Professional Growth

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Professional Growth 2022

PaddleCanada workshop - Christine Ravenis

Was part of NLSD#113 Professional Development opportunity that offered Paddle Canada Certification and Instructor status May 27-30 in Pinehouse. Grateful to be able to explore the Pinehouse lands and waters as this was my first time there. I enjoyed meeting with all the staff that joined in from the community. Our weather exceeded expectations and our instructors were amicable.

I was able to start moving through the process towards becoming an Instructor Trainer with Paddle Canada after finishing this course. I am hoping to be finished this process next year at this time. Thanks to Jordan Kolbeck and Curtis Chandler for their efforts in creating a robust paddling community within the Division.


Canoeing and Wilderness Camping - John Kershaw

May 27 - June 1, 2022

Eric Lewis and I (John Kershaw) participated in a Canoeing and Wilderness Camping session organized by Jordan Kolbec (NLSD superintendent) in Pinehouse. This was a great opportunity to meet with other teachers across the North and to develop skills for outdoor education.

During the course, we worked on paddle skills as well as ways to teach these skills to other less experience paddlers. We also learned how to organize a wilderness camping trip Along the way, we experienced what to do when you have to change the plan due to changing weather conditions.

I found the course so inspiring that I have enrolled in another session of Outdoor Educator training. This will be a one week course organized by kāniyāsihk Culture Camps with Advanced Wilderness First Aid, Hiking and Lake Paddling.

Using this experience, we hope to get a canoe program started at our school in the near future.

Awasis conference - Ethel Dorion

The Awasis conference I attended on April 24th – 26th was very informative and interesting. We started with Dr. Herman Michell speaking about the importance of land-based education. He is a very knowledgeable person. We broke out into smaller groups, I attended the looming session where they used recycled cardboard material, string and masking tape and pony beads. We made patterns to follow the math curriculum. The lessons can be used from kindergarten level to Grade 12. I also went to a Moss bag making session, we were able to construct a miniature moss bag that we could take back to our classrooms to do as a project. There were other interesting topics that I would have liked to attend like the NFB film and teacher resources which promote Indigenous activism, justice, and reconciliation. Traditional medicines, Wellness, Teepee teachings, how to deal with stress for students. If I have a chance to go again I most certainly will.

Ethel Dorion

Grade 6 - Charlebois School

Awasis Conference - Shannon Constant

The Awasis Conference 2022 was an excellent hands-on professional development to attend. I am so thankful that I was able to listen to different keynote speakers but most importantly two individuals who helped me have a better understanding of things I am currently striving to incorporate within my classroom. Celia Deschambeault was an awesome support person for preserving the language. She shared that as long as outcomes are being met within the curriculum then it's up to us as indigenous people to try and preserve our language. We can achieve successes through adapting our indicators to meet the needs of our students. I also enjoyed another presentation which was led by Randy Morin. His workshop was titled Medicine is the Best Laughter. As an educator meeting the needs of students has been hard considering all the aspects of COVID-19. Laugh in those moments of hardness and allow growth.

Shannon Constant

Awasis Conference - Donna McAuley


Hello my name is Donna McAuley

I attended the Awasis Conference Workshop in Saskatoon.

I enjoyed all the workshops ! attended how the language workshop discussed and gave new ideas on how I can integrate language and laughter in all areas of study.

I truly believe that we need more Professional Development on Language and Culture.

I attended these workshops,

Celia Deschambeault – Language

Randy Morin - Laughter is the Best Medicine

Play Based Projects in Kindergarten - Sarah Beer

The Play Based Projects in Kindergarten PD was an exciting opportunity for me to learn about play based project learning in kindergarten. We learned how to engage students in learning through play. This gives them the opportunity to inquire about things linked to their interests and the curriculum. We also discussed the importance of parental engagement versus parental involvement. We discussed that for students to succeed, there is a need for parental engagement however we often offer more opportunities for parental involvement than engagement.

During the course we had the opportunity to design a play-based project linked to the curriculum. We also got to inspect and review other play-based projects made by our colleagues. We linked each play-based project to numerous outcomes. We also reviewed how to plan for play-based projects. We discussed incorporating student interest. It was suggested that we start with circle planning. This involves the initial topic, curriculum outcomes, possible invitations, materials/things to bring and assessment/how what you did went. This was a new way for us to look at planning. It was good to grasp an understanding of how planning in kindergarten should occur as we often plan vertically or horizontally. I often thought about the links to grade one and how this style of learning may help to engage students and make the transition from kindergarten to grade one easier. We discussed how play-based projects are guided by student interest and therefore planning a performance task is difficult because the unit is guided by student interest. The unit may be shorter or longer depending on engagement from pupils therefore you may not get to a performance task. It was also suggested that we start by mind mapping what students know about a topic. Then later in the unit you can revisit the mind map to see how much we had learned. This idea is applicable to all grades in a variety of subject areas.

Any opportunity to get together with other teachers and share our techniques and discuss teaching styles, helps our students. All of us teachers were from a variety of locations in Saskatchewan, so we do not always receive the opportunity to get together for peer networking. This was a great opportunity for us to conference with the help of a leader from STF. Since I am in the Learning Consultant, this knowledge can be passed onto grade one and kindergarten teachers when I work with them. By being knowledgeable in kindergarten, I can help more teachers in our division. This is vital to ensure that more of our staff are being supported. It allows for more collaboration which will result in more growth in our division. Whenever teachers work together, growth will occur.

Overall, the experience was very useful to help me understand planning, play-based projects, parental involvement versus parental engagement and curriculum outcomes in kindergarten and pre-k. This will help when I assist teachers in kindergarten and pre-k with planning. The value from peer networking and learning from others will have an ongoing impact on my practice.


First Aid and CPR Level C Training - Ravinder K Bilkhu

April 24th, 2022

First aid is emergency care given immediately to an injured person/ First aid refers to the emergency or immediate care you should provide when a person is injured or ill until full medical treatment is available. For minor conditions, first aid care may be enough. For serious problems, first aid care should be continued until more advanced care becomes available. The decision to act appropriately with first aid can mean the difference between life and death.

The purpose of first aid is to minimize jujuy and future disability. Thanks to Blake Wallace for organizing this training from Winnipeg via Zoom to get my certificate renewal for another 3 years.

Introduction to Total Physical Response and Drama for Language - Mika Carriere

Sīkwan - Spring, is a season for renewal and now growth, my professional development journey this year has given me the chance to learn new Indigenous language methodologies and strategies for teaching Cree. I enrolled in the Indigenous Languages Certificate program to further my ways of knowing in my Swampy Cree language. Ogiskiskinwaharnägėw - Instructor, Dr. Kevin Lewis provides a safe space that is open to learning the Cree language, in all dialects. It is the perfect program for those 'silent Cree speakers' who would like to gain the confidence and skills need to teach Cree in the classroom, plus it is considered an Additional Qualification Certificate with the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) and can help teachers level up to a class 5.

The course I registered in for the spring was called Introduction to Total Physical Response and Drama for Language. My weekends for the months of May and June were spent in classes at the University of Saskatchewan. Coming together is vital for learning the Cree language, the quote by Confucius "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand" applies to the teachings of leaming Cree and using the strategy of Total Physical Response (TPR) because it is all action based! Everyone in the class is learning through movement, first with hearing the instructor say the Cree word, ex: "Pimotē" – Walk, then you write it down on paper as a Cree resource with the drawing/picture of the action with its title in

Cree only "Pimotē". Lastly, you say and do the action 3X: "Pimotē” – Walk. Incorporting Native American Sign Language with TPR reinforces the lessons. At first it seems easy, but then just like adding new sight words' like we do in English Language Arts, we do the same with TPR and create new sets of Cree words to practice with students in the classroom. In lolal, our class completed 10 sets of 5 new Cree words, in total we learned 50 new Cree words in 3 weekend classes!

TPR is a Cree language skill that students can learn quickly because it is action based. I have already used this strategy in my classroom with my Cree 10 class and they loved it! The next step was moving from TPR repetition to Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS). You can co-create a short drama skit in the Cree language with the students, using the TPR action words they have retained. Promote funny short 5-minute skits that tell a story in Cree. In the course, we did this as a collective group and our instructor assessed us. In the classroom, you can promote this activity by using props and puppets to lessen the anxiety of presenting to an audience. TPRS can be your final performance task in the classroom, where you can assess the students Cree vocabulary skills and actions, Kagiskītān - You can do it!

Ogiskinawmāgaw - Teacher,

Mika Carriere

Charlebois Community School