[Manitoba, Canada] Yet I’ve stuck it out. I’ve stayed in the classroom. I am beginning to see now that this is where I am meant to be. I am still interested in the big picture of education; in technology, possibility, social justice and empowerment. Probably more so than in the past. This school year coming up will be my twentieth year of teaching. I still feel that I have much to learn and many things to explore. Teaching can be awful. It can be stressful and alienating and overwhelming. It is often lonely as you struggle to keep kids alive and safe. But it is also a beautiful, very human profession where we help kids to learn who they are and help them to build a better life and a better world. It is a profession that is future oriented and focused on potential.
The Quebec Ministry of Education is proposing to allow four-year-old children from underprivileged families to attend elementary school full-time as part of a campaign to curb the province’s disturbingly high dropout rate.
More than one in three students in the province – 36 per cent – leave school without graduating. And studies showed that most of them come from poor families. For instance, a study conducted in 2008 by the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency concluded that 35 per cent of 5-year-old kindergarten students on the Island of Montreal were from needy families, showed signs of neglect and had learning disabilities that would likely impede their academic progress.
“The program is designed to allow students to experience the benefits of increased flexibility, strength, focus and concentration,” the course description says. “Students will learn to be non-judgmental about their own and others’ yoga practice. Through continued practice, students will relieve stress, learn to relax and experience the health benefits of yoga practice.”
[EDMONTON, CANADA] A promising new program that teaches students to pause before reacting to turbulent emotions and conflict is being tested at a west-end elementary school, mental health and school officials said Tuesday.
The change in the students’ behaviour at Our Lady of the Prairies Catholic School was almost immediate when educators introduced the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) program in October, said Tom Shand, executive director of the Alberta division of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Teacher training in Ontario will be bumped up to two years starting in 2014, says the provincial government.
The Liberals, who promised the move during the 2011 election campaign, began consultations with education groups on Wednesday about the change.
Three to four additional sessions are planned for April and May.
Teachers typically earn a four-year undergraduate degree and then spend another year at university completing their bachelor of education. (Ten of the 13 universities with education programs also offer the degrees concurrently so students can complete the two at the same time.)
The Liberals have said more training is needed given the challenges and increasing demands teachers face. The expanded program, the details of which have yet to be finalized, will include more practical, in-class training for new teachers.