Professional Growth

Click here to apply

Professional Growth 2024

Immersion Language Camp (nêhiyawêwin) - Mika Carriere

ᑳᓂᔮᓯᕁ kâniyâsihk Culture Camp – Fall Hide Tanning Camp

Dr. Kevin Lewis’s kâniyâsihk Culture Camp in Island Lake, Saskatchewan is a place that welcomes people from all around the world to connect with the Plains Cree culture, language and spirit. Fall Hide Tanning Camp teaches you how to work on large animal hides such as: buffalo, moose, caribou, elk, deer and antelope to create tanned leather for making traditional clothing. 

The pahkēkinohkēwin ~ hide process requires patience, skill and strength. You will learn how to work as team on a hide that requires cleaning, cutting, fleshing and scraping. Animal bones can be made into scrappers and fleshers, the hair can be used in tufting – a traditional artform, and even medicines can be made from certain body parts of the animals; nothing goes to waste. Traditional Plains Cree knowledge is shared through daily lessons while cooking, working on the hides and into the evening with stories around the campfire. Building bonds takes place naturally when working on hides, reminding us that we are stronger together. 

Our First Nations and Métis women were the main hide tanners in the past. The men provided the meat, and the women carefully used every part of the animal to give life to others. My personal connection for wanting to learn this process came from my nōgom ~ grandmother Agnes Carriere who had hide tanning skills but was too old to teach me when I was just a young girl. Sadly, she passed away before she could transfer her knowledge to me. This culture camp was more than just taking part in professional development, it was a healing process, and I was proud to learn how to smoke my own moosehide. 

Decolonizing Education - Mahaila Scott 

Fellow colleague Norma Bear and I attended the STF Professional Development workshop titled, “Understanding and Finding Our Way: Decolonizing Canadian Education” on November 17, 2023. in Saskatoon, SK at the STF building. The facilitator was Linda (I forget her last name) and she was quite knowledgeable on the subject matter, as it was a part of her Master’s program and her supervisor is Dr. Lorna St. Denis. All resources and the film are available on the STF website at the bottom of the page is under the subtitle “Education Today”, scroll down to see the link Understanding and Finding Our way.

All Canadians are responsible for reconciliation. Teachers have a unique opportunity to contribute by advocating for change to eliminate inequity and racism. Understanding and Finding Our Way – Decolonizing Canadian Education is a powerful film that exposes education inequities within public education in Canada. It challenges viewers to help decolonize education so that all students can succeed.

The film was produced by Dr. Verna St. Denis, an internationally renowned scholar in anti-racist education. It was directed by award-winning filmmaker Alison Duke following appropriate protocols and under the guidance of Elder Mary Lee. The 32-minute film is divided into three parts.

There were teachers from across Saskatchewan, about twelve in total. The Discussion and facilitation guide Version B is available on their website along with a shorter Version A. We completed Version B.

We discussed and did activities related to the overarching themes: myths, truths, and hopes in education after watching the film. We explored our personal and professional experiences in the teaching profession. I highly recommend all teachers to attend this workshop soon, as it exposes how common narratives shape our worldviews and why it is important to challenge these normative ideologies.

In conclusion, how can we challenge ourselves to help support diversity in our classrooms? For myself, by creating safe spaces where we can support the unique identities of all our students; where all students are respected, valued, and honoured for who they are and where they come from. We support your being.

Building Thinking Classrooms - Greg Thomas

Peter Liljedhal’s workshop “Building Thinking Classrooms” was valuable professional development for a group of Northern Lights School Division teachers from several schools who are dedicated to improving math instruction. Over the two-day conference, we experienced many lessons taught by Peter after which we reflected from the perspective of being a student and what he was doing as a teacher. The workshops not only had math lessons, but ELA, Social Studies, and Science as well. We were given an opportunity to plan a lesson using the principles taught. We are organized as a Microsoft Team to continue to support each other as we change our teaching practices based on what we were taught. This was an excellent opportunity. Thank you to NLSD, Gordon Denny, and NATA for supporting this!

Fire Arms Safety - Sarah Aubichon

I attended the firearms course on Saturday January 27th and 28th. The course was 8 hours on the first day and the tests were on the Sunday. We covered the different kinds of non-restricted firearms that are the most common, the parts of the firearm, storing ammunition and firearms, transporting, and various other safety aspects. The class consisted of theory and hands on instruction.

I chose to take this course so that I can extend our Land Based Learning Opportunities to hunting small game.

Arts Ed. Conference - Meagan Kernaghan

The 2024 arts ed conference hosted in Saskatoon on Wednesday March 8th 2024 was an engaging and enriching opportunity to learn, explore, access resources, and connect with colleagues and program facilitators from across the province. There were sessions on using Indigenous fashion as a means of exploring arts making processes, sessions on how to effectively incorporate the practice of keeping a sketchbook into arts ed classes from k - 12, how to teach music as a classroom teacher who may not have access to a large variety of instruments or music resources, and how to encourage exploration and creation through drama. All the speakers and presenters were able to provide tangible resources and examples that I will be adding to my practice now and in the future. The conference also gave me the opportunity to connect with people who will be able to help facilitate new and engaging programming in our school, and who are interested in bringing  more arts programming north. This conference has rekindled my excitement for arts ed and helped to expand my horizons as to what is possible in an arts education classroom. 

1% Amazing Webinar - Ashley Squires

This PD was the 99% Human, 1% Amazing Webinar, and a bonus of a 1 hour "New Teacher, Big Impact" webinar. 

Daryl Williams Jr is a very engaging speaker, and so full of Charisma that you are engaged in moments! 

"Effective teaching isn't about ticking boxes or following a one-size-fits-all approach. It's about igniting a spark – in yourself and in your students." 

I really enjoyed this webinar. There is a large portion of the webinar devoted to asking yourself 4 questions to find what makes YOU a special Educator. What is the 'thing' that makes you different. He calls it finding your "Zone of Excellence" and once you can understand what you do that is special for you, what you bring into a classroom that no one else quite does. He uses this 'zone' idea to really help explain how to change your classroom culture to suit YOU so that you can bring your best self to your classroom and how playing to your strengths lessens burnout.  I particularly found it enlightening how he discusses how some of the things that you may hate the most about teaching might be because that program or thing is outside of your personal zone of excellence. And while understanding this doesn't stop the fact that you may still need to do this thing, understanding 'why' it 'bugs you' so much I personally found to be something that helped it bother me less than it used to! 

I encourage many people to check this out!