National Exposure - AGAIN! - for Co-operative Education Program
"Co-operative Education is an exploratory based program at Lewisporte Regional High School," says Barry Woolfrey, Co-operative Education Teacher. "Students taking this two-credit course spend time at various business/agencies to explore careers that are of interest to them." Those taking Co-operative Education have work time built into their time-table the same as math, language, or any other subject. Then, of course, when work time rolls around in their time-table, students go their respective ways to work and explore all avenues of their choice that are available to them.
Blair Hodder, a Level II student, had his work placement with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Inspections Branch, in Lewisporte. An article outlining Blair's involvement with Fisheries and Oceans appeared in the Career Opportunities bulletin published by the Co-operative Education office at the school and also forwarded to DFO, where it was placed in their quarterly newsletter, Infospection, which is distributed to their employees across Canada. This publication was devoted to student activities in the various regions of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Blair felt his job placement was a worthwhile and educational experience, however being recognized in a national newsletter was the "icing on the cake". One of last year's students, Mark Snow, was also recognized in January 1995 in the General Motors Service bulletin which goes to all General Motors technicians across the country.
The Co-operative Education program at Lewisporte Regional High School
is now in its second year. Fourteen students completed the program last
year and another 14 are currently enrolled.
On July 8, 1996, Ms. Pamela Jane MacMillan, a Grade 6 French Immersion teacher at Gander Middle School, arrived in a tiny riverain village on the Pomeroon River located on the Essequibo Coast, Guyana, South America, called Charity. From the moment she arrived, she was overwhelmed by unfamiliar sights, smells and sounds as she realized the feeling of being a visible minority the only white face in a sea of black, curious, on-lookers as she walked down the narrow roads lined with locals selling their wares which ranged from pencils to Pampers.
The six-member Canadian team, of which Ms. MacMillan was the only Newfoundlander, travelled to Charity with a mandate to address the needs of unqualified and underqualified teachers in this area of Guyana, some as young as 16 years old.
A two-week seminar focusing on subject areas such as language arts, mathematics, science, physical education, guidance and administration, meant a rigorous schedule which included six classes daily from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for 180 participants.
Ms. MacMillan was responsible for the science portion of the seminar with general objectives to provide the participants with practical, hands-on activities and experiments to make learning science an act of discovery, using simple, available resources to demonstrate the principles of gravity, levers, magnets and the solar system.
Here, Ms. MacMillan and her colleagues shared the latest teaching strategies
and methodologies to enable their Guyanese counterparts to return to their
own classrooms and improve the educational experience of their pupils. Project
Overseas is an initiative co-sponsored by the Canadian Teachers' Federation
(CTF), the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association (NLTA), the Canadian
International Development Agency (CIDA), and the Guyanese Teachers' Union
By taking the time to observe the things around them, a sense of wonder has been sparked in many students at St. Clare's Junior High School. After adopting a school pet, "Spidey", and watching each day in hopes of seeing a web spun, the students' interest in other aspects of nature was stimulated and led to the setting up of a terrarium and a vermiculture community.
These mini-ecosystems enabled the students to have hands-on experience with the metamorphosis of a butterfly and composting, using red wigglers. The topic of decomposers was reinforced as the contents of a rotting log made Grade 8 students squirm and squeal when they uncovered beetles, millipedes, wood lice and fungi.
The Grade 8 students travelled to Carbonear Pond and a nearby beach on October 15, 16 and 17 with science teacher Ms. C. Connolly, to further study the environment and reinforce the concepts of the Environmental Interactions unit in science. There they recorded temperatures, amount of sunlight, soil types, animals present and other pertinent information. Together with the discovery of starfish, sea urchins, seaweed, mayfly nymphs, water boatmen and other specimens, this interaction with nature heightened the students' understanding of the community concept and made their learning more meaningful.
Katie O'Connell, a student from Matthew Elementary in Bonavista, is the winner of the 1996 NLTA Christmas Card Contest. The theme for the 1996 contest was "Christmas is for Sharing".
Katie received a $75 cash award for her winning entry. Second place went to Adam Keeping, Amalgamated Academy, Bay Roberts, and third place to Colin Walsh, St. Patrick's Elementary, Bay Bulls.
Each year the Communications Committee of the NLTA chooses the theme and judges all entries for the Christmas Card Contest. The winning design appears on the NLTA's official Christmas card which is sent to schools, businesses and other groups.
The theme for the 1997 contest is "John Cabot's Christmas" which is open to all Grade 5 students. The deadline for this year's contest is December 31, 1996.
Normand Lapointe elected CEA President
Normand Lapointe was elected President of the Canadian Education Association at the annual general meeting held October 4th during the CEA convention in St. John's.
Mr. Lapointe is the Director General of the Commission scolaire du Goéland, in La Prairie, Québec. This school board, in the Metropolitan Montreal area, has 16,000 students and 36 schools, centres for vocational training and adult education as well as in-service business training.
Before assuming his current position in 1986, he had been Director General of the Commission scolaire régionale Lignery since 1977. Previously, Mr. Lapointe worked for 14 years as principal and assistant principal in secondary schools within the Commission scolaire régionale de Chambly.
The CEA President holds a B.A., a B.Ed. and a graduate diploma in educational administration from the Université de Montreal. He has also pursued graduate studies there in comparative education.
The Canadian Education Association is the only national and apolitical organization that brings together, and provides practical services to everyone involved in education. The CEA has one central purpose to promote the improvement of education. For more information, contact: Normand Lapointe, Directeur général, Commission scolaire du Goéland, 50, boulevard Taschereau, La Prairie, Québec, J5R 4V3, Tel: 514-444-4484, Fax: 514-659-4195.
During the 1995-96 school year, a co-operative education student exchange program took place through the organization of Co-operative Education teachers, Ms. Roberta Fuller, at The Cobourg District Collegiate Institute West, Cobourg, Ontario; Ms. Barbara Anne O'Keefe, at St. Kevin's High School; and Mr. Brian Vardy, at Bishops College in St. John's.
During the Easter Break (April 2nd16th), nine students from St. Kevin's Religion Co-operative Program and five students from Bishops College Career Education Program, travelled to Cobourg, Ontario, and stayed with students from West's co-operative program.
They worked 80 hours during their stay, at job placements similar to placements held in Newfoundland. On the weekends, they went to Ottawa and visited all the sites in the Capital, visited Niagara Falls, and went to Toronto. They returned home with the understanding that the teenagers they met are just like them.
On May 7th, 13 co-op students and Ms. Fuller from the West's co-operative program came to St. John's. The students were given placements within the arts community, in schools, with publishers, fisheries and mining. While here, the students met St. John's Mayor John Murphy, Premier Brian Tobin, visited Hibernia and all historical sites of the Avalon. On their last night they were treated to a evening of iceberg and whale watching in Bay Bulls and were provided with a traditional Newfie supper and an Honourary Newfie Ceremony. As one student wrote, "I feel like I am a Newfoundlander, the joy and friendship I felt has been a once in a lifetime experience". Some students said they wanted to return to visit again or to complete post-secondary school.
This interprovincial co-operative exchange was the beginning of many new friendships and experiences. It was not only a learning experience about jobs, skills and the lives of other teenagers, but also a co-operative experience between school boards, teachers, students, cities, businesses and provinces.
Sister Madeleine Guerrette, R.S.R., was awarded her Retirement Scroll from the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association during the 1996 graduation ceremonies on May 31, 1996, by Dennis Normore, Vice-President of the Northern Light Branch. Retiring in Mont-Joli, Quebec, Sister Madeleine will be missed by everyone in the communities in which she served.
Her teaching career began in 1964 and, in 1973, Sister Madeleine moved to West Ste. Modeste, Labrador, and devoted 23 years to education in the community. She has dedicated many extra hours to the young people. She first organized youth social evenings in the early 1970s, for teenagers who did not have places to gather or any coached sports events
She introduced the Girl Guides Movement, from Brownies to the Pathfinders level, where she held the position of District Commissioner for many years. She was the Choir Director on Sundays, making sure that singing was the highlight of the celebrations.
All teachers who have known Sister Madeleine, during her 23 years at Our Lady of Labrador School, recognized in her a dedicated and discreet teacher, a jolly person, especially deeply loved by all her students. Students and colleagues wish her well in her retirement.
Melanie Tomsons of Pasadena Academy, Pasadena, was the winner of a $600 prize for her essay Censorship or Responsibility? (Provincial and Western Region) in the 1995-96 High School Legal Essay Competition sponsored by the Law Foundation of Newfoundland. $400 prizes were awarded to Kelly Lockyer of St. Joseph's Academy, Lamaline, (Central Region) for her essay Women and Pornography; Ricky Cullen of Roncalli Central High School, Avondale, (Eastern Region) for his essay, Stricter Parole and Mandatory Supervision Laws are Necessary; and Michele Cooper of Eric G. Lambert High School, Churchill Falls, (Labrador Region) for her essay, A Marriage License is not a License to Abuse. The schools of the winning students were also presented matching cash prizes to purchase legal materials for their libraries.
The Law Foundation is sponsoring its 1996-97 14th Annual Legal Essay Competition for submission of essays of not less that 750 words by February 14, 1997. The prize structure has been amended to provide for First and Second Honourable Mentions for all four districts. Students and schools are encouraged to participate in this Competition. If further information is required, please contact: Lawrence E. Collins, Executive Director, The Law Foundation of Newfoundland, Murray Premises, Second Floor, P.O. Box 5907, St. John's, NF, A1C 5X4, Tel: 709-754-4424.
Teachers experience science through Teacher Trek
For four days in August a group of primary and elementary teachers from around Newfoundland were immersed in hands-on science during the first Teacher Trek held by the Newfoundland Science Centre. These self proclaimed "scientifically challenged" teachers spent four fun-filled days in the secluded Max Simms Camp near Bishops Falls. Each day, a guest scientist took them into the field for a real dig in and try it science. Along with "curriculum connection" sessions and evening science entertainment, the teachers and staff enjoyed late night slurs on science during the star parties and camp fire sing-alongs.
Sponsored by Merck Frosst Canada, the program was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by both teachers and guest scientists. Participant Basil Durdle of Matthew Elementary, Bonavista, said "I wish all teachers could appreciate what we went through this week!" The program will be offered again next Summer. For further information, contact: Newfoundland Science Centre, 114 Empire Avenue, St. John's, NF, A1C 3G2; Tel: 709-754-0823, Fax: 709-738-3276 or check the homepage nsc.nfld.comm.