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In the Beginning

October 10, 2017 Cory Hare
Delegates at the Beginning Teachers’ Conference share the routines they created during a workshop on creative movement for the elementary classroom
Teachers from throughout northern Alberta gathered for the Beginning Teachers’ Conference in Edmonton from Sept. 28 to 30.
About 500 teachers attended workshops on a variety of topics, including mental health, professional growth, student resilience and creativity. There were also information sessions on ATA support and services. The event shifts to Calgary on Oct. 12 to 14

In 3 Words

What three words would you use to describe your teaching experience so far?

Stephanie Grice
Grades 3-9, English and math,
École Citadelle, Legal
Sabrina Olivieri
Grade 2,
St. Anne School, Edmonton
Ibrahim Ibrahim
Kindergarten and Grade 1,
Evansdale School, Edmonton
Erin Barkwell
Grade 1 and music,
St. Anne School, Edmonton
Andre Bourassa
Grades 5-9, science and math,
Killam School
This is it!
Émilie Laroche
Grades 7-9, science, math and outdoor education,
École Michaëlle-Jean, Edmonton

Learned from Experience


Learned from Experience

Via the ATA Facebook page, veteran teachers share their helpful tips for beginning teachers.

Karen Nakaska
"Establish a healthy work-life balance. Flight attendants advise you to put on your own oxygen mask before attending to those who may need your help. You offer your best to others when you’re taking care of yourself."

Suzanne Lessard
"Write everything down! It takes forever the first year, but makes all the following years easy peasy."

Katherine Melnyk
"You are going to catch a lot of viruses the first year, so take the time to keep yourself healthy, get a flu shot, and try to have generic sick day plans ready. However, you will have an amazing immune system after the first year or so!"

Christine Campbell-Martens
"Relationship building is the key to learning. It is amazing what can be accomplished when a child feels loved."

Kelly Cashion
"Don’t be afraid to ask other teachers for help! From how to make a seating plan, how to deal with behaviour issues, or even just outright borrowing an entire project they’ve done with their own classes. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel!"

Deanna Rowley
"It’s better to get a good night’s sleep than to stay up until 2 a.m. prepping. One good day winging it is better than an epically bad day due to exhaustion."
Courtney Foote
"Learn to enjoy the discomfort and the unknown. It’s where most of the growth happens."

Jessica Kowbel
"Focus on purposeful and meaningful learning experiences. Don't settle for giving the students busy work."

Andrea Lynn

"Start a journal and write down quotes and anecdotes of the funny things kids say and do. So many of us veterans are often caught saying, “I could fill a book if I had started early …” Your notes will make you smile, during hard times or rough days, for years to come."

Rachel Elliott
"Don’t try to make sweeping changes to your teaching practice. Choose one thing and work on that until it's well incorporated into your routine and then choose your next thing."

Carolyn Dyck Pawelko
"If you have to choose between marking and pre-paring, do the prep. If you have to choose between prepping and sleeping, choose sleep."

Dan Grassick
"Embrace your inner geek! Sharing your interests and eccentricities with your students gives them per-mission to share who they are with you."

Donna Ross
"You will never forget your first year. Enjoy it! Be creative! Love your students!"

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