Watch for registration this fall on the MTS website www.mbteach.org. Register early to avoid disappointment.

For more information on social thinking check out their website at www.socialthinking.com.

to avoid disappointment. For more information on social thinking check out their website at www.socialthinking.com .
to avoid disappointment. For more information on social thinking check out their website at www.socialthinking.com .

Policing the Collective Agreement is crucial to protecting your rights as a teacher, but it is important to also recognize that a number of teacher/worker rights exist outside the Agreement. The Workplace Safety and Health Act is one such document.

Every worker in Manitoba has basic rights, protected by law, when it comes to safety and health at the workplace. At the same time, every individual at the workplace has a personal and shared responsibility to prevent occupational injuries and illness.

Every worker has the following rights:

The Right to Know about hazards in the workplace, and what precautions must be taken to prevent injuries or illness from these hazards. Employee education under the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, as well as job-specific training on chemical/controlled products at the workplace, is an example of The Right to Know the right to know , supported by the Workplace Safety and Health the right to know, supported by the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

The Right to Participate in safety and health activities at the workplace, including involvement in the joint workplace safety in safety and health activities at the workplace, including involvement in the joint workplace safety and health committee, or as a worker representative, for example.

The Right to Refuse any task that the worker has reasonable grounds to believe is dangerous to his/her safety and health or the safety and health of other persons. Workers carrying out duties or exercising rights, as set out under the Workplace Safety and Health Act, are protected from discriminatory action.The Right to Refuse

Volume 14 Issue 7 May 23, 2012, Solidarity

Province Looks at Three Areas in Which to Take Action on Math Instruction

May 16, 2012 The provincial education department says it has identified three areas in which it intends to take action to ensure students receive a high­quality math education.

Education Minister Nancy Allan offered no details, but said the three areas are:

�� Strengthening the math curriculum by ensuring the appropriate balance is struck between skill development, conceptual understanding and problem­solving abilities.

�� Ensuring that high­school math courses have the learning expectations and outcomes necessary to prepare students for success in university and college programs, and the world of work.

in university and college programs, and the world of work. �� Working in partnership with the

�� Working in partnership with the faculties of education to ensure that teacher candidates are prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide solid instruction in mathematics in schools.

“As we all know, mathematics is fundamental in everyday life,” she says. “From doing your taxes to taking measurements, a good understanding of math will give students a solid foundation to help them in everyday tasks."

Championship Basketball Coaching Clinics Las Vegas, Nevada May 11 to May 13, 2012 The most

Championship Basketball Coaching Clinics

Las Vegas, Nevada

May 11 to May 13, 2012

The most applicable presentation for our team here at St. Norbert was the one by Heather Macy, at East Carolina University. She talked about “transition basketball” which is basketball played at a fast pace. That is the way we have been playing here for years, so learning some new things from her was great.

There were several other sessions I attended including; one­three­one defence, my favourite practice drills, using screens in your offense, and developing the high school player. They were all fantastic as well. There was only one session that I attended that I felt would not be useful to us.

All in all, it was a great experience for Colin and myself. I would give this clinic an A+ and strongly encourage anyone that loves the game and wants to become a better coach to attend. If anyone has any questions about the clinic, please contact me at College St. Norbert Collegiate.

Denis Marinelli

NCAA coaches and the sessions all had on­the­court demonstrations. The various sessions included: 1­3­1 Defences, Transition Inter­State offence, Practice Drills, Using Ball Screens in Offence, Defending Pick and Rolls, Developing the Individual High School player, Man to Man Offences, Attacking Zone Offences and Special Plays.

The session that I found most informative was delivered by Heather Macy who is the head women’s coach at East Carolina University. She coaches a fast moving transition offence style of play. She believes that transition offences will put constant pressure on the defence to make decisions. Her offence is designed to wear the opponents down over time. The high­ flying fast break game will leave opponents gasping for air and creates wide­open layups and three­point opportunities for the offense. The points of emphasis were: 1. You must run on every possession, 2. The more you pass, the more you will score, and 3. You must rebound to win. She

believes this is a great system for players because kids love to play fast, players share the ball and the pace allows more kids to play.

Don Meyer, who is now retired, gave the keynote session on Friday evening. His topic was “Coaching and Success”. He is a former Northern State University head coach who produced more than 900 wins during his NCAA coaching career. He believes that coaches

should always be a positive role model for their players… “Conduct yourself the way you would around your own family.” He places great emphasis on the basketball team being a family as

(Continued on page 17)

I had the opportunity to attend the Nike Championship Basketball Coaching clinic last weekend in Las Vegas and it was definitely worth the trip. I have been coaching basketball and going to coaching clinics for 30 years now, and this conference was by far the best! No, not because it was in Las Vegas, but because of the coaches that were present. Some of the top NCAA Division 1 and 2 coaches gave “on the court” presentations on various topics of the game. Having college players performing the skills made it so easy to follow and more importantly visualize how your own team can implement them. The conference lasted three days and by the end of the third day, I was still ready for more.

The highlight for me was listening to Bobby Knight, a hall of fame coach who is best known for coaching the Indiana Hoosiers. His presentation was on how

to “attack a zone” by using the dribble. This goes against conventional thinking in that a zone should be

attacked with ball movement, or passing. I also loved seeing how his practices look using the philosophy of “advantage/ disadvantage. Some of you may remember him as the hothead coach who would throw chairs onto the court or get thrown out of games because of his intensity. He didn’t throw any chairs, but he was incredibly entertaining.

Another coach that I have looked forward to seeing for

years was Don Meyer. He is a retired coach who will be in the Hall of Fame one day. He didn’t present on any specific topic, but rather shared his thoughts about various subjects in basketball.

shared his thoughts about various subjects in basketball. On Thursday May 10, I travelled to Las

On Thursday May 10, I travelled to Las Vegas to attend the “Nike Championship Basketball Clinic”. The clinic was held over three days at the ORLEANS arena. The clinic featured top

(Continued from page 16)

dissecting zone defences.

he stated “the most fun was to see kids develop into a team, become team players, play team basketball and just team everything — players that look out for each other and help one another on and off the floor.” Two other key points he said were: 1. “There is nothing more important than rebounding don't just give it lip service” and 2. “When the legs go, the heart and the head follow quickly behind.”

The keynote session on Saturday

evening was Bobby Knight who is the head coach at Texas Tech University. He has the all­time most wins for coaches in NCAA men's basketball history and is

a member of the Basketball Hall of

Fame. He's a fiery, in­your­face taskmaster who leads through discipline and intimidation. He will always be remembered for the infamous incident during a game when Knight tossed a folding chair across the court to protest

a referee's call! His session dealt with

He believes the best way to attack any zone is by dribble­penetration through 3 different seams in the defence. He stated that any offence you may develop will break down if you over­ pass in your set half­court set. He will not allow his players to set up low in the corners on offence because “the baseline is the best defender in the game.” In order to set up a successful program, Knight believes that you must eliminate losing attitudes…. “What causes teams to lose games? …poor defensive rebounding, fouls, turnovers and lack of hustle.”

I have a template on scouting the opposition/coaches notes, detailed information on tempo­control man offences and the Inter­State Offense to share with anyone who requests a copy. Just email me at critchie@srsd.ca and request what information you want!!!!!!

Colin Ritchie Collège St. Norbert Collegiate

want!!!!!! Colin Ritchie Collège St. Norbert Collegiate retirement age and want to increase my pension. Yes,

retirement age and want to increase my pension. Yes, the mighty dollar! So, what did I learn? I learned that I have a lot to learn! I

entered the classroom on that first night and we were six students. I was the oldest. Half the students were young new teachers! Only two of us were administrators. It was enlightening to hear about the profession of teaching from the perspective of new teachers. Although, we experience different things in our jobs, we did deal with many similarities. We deal with the community at large and the perception it has of our schools and of the way we do our jobs. We deal with

I had not attended university in 16

years. I was so nervous. I did not know what to expect. Should I bring a binder? Do students still use pen and paper? Should I just bring my laptop? Just registering for a Graduate Degree can be daunting! What was I thinking? What possessed me to go back?

I got a new job! I wanted to get better.

I know I have a lot to learn and I am learning a lot every day, on the job, but I needed more. I am approaching

Bobby Knight

challenged and gifted children. The new teachers did not seem overwhelmed with new assessment practices implemented throughout Manitoba. They did not seem concerned with the government’s new report card. They did not seem concerned with the demands put on them by their school divisions. What concerned them the most, it seems to me, is what concerned me when I started teaching 25 years ago: how can I teach and reach all the children? It was interesting meeting every week and having constructive, positive conversations about how we could do better.

The course I took at Université de Saint­Boniface was “The management of school personnel”. The course was separated into four major sections:

Relationships/Conflict Resolution/ Mentorship, Legislative

(Continued on page 18)

(Continued from page 17)

Responsibilities, Leadership Styles and Every Day Management Strategies. We looked at many different case studies that underlined different aspects from each section.

In the first section, we discussed the importance of nurturing relationships in the workplace. Joseph Blaze and Peggy C. Kirby wrote the book “Des stratégies pour une direction scolaire efficace” (Bringing Out the Best in Teachers). They surveyed 1,200 teachers on the “effects of Principals on the cognitive, affective and behavioural aspects of the work of teachers” (1) “Amongst the 1,200 teachers, 836 of them identified 1,323 strategies characterizing open and effective administrators.” (2) Many strategies conveyed the importance of valuing staff members and recognizing their work. “Effective pedagogical leaders were often described as being optimists, honest and thoughtful.” (3)

For the discussion on Leadership Responsibilities, Bobby Ethier, Staff Officer for Teacher Welfare at the Manitoba Teacher’s Society, came to speak to the class. She presented the document she prepared entitled Legislative Responsibilities of Principals & Teachers. It is a consolidation of the most common rules of practice taken as excerpts from The Education Administration Act, The Public Schools Act and The Labour Relations Act. Throughout the course, we made connections to the

different codes, rules and policies surrounding the profession of Education.

There are many different styles of

profession of Education. There are many different styles of leadership: transformational, instructional, systematic,

leadership: transformational, instructional, systematic, pragmatic, relational… I wrote a critique on the article entitled « L’administrateur scolaire par rapport à ses homonymes des secteurs publics et privés. »(Brunet, L., Bordeleau,Y.) (Translated: The School Administrator in relation to his/her Counterparts in the Public and Private Sectors) In the article, the authors talk of variables that determine the style of leadership such as personal relationships, the degree of structure in the workplace, the degree of power of the leader, the personality and personal values of the leader, the capabilities and interests of the subordinates, and the jobs themselves. The authors cited many leadership similarities between the school administrators and their counterparts and only a few significant differences.

Our work on the everyday strategies used in the management of a school

focused on decision­making, hiring of personnel, the implementation of programs and resources, and staff supervision.

“The Management of School Personnel” was a good first course. It encouraged me to continue taking courses for my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration. We were a very dynamic group. We had engaging conversations on topics that concerned us all.

According to Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, authors of “The Daily 5”, the way to “ensure that the decisions we make are truly the best for the children we serve” is in “keeping current”. “…keeping current means maintaining a steady diet of professional books, articles, collegial relationships, conferences, workshops, etc. that are ingested through a consistent filter. That filter is current, reliable research.” (4)

Therefore, I am currently taking an intercession course and have registered for a summer institute. If you are considering going back to university, I highly recommend it!

1) Blase, J. & Kirby, P. (2009). Des stratégies pour une direction scolaire efficace. (Translation and adaptation from Bringing Out the Best in Teachers).United States, London and New Delhi, Corwin Press Inc. p.9 2) Ibid, p.10 3) Ibid, p.117

4) http://www.thedailycafe.com/public/ 2086. cfm)

Francine Lepage­Lemoine Principal, École St. Norbert Immersion

4) http://www.thedailycafe.com/public/ 2086. cfm) Francine Lepage­Lemoine Principal, École St. Norbert Immersion 18
4) http://www.thedailycafe.com/public/ 2086. cfm) Francine Lepage­Lemoine Principal, École St. Norbert Immersion 18

18

This year we were fortunate to receive funding from the STRA PD fund for a

This year we were fortunate to receive funding from the STRA PD fund for a

group project. We were going to have two meant to reflect real life situations that

middle­years multi­age classes at our school and thought it would be a good time to look into different teaching practices and ways of reaching a wider

variety of learners than may be in a single­ what has been taught or to discuss a new

grade classroom.

We knew we would need new materials but we would also need the time to plan together so that we could be sure to implement what we were learning in the classes. We started with a half day to look at strategies for reaching students in math. We focused on the importance of teaching the students how to express themselves in a variety of ways. In middle­ years there is often a strong emphasis on written equations, which

is necessary for the

students to learn, however when starting

a new math concept not all our students

are able to understand an equation right away.

strategy. Math strings are often used as a mental math lesson.

make sense to the students and that they can relate to. Each investigation is set up by day and spans over two weeks. Each day starts with a mini­lesson to reinforce

multiplication / division of fractions, rates and ratios etc.). The investigations are

few groups can be chosen to come share their results and their strategies. If the teacher sees great problem­solving he or she will likely ask that group to share even if the answer was incorrect. The students are responsible for sharing their answers and how they got them.

One advantage to the discussion for us was that the students were able to speak in French in front of their peers in a way they weren’t used to. The teacher is sure to pick groups who have very efficient strategies so the rest of the groups are exposed to and taught in a way they hadn’t thought of on their own. This process is repeated throughout the two weeks building on the original problem posed.

The authors always explain the rationale behind the mini lesson and provide a

explain the rationale behind the mini lesson and provide a concrete example so teachers can follow

concrete example so teachers can follow easily and can anticipate questions or responses their own students may have.

The investigation starts with the teacher telling the students a story or posing them

a question or problem. Each day, a new

part of the story is added which builds on what was learned the previous day. The students work in groups to solve the problem in whatever way they feel comfortable and that makes sense to them. The teacher does not pre­teach a strategy for the particular lesson. Once the students have been given time to work together, a math congress is formed.

It is here where the teacher is able to

highlight specific strategies that have come out of the students’ work. The teacher spends the time working with groups but also making observations so a

Teaching in this way often helps students learn from each other and experiment with many different ways of learning. Following the entire book is a little daunting, but we learned how to implement a little more each

time we used the books, and the students seem very engaged when they get to share their ideas in small groups.

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to learn with this program. Liz Hammond, Counsellor, ESAI and ELI

Using a variety of rational number examples we practised using and teaching with manipulatives, pictures, words and equations. It was very interesting how in a group of three we almost always solved each problem differently. From there we were able to discuss the benefits of a variety of strategies and how they would be an advantage in the classroom.

The next few times we met we focused on the series Context for Learning primarily by Catherine Twomey­Fosnot. We purchased four books each of which is a math investigation designed to teach and reinforce a particular math concept (addition / subtraction of fractions,

is a math investigation designed to teach and reinforce a particular math concept (addition / subtraction
This year at Dawson Trail we decided to learn about American Sign Language in order

This year at Dawson Trail we decided to learn about American Sign Language in order to communicate more effectively with our students who are nonverbal. In the past, we have used communication books with Boardmaker visuals but after attending a seminar on working with students who are deaf/hard of hearing we learned that using various modes of communication will increase student success. Our goals involved exposing our school population to various methods of communicating as well as purchasing recommended materials to assist our students with learning ASL.

From January to April, a teacher from the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities

a teacher from the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program came
a teacher from the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program came
a teacher from the Society for Manitobans with Disabilities Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program came

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program came to Dawson Trail once a week for a 3 hour class after school to work with our group which consisted of 3 teachers and 9 educational assistants. In our classes we learned finger spelling, signs for body parts, common health concerns, feelings, family and ages, money and time, praise and discipline, as well as daily activities.

In addition to our classroom learning, we purchased DVDs and flash cards to use as visuals with our students. Twice a week, a group of students and staff enjoy gathering in our Learning Center to view and practise signing using our DVDs and flash cards. In addition, some parents have begun practising and using signing in their homes with their children!

As a result of our classes as well as our

their children! As a result of our classes as well as our purchases, we are now

purchases, we are now able to communicate more effectively with several of our students. We look forward to increasing our ASL vocabulary throughout the years to come.

Thank you for supporting our initiative this year!

Kelly Baker, Resource Dawson Trail School

to be encouraged, fostered, and developed. Children are naturally creative and imaginative. What they need

to be encouraged, fostered, and developed. Children are naturally creative and imaginative. What they need are opportunities to explore and develop their ideas and we as educators need to facilitate and enhance that creativity. Changes in how we educate all students to meet the extraordinary challenges of living and working in the 21 st century are required, now. We are still in the industrial revolution and we

change to occur all stakeholders must buy in. In order to implement positive changes everyone must be engaged.

I attended the NASSP Breaking Ranks K­12 Conference in March. The focus of the conference was Improving Student Performance. There were many sessions offered on a variety of subjects. It was an excellent opportunity to learn new approaches for teaching, strategies for effective leadership and for sharing with colleagues.

Sir Ken Robinson delivered the first keynote. He challenges us as educators to rethink basic assumptions about intelligence and achievement. In his messages he tells us that creativity needs

need to step into the present and foresee the needs of our students for the future. Students need to be prepared for jobs that don’t yet exist. It is not an easy task but we have to evolve how we support our children’s learning.

Douglas Reeves delivered the second keynote with the focus being on leadership and learning in 2012. He states that in order to create an effective change we need time. When implementing a change, what is a reasonable expectation, 5 years, 10? He argued that we can make positive changes in our school in a short period of time and that in order for a

Every year we learn more about how the brain works and we are informed how to best teach our students. Humans cannot concentrate for long periods of time and it is not realistic to expect our students to learn if we do not keep them moving and opportunities to discuss. Our youth are social creatures, they need to be in groups and feel that they can share their opinions.

This conference allowed me the opportunity to share what we are doing in our school division and in our schools. We are moving in the right direction and if anything, we are ahead of the game. Is there more we can do? Yes. Education will always need to evolve in order to meet the needs of our students.

Suzanne Cormier College St. Norbert Collegiate

20

by Monique Ridley, Arborgate I had an IRA experience from April 29­ May 2 in

by Monique Ridley, Arborgate

I had an IRA experience from April 29­

May 2 in 2012. The Annual International Reading conference took place in Chicago in the amazing McCormick Center. How do you know that you are at a teachers’ convention grouping 10,000 + teachers? They are sitting on the floor planning the next afternoon or day sessions that they will attend. The old adage, “What happens in Chicago stays in Chicago” does not hold true. This experience must be shared.

There were a few challenges:

Step 4: If my session is a popular one, I arrive 1 hr. earlier to ensure seating. Security will ask me to leave if I’m standing at the back due to lack of chairs.

Step 5: If the session is a Dud (this may happen) have second options so that I can efficiently slide in my 2 nd choice session.

Step 6: Dialogue with a co­worker about the highlights of my session. This helps older minds have better recall and solidify concepts learned.

Now begins a 4­day litany of educational experiences.

I found Connie Hiebert’s session “Catch a Falling Reader” exceptional. She was reverting. Space was at a premium. For 2.5 hours session attendees listened as she spoke of daily 20 minute Guided Reading sessions with your falling readers. “Aha moments” occurred several times during the 180 minute session. It was a reflection of what we do daily and how we can do it better to ensure success for all readers. Her book that I have ordered encompasses her wisdom on reading, “To Catch a Falling Reader”. I would like to then look at her 2 nd book; “To Catch a Falling Writer”.

�� Getting to the venue

�� Finding my way through the ginormous center

With the help of a friendly Cab Driver and several greeters within the building, I was able to navigate to my start point and begin my IRA experience.

Here are some easy self­help steps that facilitate my PD extravaganza.

Step 1: Pick up planner as big and heavy as a brick

Step 2: Plan my daily sessions. Decide if

I would like 1hr, 1.5hr, 2.5 hrs.

sessions. At times the difficulty is narrowing down my choice because so

many appeal to me.

Step 3: Take time to find out where my session will take place. Give myself time to find the best coffee in the building so that I could truly enjoy my session.

in the building so that I could truly enjoy my session. She spoke of the 6

She spoke of the 6 habits of struggling readers:

1. Look up and Wait

2. Skipping the word

3. Sounding out every letter

4. Guess the word

5. Asking others, “What is that word”

6. Reading word by word

With these pearls of wisdom she then added strategies to address them. So much info so little time.

Another memorable session focussed on 3 poets speaking to poetry geared to teenagers. One poet in particular, Marilyn Singer, spoke of various ways to engage student participation. First week back in a grade 6 classroom, I used Marilyn’s strategies and Brod Bagert’s poetry from his book “Hormone Jungle”. I was able to get them hooked on poetry. They are asking to see and hear more of his work.

I crammed in sessions on: technology, WOW­word of the week, importance of humour to name but a few.

It’s the final day and time to head home. I pray that my luggage will weigh in under the 50 lbs. With careful manoeuvring of freebies, books, and other paraphernalia, I’m able to make it on to the plane without a surcharge.

Day one, back in the school and I’m able to try many of the strategies I learned in Chicago. So in my case, what happens in Chicago happens in Arborgate. It was a wonderful experience that I would recommend for all teachers. I thank the SRTA PD committee for making this possible.

21

! Your brain loves summer. Here are 7 reasons why this is probably true: 1.
! Your brain loves summer. Here are 7 reasons why this is probably true: 1.
!
!

Your brain loves summer. Here are 7 reasons why this is probably true:

1. You eat differently. Portions usually get

smaller. No one wants to feel heavy in the summer. Calorie restriction turns out to be good for your brain and prolongs your life. You probably eat differently, too. Fruits and vegetable are fresh and abundant during the summer. Eat lots of them. Try replacing one meal a day with a smoothie. My favorite:

yogurt, frozen field berries, frozen banana, orange juice, protein powder, pure vanilla, and cinnamon.

orange juice, protein powder, pure vanilla, and cinnamon. 2. You exercise more. Walks and bike rides

2. You exercise more. Walks and bike rides

are easier when the days are longer. The benefits are many. Your brain grows new neurons (neurogenesis). Blood circulation increases ­ this provides your brain with more oxygen and glucose. You learn better and remember more. Your brain also produces dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline which simply makes you feel good. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Try setting aside 20 minutes every day to get moving.

brain. Try setting aside 20 minutes every day to get moving. 3. You drink more water.

3. You drink more water. Summer is hot.

When it's hot you drink more water. Your brain is 85% water. When you are well hydrated you learn better and you have more energy. Water is needed to efficiently manufacture neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin and melatonin. Hydration also improves your attention span. Water can prevent memory loss as we age, reducing the risk of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Getting enough water may be the single most important thing you can do to live a healthier life. Make sure you drink water before you are thirsty. By the time you are thirsty you brain is dehydrated. Try following this formula one cup (240 ml.) of water for every 25 lbs. (11 kg.) of body mass. Carry a water bottle with you.

4. You are more social. In the summer you

spend more time with family and friends. Your brain needs social connections. Spending time with people is a fundamental tenet of cognitive health. The Journal of Public Health reports that having a larger social network can reduce your risk of dementia and cognitive impairment. Try to arrange and attend a few more social events than you normally do.

and attend a few more social events than you normally do. 5. You read more. You

5. You read more. You have more time off in

the summer and probably pick up a book or two. Reading wakes your brain up. Learning new things grows connections between your brain cells. Scientists call this neural reserve. The more of it the better. Try reading something you normally wouldn't pick up. If you always read novels try a non­fiction book and vice versa.

Principle". Essentially, he feels many of us suffer from a nature­deficit disorder. Getting outdoors seems to boost mental acuity and creativity. You brain also appreciates the extra Vitamin D. Try taking up a hobby or activity that can only be done outdoors.

up a hobby or activity that can only be done outdoors. 7. You relax. Things slow

7. You relax. Things slow down in the summer. A little stress can help your brain focus. However, too much stress can literally make you stupid. Prolonged stress can be toxic to nerve cells in your hippocampus ­ impairing memory. Relaxing makes your brain feel in control. In fact, deep relaxation can actually change your brain structure. Try blocking out a little more "white space" in

Try blocking out a little more "white space" in your calendar just for you and your

your calendar just for you and your brain.

Bottom line: let's all try and get more of this all year long.

http://www.terrysmall.com/

6. You spend more time outdoors. Being

outside is good for your brain. Richard Louv just wrote a book called "The Nature