2017 – 2018 Annual Report
During my time at summer seminar, Dr. Danielle Fullan Kolton embraced us with her ‘Crucial Conversations’ presentation that allowed us to actively engage in a workshop that focused on strengthening relationships through healthy, essential, yet frank conversations. We used a framework that allowed us to practice our communication skills in a way that minimalized defensiveness and encouraged conflict resolution. On our last day, we discussed collective bargaining and the outcomes of the 2017 MTS survey. Bullying was one of the main things that that talked about during that meeting. All in all, it was a great time for learning and making new friends!
Our first divisional PD was held on September 29, 2017. Charlene Bearhead was our keynote speaker in the morning. Her thought-provoking presentation took us through the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In the afternoon we looked at the new Accessibility Legislation and Stephen de Groot inspired us with his motivational speech.
On November 2 and 3, I attended the Professional Development Chairs’ Fall Seminar in Winnipeg. Mr. Vinh Huynh delivered an inspiring message that spoke of equity, perseverance, generosity, and serving. We were then treated to a musical performance that showcased the power of music as a universal language. We were able to attend one of the five agencies that provide services to refugees, immigrants, and newcomers who are making Manitoba their new home. We were able to expand our knowledge of all five by discussing the services of all five agencies (Welcome Place, NEEDS, IRCOM, Peaceful Village, CEDA Pathways to Education).
During the seminar, we also discussed some of the problems related to PD (e.g. access to PD, substitute teachers) and ways to inspire others about the teaching profession (My Teacher, My Story). We ended the seminar with an in-depth look at how datafication, privatization, personalization, and standardization impacts teachers and students.
The second divisional PD was divided into 2 different groupings. We held the Senior Years PD on March 16 and the Early Years/Middle Years PD was held on April 20. The keynote for both days was Shahina Siddiqui who gave us an introduction to Islam. The rest of the day consisted of several breakout sessions which included Indigenous Education, mental health in our students, the understanding of our Islamic students, what to do with children’s feelings, and how to understand disruptive behavior. At the end of the day, Keith Macpherson inspired us with his dynamic and engaging mindfulness presentation.
We are planning on having Dr. Danielle Fullan Kolton and her team lead us in having crucial conversations in the 2018-2018 school year. Our team will also be sending out a survey to all teachers in September to see what their professional development interests are so that we can begin planning for the 2019-2020 school year.
Submitted by PD Chair, Rachael Smith