Friday, September 26, 2014

Resources for start of school year

Welcome back to school and classes! We hope this week has been a great start to getting to know more about your classroom students and school community.

We’ve recently added Resources section to our website. Here you’ll find links to key tools you and your colleagues can use for planning your inquiry.  If you have new teachers in your school this year, particularly those beginning educators, these resources are a great place to start in connecting them to the inquiry process.  Did you know that Spirals of inquiry: for equity and quality is considered required reading for many teacher candidates at universities across BC? So new teachers may already have some experience with the inquiry process!

The First People’s Principles of Learning, developed by British Columbia’s First Nations Education Steering Committee, is a great resource to bring to share with staff at a meeting early in the school year.  These guiding principles can help to shape the pathways of learning for both staff and students throughout the school year.

We’ll soon add an Articles section to the Resources page on the website. We encourage you to share your suggestions for what should populate this space. Please contact us with your ideas!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Traditional Language Learning in Mission School District

We recently sent out the latest Network newsletter, highlighting a number of upcoming events, resources and research. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check it out now, or let us know if you’d like to be added to our email list to receive future editions. 
We have been so encouraged and inspired by the case studies that have been coming in over the last few months (see one great example here). Given the challenging circumstances of last spring and now this fall, we have decided to extend the deadline for submission of 2013-2014 case studies until October 15. Hopefully this will give every school a chance to share their inquiries and their findings. Templates for submitting case studies are available on the NOII website. NOII templates are here, and the AESN templates are here.

A student receives a Halq'emeylem translation
of her English name at Deroche Elementary.
—Image credit: Alina Konevski/Mission City Record

We’ll also keep you informed when more case studies are added to the website, but check back here often for case studies we will highlight, offering a treasure trove of ideas and strategies shared by your colleagues from BC and beyond.

Check out this awesome example from Mission School District (#75), which made the front page of the local newspaper back in February.  The story highlights how Mission has incorporated the teaching of the First Nation language Halq’eméylem, the traditional language of the Stó:lo people, into seven schools in the district. All students at the schools have the opportunity to engage in this language learning during regular class hours, taught by a language instructor who works side by side with the teacher. This project is part of the AESN transitions initiative, with Carolynn Schmor, aboriginal education principal with the district, sharing some of her remarks with us:

“I am astounded at the progress of the students already. We were doing a cultural day at the school and I was admiring some of the button blanket dolls some of the students were making when a few of them started speaking to me in Halq’eméylem. They taught me some greetings and words and when I struggled to keep up they told me I needed to connect with their teacher “Pepte”. He will teach you, they said. I went into another class and shared this story with the teacher and she asked her class to share a song with me in Halq’eméylem and they did!”

Despite the current challenges, there is a great deal to celebrate about the impact of your work with the NOII and AESN. Thank you!