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Faculty of Education students listen to a session leader on Program Day.

First-ever Program Day a success, says Education Student Council

Students able to 'learn outside the classroom' about everything from CPR certification to LGBTTQ* training

February 12, 2015 — 

This year, the Education Student Council decided to introduce a new, mandatory event for all Bachelor of Education students that provided opportunities for learning—and some fun—outside of the classroom.

On Feb. 9, students were able to choose from five different programs and spend either a day or half-day immersed in learning that was different from what they’re doing in the classroom.

One of the programs was a Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel certification, offered in partnership with the U of M, the Faculty of Education, Sport Manitoba, Athletics Manitoba and Athletics Canada. The program taught students “fundamental movement skills and physical literacy, using track and field-inspired games along with other activities and skills.” It was designed to help teachers learn the fundamentals of teaching running, jumping, throwing and wheeling (for those in wheelchairs). They were also taught how to develop lesson plans. The program is aimed at helping teacher candidates develop a physical activity program that’s a “strong foundation for all sports.”

Students could also do CPR recertification, learn about individual health care plans and the Unified Referral and Intake System (URIS), take LGBTTQ* ally training or learn about contracts and other information for beginning teachers from the Manitoba Teachers’ Society.
Amanda Bilevicius, vice stick internal of the Faculty of Education Student Council, answered a few questions on the inaugural Program Day.

Q. As this was the very first Program Day, how do you think it went? Was it a success overall?
A. For the first council-run Program Day, I think that it was very successful. We had a variety of options for people to choose from, and all of the options were in some way applicable to a future teaching career.

Q. Will you suggest this become an annual event for the student council?
A. I would definitely suggest that this should become an annual event. There are a plethora of professional development opportunities that cannot be completed in the regular allotted time. Having access to a full day allows for us to better prepare our students to be exceptional teachers with sought-after abilities.

Q. Which programs were most popular (or which were students talking about the most)?
A. The sessions were all popular in their own right, but I would say that many people were disappointed that there was a relatively small cap on the Manitoba Teachers’ Society session. While this may be the case, I feel as if the LGBTTQ* session gave truly practical information on how to talk to and support students who don’t necessarily fit into societal norms.

Q. Did you have good attendance from students? (I know it was mandatory but would you say the vast majority attended?)
A. We had amazing attendance for this day. The turnout was fantastic with students arriving early to the sessions to ensure they had the best seats.

Q. What were some of the comments from students? Did most enjoy the day?
A. As for comments from the students, the Emergency First Aid and CPR session went well. The MTS session speaker was dynamic and dealt with subjects that many students will soon be dealing with. Knowing the differences between types of contracts and what is expected to happen once you verbally agree was invaluable help. LGBTTQ* was quite fast-paced and was trying to cover a very broad subject area in a short amount of time. Some students had heard the information before so it was more of a review, but others found this session useful to get helpful tips on how to handle specific classroom incidents while not marginalizing anyone.

I do not have comments on the UDL session or Run Jump Throw, but I believe most students will agree that this was a good opportunity to broaden their skill set.


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