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The Rookie Teacher

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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BEd Alternatives: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 5 5

Posted on January 16, 2012 by Natasha

The Lounge is a biweekly podcast brought to you by TheRookieTeacher[dot]ca.

On this episode, four RookieTeachers discuss Bachelor of Education Alternatives: How are you using your BEd outside the classroom? With special guests Rebecca Jess and Rob Kempson, Natasha and Andrew investigate how Bachelor of Education graduates spend their time working outside of the classroom.  Listen in to learn how Rob manages his time between Occasional Teaching and working in the drama communities in Toronto and how Rebecca’s interest in the arts and summer camping has led her to a full time job as a Summer Camp Director.

Rob Kempson and Rebecca Jess

Guest: Rob Kempson and Rebecca Jess


Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Bachelor of Education Alternatives: How are you using your BEd outside the classroom?

Quick Tip for Tomorrow: Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: Procedural Writing using Origami
  • Rob: Super Sonic Simon Says
  • Rebecca: Grabbing Attention with Jingles (i.e., Sleep Country; Justin Bieber’s song Baby)
  • Natasha: WallWisher.com
The Rookie Resource Bank: any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.
Quick Shout Outs
  1. Happy New Year! 2012 is going to be a great year for TheRookieTeacher.ca.  Stay tuned, we have LOTS of amazing things planned.
  2. We reached our goal of 100 Likes (and counting) on Facebook.  Thank you for helping us spread the word about our page.  Please continue to share and post questions.
  3. Don’t forget about the great discussions happening on Twitter.  Edutopia with Lisa Dabbs host the #ntchat every Wednesday night from 8-9pm EST on twitter.

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

Thanks again so much to our guests:

Thanks for listening. Join us for our next episode when we discuss Life as a Prep/Rotary/”drop in” Teacher: When you only have 40-60 minutes.

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