A still from the PEITF's video, The Classroom is a Challenging Place.
The P.E.I. Teachers’ Federation’s new TV and radio ads show how classrooms have changed over the last 10 years, says federation president Gilles Arsenault.
“There’s a lot more individual help being offered to students,” said Arsenault.
“I think that’s something the Teachers’ Federation wants to promote, and really wants to create that partnership with parents, with government, with teachers.”
The federation also hopes to promote the education system with the ad and showcase the work teachers are doing.
“Where in the past you would be teaching a classroom of students, now you’d be teaching students within a classroom. If you’re looking at the technology component there’s a lot more teaching strategy that would imply that you use technology in your teaching,” said Arsenault.
The federation produced the ad as part of a $30,000 media campaign, said Arsenault.
“The federation is very proud to be able to showcase the work teachers are doing and to promote the teaching profession. It was something that was long overdue.”
The TV ad shows Westwood primary school teacher Colleen Taylor-MacMillan standing in front of a classroom as a child narrates. “I like my teacher,” the child says. “Manny doesn’t speak English very well, but my teacher always makes sure he understands.”
Students need their learning styles met in the classroom, whether they learn visually or from a hands-on approach, she said.
“We have to differentiate our instruction, and if we don’t differentiate students will be left behind and lose interest in school.”
Taylor-MacMillan’s students work in small groups. Individual coaches, resource teachers and other consultants are available to her students, she said.
“We try to pull all our resources and make everything accessible.”
Grade 2 teacher Tara Stewart says her students don’t remember a time before computers and smart boards were used in the classroom.
“It used to be pencils and paper all the time,” said Stewart.
There’s more assessment in Stewart’s classroom than in prior years, she said. The curriculum has changed as well.
“We still have the reading and the writing and the science, but it’s all changed in how it’s delivered.”
Stewart’s students responded well to the different methods and new technology, she said.
“They definitely need it,” said Stewart. “They don’t all learn the same, so we can’t teach them the same.”