Most of us have memories of a particular teacher who left a lasting impression that motivated, inspired and helped us to become a better person.
As we celebrate Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week in Saskatchewan, this is a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank our remarkable education professionals who are responsible for the growth and development of our students.
This year’s theme Inspiration through Learning celebrates the interactions between teacher and student, and how each can inspire each other to ensure students strive to reach their full potential.
Poet William Butler Yeats once remarked, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Truer words were never spoken. For many students, a passion for education is often ignited by an inspiring teacher.
There are many great stories in Saskatchewan about these influential figures, and the talent and dedication of educators like Joan Hill of the Lloydminster Catholic School Division.
Joan received the 2017 Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Arbos Award for Contributions to Education and the Teaching Profession – the highest honour that the Saskatchewan teaching profession can bestow.
Joan Hill with STF President Patrick Maze at the 2017 Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Arbos Awards
Joan began her career with the Lloydminster Catholic School Division in 1981, teaching Grade 3 and physical education for kindergarten to Grade 7 students. Over the past 16 years, Joan served as a Grade 5 teacher at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Lloydminster before retiring in June 2017. She devoted her time to numerous school sporting activities, became known for producing beautiful drama productions and Christmas concerts – illustrating her willingness to give her time and talent, and volunteered countless hours in the community while helping students better connect to volunteer opportunities.
Throughout her career, Joan’s incredible work had an undeniable positive effect on those around her. She has devoted her time to numerous school activities and is someone who teaches with creativity and strives to impart a sense of wonder and awe in her students.
For all of our education professionals, like Joan, it is much more than stepping into the classroom during school hours. Their efforts provide children with valuable programs, extra-curricular activities and extra help during breaks and after school. They also go above and beyond to teach kindness and build a student's confidence.
While it is true that teachers help to develop student success inside the classroom, there are many educators, such as principals, vice-principals, counsellors and teacher librarians, who deserve praise for their contributions to bettering the lives of students and improving literacy skills through engagement and relationship building.
Saskatoon’s École College Park School Principal Michael Bradford understands the importance of increasing learning outcomes for all students.
Principal Michael Bradford posing proudly with students at École College Park School in Saskatoon
Earlier this year, Michael was named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals from the Learning Partnership – a national charitable organization dedicated to support, promote and advance publicly funded education in Canada. Michael received this nationally recognized award for his work on building partnerships and inviting Elders and experts to deliver in-school programs to help Indigenous students re-connect with their culture.
At École College Park School, student engagement is tracked and staff work to ensure each student has a positive relationship with a trusted adult. These programs are offered to all students as part of an immersion experience called “Sharing Days.” Now, all students learn Pow Wow dancing, drumming, art, Métis fiddle and jigging, beadwork and singing. Staff participated in interactive workshops conducted by partnerships with provincial First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizations. Michael’s work in this area has positively impacted the school and community.
Stories like Joan Hill and Michael Bradford are great illustrations that show us that the success of our children's education is dependent on the expertise and dedication of our education staff.
Great educators inspire students – and inspired students are more excited to learn and participate.
To all of our teachers and education staff, thank you for your dedication in our children and our future.
Did you know?
Read the news release
- This is the 31st year that Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week has been celebrated in Saskatchewan.
- Teachers support more than 180,000 students in the province.
- There are approximately 13,000 school based educators – including teachers, principals, vice-principals, counsellors, and teacher librarians – employed in Saskatchewan.