March 23rd (7-8pm) - TEACHING TOUGH TOPICS with Larry Swartz
March 30th (7-8pm) - SHARING OUR LITERACY TEACHING JOURNEYS: An Online Panel Conversation with Recent B.Ed. Graduates
March 31st (7-8pm) - THE MINDFUL LITERACY TEACHER with Sarah Hunter
April 6th (7-8pm) - WEAVING A SOCIAL JUSTICE LENS INTO YOUR P/J CLASSROOM with Sarah Driessens
Introducing Our Panelists! (March 30th Event)
Room A: Literacy Learning in Kindergarten
Hello Everyone! My name is Katie Barr and I am an Elementary Teacher with the Near North District School Board. I graduated from Nipissing University in 2018 and landed a permanent teaching position at the end of the school year in 2021. My qualifications are in the Primary/Junior divisions with additional qualifications in Mathematics, Kindergarten, and Special Education. I am currently shared between two schools, teaching Kindergarten and math. When I graduated, I was very passionate about teaching primary. In fact, teaching Kindergarten was my dream! However, after three years of junior LTO’s, I quickly learned to love and appreciate the opportunities that came with teaching in the junior grades. Community involvement, coaching, and extracurriculars are important to me. They are the outlets that have allowed me to find balance between work and personal life by incorporating things that I am passionate about. My teaching journey has not been smooth. Yours likely won’t be either. There will be bumps in the road for you and for your students. The key is to find balance, to make time for yourself, to accept mistakes as learning opportunities, and to allow yourself to continue to grow through professional development. I look forward to ‘meeting’ you all soon!
Hello everyone! My name is Andrea Waine and I teach in my hometown of Sudbury, ON. I’m qualified to teach in the Primary/Junior divisions with additional qualifications in the areas of Kindergarten, Math, and Special Education. After graduating from Nipissing’s Bachelor of Education program in 2019, I was hired as an Occasional Teacher with the Rainbow District School Board (RDSB) and Sudbury Catholic District School Board. During my first year of teaching, I worked happily in daily assignments leading up to the school closures in the spring of 2020. In my second year of teaching, I worked in two separate LTO assignments covering Kindergarten Prep, Grade 2 and FDK in the remote learning program. This year, I was very pleased to get hired as a permanent teacher with the RDSB and currently teach Grade 2. I have a passion for working with students at the primary level, including the FDK program, and working with students with special needs. Although I did not anticipate beginning my teaching career at the beginning of a global pandemic, the challenges and experiences I’ve had over the past 3 years have been truly memorable. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every part of this adventure and I’m happy to share any tips or tricks I’ve acquired along the way!
Room B: French and Literacy
Hello everyone! My name is Raquel Branch and I graduated from Nipissing’s Faculty of Education last year in 2021. Right after school finished last year at the beginning of May, I started working for York Region District School Board (YRDSB) and I was finishing up the school year as a French Core LTO teacher. I started off the 2021- 2022 school year still with YRDSB teaching Grade 4 English, Math and Health in a French Immersion school before moving to the Toronto District School Board in November, as I received a contract to teach Grade 1/2 French Immersion. This has been quite the first year of teaching with all the moving around, however the learning and diversity found within my group of students has been extremely rewarding. Some of the professional learning that I was engaged in while in YRDSB as well as TDSB is called the Tech Selection Tool, that requires educators to intentionally, thoughtfully and purposefully select texts that are representative of the classroom communities that they belong to. Part of this learning allowed us to explore the graphic that showed over 80% of books are written with the main characters being either animals or white protagonists. As both a racialized and newly graduating teacher now working in Canada’s most diverse school board, my piece of advice to share with you is to really make sure that you are selecting books that not only represent your class, but also expose your students to a variety of cultures and protagonists who are not animals or white, regardless of where you end up in the province or country. In regards to a French focus, I really need to search hard to find resources that are written in French for my students. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all!
Hi! I'm Kayla Harris and I'm in my third year of teaching, all of which have involved French. I graduated from Nipissing in 2019 and moved out to Ottawa for a year where I had an LTO in French immersion kindergarten classroom. I then decided to move back and settle in North Bay, where I started with the Near North board and took an LTO teaching primary core French for the virtual school. I then began this school year with a French kindergarten LTO, then was moved to a French ¾ class after a re-org, and then moved once more into a French ½ class which I am currently teaching. I definitely enjoy teaching French, but also have interest in a lot of other areas. I've taken AQs in French, alternative education, Special Education, and am pursuing my kindergarten specialist. I have learned a lot about developing literacy skills in students who are learning French as a second language and am looking forward to sharing what I know!
Hello! My name is Cassandra Mallory or Cassie! I work for the Thames Valley District School board and I teach Grade 5/6 as well as French to the Grade 7/8 and Grade 4 students in my school. I live and teach just outside of Parkhill, Ontario (close to Grand Bend). I graduated from McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Music and performance degree and a French minor in 2016 and then from Nipissing University with my B.Ed. in 2018. During my time at Nipissing, I participated in the NU Reads Literacy program and was a tech assistant for the Ed. Program. I love to teach math and have spent the majority of my post-Nipissing time building my math skills/taking math AQ courses. I have been teaching French in either a French Immersion or core setting for the last 4 years and I am a big believer that everyone is capable of learning the language. I look forward to speaking with you all!
Room C: Preparing for Interview Questions About Your Language Arts Program
Hi everyone, my name is Emma! I am in my first full year of teaching and graduated from Nipissing in 2021 in the primary/junior division. My first position was a virtual grade 1 LTO with Ottawa Catholic School Board last spring. I always knew I wanted to branch out and potentially work in other areas of Canada. When I got offered a grade 2 continuing position in British Columbia, I was very excited for a new adventure and decided to move out west. Now I currently hold both an Ontario and British Columbia Teaching Certificate. I am very excited to be a panelist this year!
Hello Everyone! My name is Carly Gibson and I graduated from the Concurrent program at Nipissing in 2019. I was very fortunate to be hired right away by the Near North District School Board as an occasional teacher and started working right away in September following graduation. I completed the J/I program at Nipissing and always saw myself as an intermediate or high school teacher. I have plenty of experience supplying in highschool, and loved it, but when it came time to apply for LTOs the majority of jobs available were in the primary division. I decided to go for it and have had two short term LTO contracts in Kindergarten and grade ⅔ and am currently in my first full year LTO teaching grade ½ in Sundridge. I have completed my primary ABQ and Special Education AQ and have been loving primary ever since! I certainly recommend that new teachers take all the opportunities that come your way, because you never know what you may learn about yourself in the process. I am hopeful to stay in the primary division next year, but I am also looking forward to the possibility of a new adventure!
Room D: Setting Up Your Literacy Program
Hello! My name is Brittney Nelson and I graduated from the Concurrent Education program at Nipissing in 2016. I spent my first year of teaching up north in the small community of Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, where I acted as the Student Support Teacher. My position there was equivalent to what the responsibilities of a SERT would be here in Ontario. I worked with ESL students and learned how to create differentiated programming in order to meet their needs as ELLs but also to access their cultural knowledge and experiences, which leant to the learning as well. I was also responsible for assisting teachers with implementing a balanced literacy program in their classroom and how to complete running records and other reading assessments. Following my year in Nunavut I returned home and was hired with KPRDSB. I am now in my fifth year of teaching with this board and have taught a variety of primary grades. I am currently teaching a Grade ⅔ class. I have learned many new things around literacy programming and language arts, this year, as well as over my first few years of teaching, and I am so excited to share these with you!
Hi there! My name is Lexi Hammond and I am currently teaching a lovely Grade 2 class in Sundre - a small town in Central Alberta! I completed my undergrad in HR at the University of Ottawa but realized quite quickly that the business world wasn't for me. I decided to switch gears, completing my Bachelor of Ed at Nipissing and graduating in 2020. I worked as an OT in Ontario with the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board while completing my BEd and until November when I decided to head 'er West! I now work for Chinook's Edge School Division. Since coming to Alberta, I have been so fortunate and things just seem to be working out. My first 3 months here I taught Grade 9,10 & 11 Social Studies and when that contract ended, I landed the Grade 2 Mat Leave position I am currently in. Looking forward to chatting with you all!
Room E: Differentiated Literacy Learning
Hi everyone! My name is Jordan Malloy and I am an Elementary Teacher with the Near North District School board. I graduated from Nipissing University in 2015, and I was lucky enough to get my first job with the Near North District School Board the day of my graduation in the summer of 2015 as a Section 23 Summer School Teacher at One Kids Place Children’s Treatment Centre. That same summer I applied for the Occasional Teacher roster at the Near North District School Board and I began supply teaching in September of 2015. I have completed a variety of LTO's in various grades and settings throughout my career so far. These have included Section 23 programs, grade 1/2, 7/8, 5/6, as well as a self-contained classroom. I was also a part of a Pilot project school readiness program for kindergarten aged students through my board at Parry Sound Public School. I accepted my first permanent position in 2020 as a 7/8 teacher at Land of Lakes Public School in Burks Falls, but have since changed to teach ELK this year at Land of Lakes and I LOVE IT! My qualifications include Primary, junior, intermediate, as well as Special Education Specialist. My passion is in Special Education, and I hope to one day return to the Section 23 program, or a self-contained classroom. I have been so lucky to experience a wide variety of not so traditional education placements, and I am so excited to share a small part of your journey in education with you soon!
Hello! My name is Erin Boughner and I live and work in London, Ontario. I graduated with an undergrad degree from Western University and travelled the world for two years with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. I graduated from Nipissing University for my Bachelor of Education in 2020 and worked with the NU Reads Literacy Program throughout my time at Nipissing. I taught a grade 2 class last year with London District Catholic School Board and made the move to the Northwest Territories this year, where I teach a grade 3 at East Three Elementary School in Inuvik. I am looking forward to chatting about literacy with all of you!