By Melissa Campeau
In consultation with the public and the profession, the College continually develops new AQ course guidelines to help teachers with their own ongoing professional learning. The newest additions to the roster include: Teacher Leadership; Supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students: Guidance and Counselling; Teaching Cayuga; and Teaching LGBTQ Students
Available this spring, the three-part specialist Teacher Leadership AQ, developed in consultation with over 100 teacher leaders from across the province, is designed to help teachers explore learning theory, instructional design, assessment and evaluation, and more, across the divisions. Through this AQ, teachers can gain in-depth knowledge, refine professional judgment and generate new knowledge for their own practices.
“We anticipate many teachers will take the Teacher Leadership AQ because there are so many roles for teacher leaders in our schools, and because teacher leadership is central to effective schools and student learning,” says Déirdre Smith, OCT, the College’s manager of Standards of Practice and Education.
The Supporting First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students three-part specialist AQ was introduced in response to conversations between teachers and the province, facilitated by the College. While an Additional Qualification for guidance and career education already existed, these conversations identified and supported the notion that unique and distinct guidance and counselling needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students warranted an Additional Qualification with that specific focus. Kenjgewin Teg is the First Nations educational institution leading the development of this new AQ.
Six Nations Polytechnic in Ohsweken, Ont., is the first and only First Nations educational institution to provide AQs. Currently, Six Nations offers AQs in mathematics, Mohawk and Cayuga, and is taking the lead in creating the new AQ guideline “Teaching and Leadership: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Setting,” which will be developed in early 2017.
The Teaching Cayuga AQ is one of 10 First Nations languages identified in the Additional Qualification regulation. The policy guideline for this single-session AQ was developed by Cayuga speakers and educators of First Nations communities, and marks the first time the College has offered an AQ related to the Cayuga language. The course not only supports some of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action, but also the language revitalization initiative in many First Nations communities.
“The Teaching Cayuga AQ is an important step, because it is one form of validation of teachers whose language and heritage are indigenous to this country, but who have been disregarded by the larger Canadian society,” says Thomas Deer, language program co-ordinator with Six Nations Polytechnic.
“For teachers, the Cayuga AQ recognizes the importance of the language while adding value to their credentials,” says Deer. “It will also help teachers who have not had formal training in teaching an Iroquoian language to incorporate the basics of syntax, morphology and Cayuga culture in their lessons. The students then benefit by having a knowledgeable teacher who is better prepared to help students learn about the language and culture of the Cayuga people.”
Launched in 2016, the Teaching LGBTQ Students AQ helps equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to be effective educators for all students, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer. Developed in consultation with teachers, students, members of Egale Canada Human Rights Trust and other organizations, the course reflects an increased awareness of the challenges faced by students within the LGBTQ community, and an ongoing need to support teachers in the creation and protection of safe, positive and inclusive school environments.