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Archive for the ‘Bachelor of Education’

Quick Tip For Tomorrow: Snap Cube Factors 0

Posted on February 09, 2015 by Allison Dyjach

We all know that getting students to learn the factors that go into a multiplied product can be a tricky task, and simply writing out a list, reading it out loud, and trying to memorize it by rote is not going to help a student truly understand what this “factor” thing even is. This past week, I was blown away by this seemingly simple task that my mathematics curriculum professor handed to us. With only a set of snap cubes and a number line, my fellow teacher candidates and I were completely engaged in this problem solving activity.


Phase 1 complete; all of our factors lined up!

First, each group of 4 was given a bag of snap cubes and a number line drawn out on a strip of chart paper. Then, we hear, “blue cubes represent the number 2. Put a blue cube on every number where 2 is a factor.” Simple enough. Next, we move on to green, which is 3, yellow for 4, red for 5, and so on up to 10. We stack all of the cubes on top of each other to make a bright and interactive representation of all of the factors for numbers 1-24.

Now, here is where the brain switches its function and the real application comes in. We are told to keep all of the cubes connected as they are, but shuffle them around and mix them up for a minute, and then…place them back on each correct space, just as they were. This was a little bit more difficult than anticipated, but eventually by working through each number and finding the relationships between the different colours (as well as some prompting questions from the professor…), we were able to get the model back to its original state.


Phase 2: time for some problem solving!

After leaving class, I knew I had to share this activity. What a rich learning task for students and a great way to dissect what is actually behind a factor and a product. The only way to truly learn and understand math is to manipulate its components, apply them and problem solve with them. I could see an entire lesson being based on this activity, because if it was able to get a bunch of 20-something teacher candidates’ brains working in overdrive, I’m sure it could be just as engaging in a younger classroom.

Do you have any go-to activities when you tackle factors with your students? Would you use this activity in your class? Share your thoughts with us in the comments or send a tweet our way @RookieTeacherCA!


Allison Dyjach is a Faculty of Education student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @AllisonDyjach, or follow more of her Bachelor of Education experiences on Instagram @allisondyjach

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Teaching from the Thinking Heart 0

Posted on November 06, 2014 by Sarah

Nothing has been more transformational to my teaching practice than my experience with a Tribes certified instructor for my year long Teacher Education/B.Ed year. Though some people come out with a mixed experience when they pursue Tribes certification, it is certainly a course that whole heartedly depends on the instructor. I was fortunate to have someone who deeply understood the Tribes philosophy, a holistic approach to teaching that nurtured individuals, fostered positive social interactions and grew community.  Moreover, I had Gail for an entire year, not just the handful of hours it takes to get the Tribes Basics training.

teaching heart

Not only did Gail have a direct impact on my teaching strategies, she encouraged me to pursue my Masters at OISE and highly recommended a course with Jack Miller, all of which has led to this post. Jack is a leader in holistic education with almost 40 years of experience in the field. In his course, which I optimistically wrote about with the Rookie Teacher here, we practiced meditation daily, participated in various visualization exercises, kept a journal of reflections, gave mini workshops practicing our holistic approaches and had an authentic Chinese tea ceremony, always sitting in a circle. Our final assignment was a reflection piece on Holistic education and our experiences with it thus far. Needless to say, mine centered around my year with Gail. A few months after the course had completed, Jack e-mailed me asking if he could publish my final paper in his next book.

Fast forward 2 years and it’s here: Teaching from the Thinking Heart – The Practice of Holistic Education. I’m obsessed with the cover art. I’m chapter 4: Tribes – A Transformative Tool for the 21st Century. The book itself is also quite innovative for its narrative content. As an academic text used predominantly in courses, it is quite rare to have something written in the first-person. This further speaks to the Holistic approach, validating teachers’ and people’s experiences for what they are, no citations required. As such, this book is very approachable for non-academic readers as it’s not bogged down in scientific or educational jargon.

The foreword by Nel Noddings (so awesome!) speaks to the recognition of our current context of standardized curricula, objectives and evaluations and the stigma surrounding the mere mention of the word ‘soul’. Teaching to the head. But throughout the book you gain confidence and insight into the practice of teaching to the body, mind and spirit. Our students are more than just heads, their humans with emotions. As educators we must find the courage to stand up for Holistic curriculum, nurture the soul and work to make each moment in our students’ lives loving and joyful.

Copies of the book can be ordered from here or by contacting me personally.



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Practicum: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 016 0

Posted on October 07, 2014 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha meet again with our newest contributor, Allison, to record another episode of The Lounge Podcast.  We have been asked to speak about the time in our preservice year — and specifically what it means to be in the practicum portion of the B.Ed year.

We would like to thank Matt Honsberger for the topic suggestion.  If you have any questions that you would like answered – comment below, send us an email (info@therookieteacher.ca), @reply on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, or join us over on Facebook.

Watch the episode live, thanks to YouTube & Google On-Air Hangouts or search for the audio podcast on the iTunes Podcast directory.

Quick Tip for Tomorrow

  • Andrew: talking about descriptive language -like when making gingerbread cookies!
  • Natasha: velcro dots!
  • Allison: using Pop songs in Music class — simplify & go

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Long Range Math folio

Quick Shout Outs

  1. Please join us and 671 others (+ counting…) on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher — join in our collaboration project by asking your burning questions.
  2. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 1019 pins and 3392 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
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Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project.

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca.

Allison: comment on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher or on this blog post.

RookieTeacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

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Field Trip in a Bag 0

Posted on October 05, 2014 by Allison Dyjach

“Effective teachers of science can use a discovery approach, which emphasizes 1) a positive attitude 2) the science process skills, and 3) a hands on approach.”

-Michael Bentley, Christine Ebert, Edward Ebert; The Natural Investigator: a Constructivist Approach to Teaching Elementary and Middle School Science

Recently, my science and technology professor took us on a field trip out to a conservation area down the road from our university. When we arrived to the park, we were each given one Ziploc freezer bag full of supplies and were told to stand in a circle.

“So everyone, this is all you need to get students interested in science,” our professor began. “This bag is all you need, and you will be able to get your students engaging in all of their senses, asking questions and guiding their own learning, and truly exploring the world around them.”

I have to say for the next hour and a half, I was completely enthralled in the lessons and ideas that our professor was sharing with us. It is so easy to get scared about leading a science field trip because most of us wouldn’t call ourselves “nature experts.” I for one am not even close to knowing the name of every tree species in the forest, every birdcall that I hear, or every wild flower that I see–but I do know that nature is beautiful. And I do know that there are many incredible things to explore if we just look a little bit closer at the ground below us.

Below is a list of some activities that I learned on my field trip that involve minimal to no supplies, can be done in any outdoor space (even the school playground!) and can be led by anyone, even if you are the farthest thing from a “nature expert.”


Nature Scattegories

Opening Activities:

  • Treasure Hunt: When students arrive, let them take some time to walk around and find an object that “excites” them.  When they all have an item, get them to describe their item to a partner and show off their newfound collection. Next, instruct students to find as close of a match as possible to their partner’s item and compare.
  • Adjective Hunt: Come up with 2-3 adjectives (depending on your grade) and  tell your students that they must find an object that fits those words. Get them to share with you and their peers why they chose it, and why they think the object fits with those words (oral communication and descriptive language skills!). Some examples include bumpy, small, smooth, round, short, soft.

Giving students the opportunity to find what they want allows students to be in control of their own learning, and starts the day off with a student-centered learning environment.

What’s in the Bag?

Texture samples: Find some pieces of fabric or paper with different textures on them (eg. felt, corduroy, sand paper, burlap etc) and put one in each student’s bag. Get students to search around to find something in nature that matches their texture.


Pipe Cleaner Frame

Mini clipboards and list games: Using cardboard and a clothespin, create a clipboard for your students. Create games such as “nature scattegories” (find something in this space that starts with each letter of the alphabet), nature by numbers (find something in this space that has a number pattern in it, example: 6 legs on an insect, 5 petals on a flower, 4 wings on a butterfly), or nature rainbow (find something in this space that matches every colour of the rainbow). Think about keeping their answers and transferring them to a bulletin board display in the classroom.

Toilet paper tubes: Using tape and string, create binoculars for students to use. It is sometimes amazing how a simple prop can lead students to whole new level of excitement and engagement.

Pipe cleaner: With just a few bends, a pipe cleaner can turn into a magnifying glass or a picture frame for an interesting find in the environment. Students can choose a scene in nature that they like and share with others what they see in their frame.


Painting with Nature

Paint chips: Finding an object in nature that matches a paint chip can be a tricky task, but allows students to see how complex and detailed our environment really can be.

Bird calls: Find a variety of different phonetic bird calls online (great website here), create 2 or 3 little papers of each, and put one in each bag. Get students to find the other birds in their species by calling out the sound. Afterwards, discuss why birds use their calls, why they all have different calls, if students hear any calls where they live etc.

Deli container, mesh, and wire: Use the wire to attach the mesh to the hole in the lid, and voila, you have a new habitat! Students can catch bugs, caterpillars, or just collect objects that they like while on your trip. Having something that they can call their own fosters passion and excitement for what they are learning about.


Perfect holder for new treasures

All of these items are simple to find and can lead into some great science discovery with your students. These activities might not fit with the exact curriculum requirement that you are trying to cover, but think of them as jumping off points that can be easily modified to fit different themes by follow up discussions, questions, or activities (eg. classifying the objects that they have found in different activities by size or colour, discussing if an object is living or non-living). They can also be jumping off points for activities to be done in the classroom. At least a dozen kids will ask questions about something that they found that you don’t know the answer to. But instead of being stunned by a surprise question, it is really just another learning opportunity that can be continued throughout your science unit.

It’s not enough to just teach science in the classroom. Kids need to go outside, discover using their senses, and see what makes the earth the way it is. Take your kids outside, let them explore, and let them see for themselves all of the beauty that nature has to offer them.

What are some of your favourite nature games for students? Share with us your go to activities and supplies for science field trips!


“Field Trip in a Bag”

And a special thanks to Diane Lawrence from Queen’s University for all of the ideas that went into this post, and the inspiring field trip!

Allison Dyjach is a Faculty of Education student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Connect with her on Twitter @AllisonDyjach, or follow more of her Bachelor of Education experiences on Instagram @allisondyjach

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A Rookie Introduction: Our Newest Contributor…Allison Dyjach 0

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Allison Dyjach

Hello there! My name is Allison Dyjach and I am in the process of completing my Bachelor of Education in the Primary-Junior stream at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Although teaching wasn’t the original career path that I had in mind several years ago, working with children has always been a passion of mine. Throughout my teen years I volunteered at day camps being run at church and worked at a summer camp for several years. I recently completed my Bachelor of Applied Science at the University of Guelph in Child, Youth, and Family Studies with a minor in Psychology. Over my four years at Guelph, I was able to explore several aspects of child development and learning, get some experience working with many different populations of children and teens, and eventually discovered that I have a love of education and teaching—which led to me to pursue a Bachelor of Education degree.

Allison Dyjach

Some specific interests of mine, based on my experiences in the education field, include teaching mathematics, special education, working with English Language Learners, and using music in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, a few of my hobbies include all things music (singing, playing guitar, musical theatre, concerts and shows…I love it all!), writing, exploring nature, cooking, and social media. You can follow me on Twitter @AllisonDyjach to see what I’m up to!

Over the next eight months, I hope to provide you with some commentary, insights, and stories from my “Teacher’s College Experience!” For those of you interested in joining the teaching profession or currently completing a degree in education, perhaps I can be a support to you as you go through this journey, and you can in turn share your thoughts with me. After all, I am not an expert by any means; I would love to hear what some of your experiences and questions are as well. And for those of you who are past the formal education stage of your lives, I’m hoping these words can prompt you to either reflect back on some of the learning you did during your BEd days, share your wisdom with a “Rookie, Rookie Teacher” like me, or just sit back and listen to some of the memories, quotations, and resources that are sparking my attention as I move through the process of learning what it takes to stand on the other side of the desk.

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Ask a Rookie: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 14 (season 2) 0

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Natasha

rookie-logo-podcastOn today’s show, Andrew and Natasha meet again to record another episode of The Lounge Podcast.  But this time, we are joined by Rookie Team Member Sarah Lowes to answer questions from a soon-to-be Faculty of Education student, Allison Dyjach.  She asks us everything from our time at teacher’s college to tips on grade 6 drama to keeping a work-life balance.  

If you have any questions that you would like answered – comment below, send us an email (info@therookieteacher.ca), @reply on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, join us over on Facebook.

Watch the episode live here, thanks to YouTube & Google On-Air Hangouts or search for the audio podcast on the iTunes Podcast directory.

Whole Class Assessment

Whole Class Assessment, A.Blake

Quick Tip for Tomorrow 

  • Allison: Silent Ball!
  • Andrew: Full class assessment (*note: laminate*)
  • Natasha: Google Drive > Documents > Tools > Research (right within the document!!)
Google Docs Tools Research

Google Docs Tools Research

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Quick Shout Outs

  1. We want to take a moment and thank everyone for continuing to support our site – we have reached over 12,500 visitors. Thank you !
  2. We hope you continue to watch for Natasha who is co-moderating the #ntchat with Lisa Dabbs – on Wednesday nights at 8:00pm ESTJoin me at New Teacher Chat #ntchat
  3. Please join us and 307 others on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  4. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins) – we are up to 850 pins and 3177 followers on our collab board – let us know if you’d like to contribute.
  5. If you believe in what we’re doing & want to support our team, we have FREE buttons available – send us a FB message, tweet, or email and we will get one out to you ASAP!

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Andrew: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, or email me Andrew@TheRookieTeacher.ca, I am currently focusing on pinterest as my social media project.

Natasha: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @yoMsDunn, or email me Natasha@TheRookieTeacher.ca.

Sarah: I blog at TheRookieTeacher.ca, follow me on twitter @sarlowes.

Allison: Follow on twitter @AllisonDyjach.

RookieTeacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

About Allison:

Hi my name is Allison Dyjach and I am in my fourth and final year of my undergraduate degree in Child, Youth, and Family studies with a minor in Psychology at the University of Guelph. My love for working with children began when I started working at summer camp at 16 and since then I have worked with people of all ages including working as a don in residence, running extracurricular activities for English language learners at my university, and helping to run a recreational therapy program for seniors. I discovered my real passion for education when I had a 6-month practicum placement in a grade 6/7 class which led me to apply for teacher’s college. I currently work full time as a co-op teaching assistant at the Child Care and Learning Centre at the University of Guelph, which is a daycare on campus for children 16 months old to 6 years old.

Her Questions for us:

  • If you had one tip of how to make the most of teacher’s college, what would it be? What do you think is the best way to make the most of the program and experience?
  • During my school placement I always found English a difficult subject to teach. Kids would often give me their pieces that they were working on to proof read, and after reading some of them I knew they didn’t meet the standards of grade 6 writing, but I found it really challenging to essentially teach kids how to be better writers. I could tell them to expand their ideas or write in longer sentences, but that didn’t usually do the trick. Do you have any strategies that you use to improve student’s writing to meet the standards that you’re looking for?
  • From my experiences, when students start to get older in grades 6, 7, and 8 that also means that all of the drama starts in the classroom. Students gossip about each other, exclude people, are friends one day and enemies the next…how do you try to maintain a drama free classroom?
  • Do you have an ideal desk setup in your classroom? Do you always like to keep your students in groups or individual, or does it vary for every class or even for different times of the year?
  • Something I struggled with when I had my teaching placement was bringing my problems from work home with me. When I was working with a student with some serious behaviour difficulties in the class I would find myself getting stressed out about it and spending my nights racking my brain for better strategies to work with them, or if they had a bad day in class it could put me in a bad mood for the entire night. What are some ways to combat bringing that stress home with you and maintaining a proper work-life balance?
  • I always hear from people that as soon as you get into teaching you should work on getting ABQ’s right away. Are there one or two ASQ’s that you absolutely recommend or think are essential for a new teacher to get?

Quick Tip

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Development Resources for Teachers 0

Posted on July 01, 2012 by Natasha

I really enjoy getting email from our readers…recently I received an email from a reader and fellow online collaborator.  She helps out with BestCollegesOnline.com. In mid-June they published an article called 50 Excellent Online Professional Development Resources for Teachers and thought that Rookie readers might like to take a look.

We’re all about sharing resources – if you are a contributor or run a site related to teaching and education we would love to hear from you.  Please email us at info@TheRookieTeacher.ca.  Thank you Shirley for your email, and happy teaching!



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Being a Rookie means Being Busy 1

Posted on May 03, 2012 by Natasha

3 février 1975 ...  flickr: Môsieur J. [version 7.0.1]

"3 février 1975 ..." || flickr.com: Môsieur J.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

When you’re a Rookie with your 1st class…you’re awfully busy!

<wait for it>


In my opinion – it’s a good thing.

It means you’ve done at least 3 things:

  1. You worked really hard to get a Long Term Occasional or Permanent job (university, more university, AQ courses, resume building, interview prep, volunteering, networking, etc…)
  2. You’re working really hard to engage students in rich learning tasks, foster a love of lifetime learning, build community in your classroom, motivate students to be leaders and collaborate in a variety of subject areas, and reflecting on your practices as a teacher (this lesson worked, this one could have used ____, next time I’ll probably leave out _____, etc…)
  3. You’re maintaining your reputation, building new professional learning networks, and getting involved in your school community

So, if things are a little slow around TheRookieTeacher.ca … you know why… we’re busy little beavers.

We would love to hear your stories…How do you find the new workload? How are you preparing for a new job? Let us know in the comment section below.

ps. please feel free to pass this blog post along to your friends/family members who haven’t seen you in a while (maybe they’ll better understand life as a new teacher)

<See you in The Lounge>

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Finding the Beauty in Education: My Time as an Educational Assistant 0

Posted on February 04, 2012 by Natasha

One of the great things about running an online community like TheRookieTeacher.ca is that we get to hear feedback from all over the province, country, and the world!  This week we heard from Dante Luciani who asked to share his story about being an EA & the experiences leading him to teaching:

Everyone is different. It is one of the many beautiful aspects of mankind. Everyone is blessed with abilities and face their own challenges. Although at times it seems some face more challenges than others.  For a year and a half I worked with students who faced many challenges, physically, mentally, and emotionally. As an Educational Assistant my job was to educate these students in basic life skills and to modify curriculum expectations to allow them to learn to their full potential. This quickly became the most rewarding experience of my entire life and taught me invaluable lessons that will no doubt assist me as a teacher in the future.

The students I worked with were identified with a number of exceptionalities placed over the entire special education spectrum. The students’ needs varied a great deal. Some students just needed guidance in an inclusive classroom whereas others required a great deal of support and assistance, sometimes the care of up to three EAs. Having myself been a young student that was assisted by an EA, I understood much of the frustration that some of these students felt. With this in mind I knew how far positive encouragement and support could go. Given their circumstances, these students have experienced much difficulty in the classroom often combined with feelings of exclusion.  Providing these students with a positive learning environment goes a long way in helping them feel included in the classroom and the school community. Nevertheless, the students who were of much higher needs required far more than just a positive learning environment to reach their full potential. Many of the students in our Life Skills classroom required much attention and assistance with basic tasks such as communication, feeding and toileting. I was to care for students in ways I never thought I would. It was definitely a learning experience and one that will make me a better person. The high-needs students’ curriculum consisted of learning basic life skills that will allow them to one day possibly be able to assist themselves. The challenges that these students face each day are unimaginable to me. Both the students as well as their families possess a rare strength that many of us could not imagine having. It was the most rewarding experience to see these students accomplish such basic tasks. Everyday tasks that we so often take for granted such as repeating a sentence or taking a bite out of a sandwich on their own became accomplishments that deserved much celebration. Seeing these children learn and develop right before your very eyes was one of the best feelings you could feel and ensured me that there is nowhere else that I would rather be than in education.

photo: D.Luciani

photo: D.Luciani

Over that year and a half, I learned the art of patience and saw its importance in the classroom. Every student is wired differently. They each work in different ways and at different paces. As teachers it is important that we understand and appreciate these differences because that is what makes everyone special. It is amazing what we can accomplish with a little guidance and positive support. I learned more from these students than they could possibly have learned from me. Working with these students created the most genuine positive environment to work in and I will forever be grateful for this experience.

So, next time you are faced with a student who is becoming a challenge for you, try embracing their differences and showing them a little care. You never know what other challenges they face on their own…….. A little love goes a long way!

Dante Luciani, Blog
Twitter: @dlearn12

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Leave the rest to God.

People might forget what you said.

People might forget what you did.

People will never forget how you made them feel.

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Life as a B.Ed Student in Manitoba 2

Posted on January 26, 2012 by Natasha

One of the great things about running an online community like TheRookieTeacher.ca is that we get to hear feedback from all over the province, country, and the world!  This week two pre-service teachers from Manitoba got in touch with us and wanted to share their story.  Here’s what they had to say about attending a Bachelor of Education program:

Life as a B.Ed. Student in Manitoba
Hi, we are Mary Bertram and Taryn Deroche and we are both Bachelor of Education students at the University of Manitoba. After speaking to students from other universities across Canada we noticed there are similarities and differences to be found in teacher training programs across the country. We thought we would share some thoughts and insights into the Bachelor of Education program we are currently enrolled in.

University of Manitoba on Map

Photo: Google Maps

Currently, the B.Ed. program at the University of Manitoba is under review, with a new program planning to be implemented in the next few years. Until then, the B.Ed. program is an After-Degree program that is organized into specific education streams: Early (grade k-4), Middle (grade 5-8), and Senior Years (grade 9-12). In addition to these three streams, they also offer Weekend College program (grade 5-8) and an Integrated Bachelor of Music / Bachelor of Education program. The number of teacher candidates accepted to the program annually is as follows: Early (70), Middle (70), Senior Years (140). The Weekend College program accepts 35 students every three years.

When you apply to the B.Ed. program, you must have a teachable major and minor that satisfies your stream selection. In addition, applicants must also satisfy breadth requirements in English and/or French literature, social studies (history or geography), and science/math. For your application, you must write a statement of interest in teaching, as well as participate in a written skills exercise (essay on an assigned topic in 45 minutes). Three referees or references are also necessary and they must fill out specific forms sent directly to admissions for review. However, points for admission are based solely on GPA (45 points) and the written skills exercise (20 points).Both of us are in the Early years’ stream, which allows us to become specialized to teach kindergarten to grade 4. However, once we are certified teachers we are allowed to teach any grade from K – 12. Our program takes two years to complete in Manitoba. With each year consisting of 9 weeks of classes starting in September followed by 6 weeks of practicum experience and then again with 9 weeks of classes starting in January followed by 6 weeks practicum experience. We spend the two years attending lectures with the same 35 students commonly called your cohort. Once you are in your practicum school you are usually with two or three other students from the University of Manitoba B.Ed. program. During our time in the B.Ed. program we have been required to take courses in: Educational Psychology, Aboriginal Education, Special Education/Diversity Education, Social Studies, Literacy, Math, Science, Technology, School and Society, Art and Drama, Physical Education, and Music. This broad base of academic subjects has allowed us to develop the generalist skills required for teaching in the elementary grades. Every effort is made to place students with experienced teachers as to provide the best possible guidance to teacher candidates. In addition to the cooperating teacher there is a faculty advisor who is there to support and guide students through their practicum experience. Both of us have been lucky enough to be partnered with amazing cooperating teachers and faculty advisors who have helped us grow into the best teachers we can be.  For us, we believe the best part of our B.Ed. program is the

Moleskineh by Amir Kuckovic, FlickrCC.net

photo: Moleskineh by Amir Kuckovic, FlickrCC.net

relationships that we have been able to establish personally and professionally within the faculty, our early years’ cohort, advisors, and with our partnered practicum schools. Although we only have four teaching blocks, with two in each practicum school, we believe that our consistent presence within each school gives us the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with administration, colleagues, collaborating teachers, and most of all our students. Within our program itself, there are faculty members at the University of Manitoba who we hold so much respect for because of the initiatives that they take as teacher educators. They inspire us, intimidate us, and help push us to achieve success, try new things, and develop our philosophy as teacher candidates.

As young professionals we are able to become members of various special area groups for teachers in Manitoba. Once a year all the teachers in the province get the day off to attend professional development workshops held by these various organizations. We are both members of the Manitoba Association Multi-Age Educators (MAME, multiagemanitoba.org) and have greatly enjoyed going to various workshops they have held this past year. We look forward to exploring the other special area groups in the coming years as we progress in our teaching careers.

One of the things we have both found beneficial to our professional development in the field of education is learning about the online education community. Perhaps one of the most promising aspects of the use of social media for professional development is the ability to work collaboratively with educators from around the world. Without social media these partnerships would almost certainly be impossible or very difficult to establish. We have both joined Twitter in an effort to connect and learn from educators from around the world.

Although neither of us were expecting much, we have both found Twitter to be a great way to gather resources, get new ideas and meet other teachers! We have also found that reading other educators blogs is a wonderful way to start thinking critically about our own practice as educators. In addition to this Mary has found that blogging about her educational experiences has given her insight into her growth as a professional. We encourage all education students to start exploring the online education community and join in on all the amazing conversations that are happening each and every day!  With our initiative to be more than just B.Ed. students, we have been able to connect with each other, fellow teachers across the nation, and to the global education community as a whole. As we both prepare to look for jobs as teachers we have started to look back at our program and are thankful for the wonderful experiences we have had and the opportunities we have been given.

See us on #ntchat every Wednesday at 7:00pm CST!  If you want to learn more about the Bachelor of Education program at the University of Manitoba then check out:  umanitoba.ca/education.

If you want to learn more about us or connect with us you can find us at:

Mary Bertram
Taryn Deroche
Mary Bertram
@MLBertram  || mbertram2@gmail.com || prairieinspiration.wordpress.com
Early Years’ Stream, Cohort A21, Graduating 2012
Teachable Major: Biology
Teachable Minor: Psychology
Taryn Deroche
@TADeroche || taryn.deroche@gmail.com

Early Years’ Stream,Cohort A21, Graduating 2012
Teachable Major: History
Teachable Minor: ClassicalStudies

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