Thursday, October 9, 2014

New Teachers Make Me Smile!

Today's post is from Catherine Macklam,'s Provincial Team Leader.  Catherine has been an educator for 40 years and's Team Leader since its inception in 1997.

It is always such a pleasure to work with our new teachers, but this year was special. I had the opportunity to present at the ATA Beginning Teachers Conference in Calgary on October 4, as did my colleagues Daryl and Theresa in Edmonton on September 27.   We did two sessions - Step Away from the Textbook: Digital Content for Your Classroom and Resources for DIY Professional Learning: Teaching Essentials. In all, we presented to over 165 new teachers.

We had a very positive response from our session participants, as you can see by their feedback. On Monday, October 6 I came to work and waxed eloquently about our new teachers in the field - so much so that the team suggested I put my reactions into words (our blog)...although I think this may have been their way to get me back on task.

What became apparent in both sessions is the need for curated digital content such as provides. Equally important are the conversations we facilitate to support understanding of how to best use digital resources in unit and lesson planning. Essential digital tools for creation/demonstration of knowledge need to be paired with professional learning documents to support teacher and student digital content creation.  Create and our student sites on were really well received, which was heartwarming, particularly in light of the Ministerial Order and the LTPF.

For me personally, I came away with a strong reaction to the quality of individuals new to our profession. I can sum up my image of them in these words - energetic, excited, inquisitive, engaged and committed. Talk about inspiring! I’m still smiling from the experience.