Project Overseas – Facillitations to Maximize Learner Engagement
Jenna O’Connor – Churchill High
This fall, I was one of four teachers selected by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation to
participate in Project Overseas, facilitated by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. In July, I will
attend a training session in Ottawa, and travel to St. Kitts and Nevis with a team of three other
teachers, to provide professional development for the teachers in this developing country. The
professional development session I attended in Saskatoon, “Facilitations to Maximize learner
Engagement,” helped me to prepare for this international opportunity. The workshop was
facilitated by Rob Ligget and Margarat Pillay of the Saskatchewan Professional Development
We began by observing the “Norms” which are based on the “Circle of Courage,” which explore
generosity, belonging, independence, and mastery. From there, participants were provided a clear,
detailed, and helpful-checklist for planning facilitations. In groups, we planned a mock
facilitation; my group’s work focus was the process of differentiated instruction.
After lunch, participants explored strategies for professional learning and questions to deepen
and increase learning. Finally, we finished the day investigating different technological tools
that can enhance facilitations and by sharing our best resources with one another.
Unfortunately, part of the presentation which would have allowed us to explore the differences
between Indigenous and Western Worldviews was omitted for the purpose of time.
This workshop was valuable on many levels. The content was easily applicable to the classroom
when focusing on the big themes, reminding teachers to consider the strategies that will inspire
meaningful learning in students. Learning how to facilitate for adults is valuable. I will use this
skill teach adults with other members of the CTF in the Caribbean and also when I share my
experiences with my colleagues at NATA’s Convention.
SPDU presentations are beneficial for teachers across saskatchewan. I am not sure if this
particular workshop would interest all teachers (unless they hope to facilitate); however, it
would be worthwhile to identify the specific workshops staff are interested in participating in.
SPDU members host a variety of workshops all over the province.