STF Pre-conference Information
M O R N I N G S E S S I O N S
Overcoming the barriers to giving your class more education and activity in natural outdoor environments
Presented by the Outdoor Council of Canada
Well-run programs in natural environments offer unique and powerful learning opportunities for for our students, but there are many logistical, administrative, and psychosocial barriers to getting kids out of the classroom. The Outdoor Council of Canada has developed an ‘affordable, accessible, and appropriate, training and certification program for teachers to help them lower costs, get the respect of risk managers, and empower themselves (and their school) to offer more high-quality low-risk outdoor educational and activity programs. This workshop will look at how the program can work for you and you will get to take part in collaborative learning exercise from the ‘Field Leader’ program that is focused on our personal leadership styles and how they influence learning outcomes.
Pathways to Wellbeing: Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Program
Presented by Dr Jon McGavock and Community Members of the AYMP Project
Join Applied Public Health Chair Dr Jon McGavock and the participating Aboriginal Youth Mentoring Program communities to share best practices and research of the initiative. Recently funded from the CIHR Pathways to Wellbeing grant, the AYMP is an afterschool intervention for youth in grade 4 that is part of a research studying looking at recreating a sense of belonging and support overall wellbeing. This initiative has also shown to be effective reducing risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
AYMP is an after-school program that provides physical activity, healthy snacks, games, and educational and leadership activities for children and youth. This program relies on teenage mentors to run all the activities. The program is grounded in two theories by Indigenous Scholars:
Verna Kirkness’s 4 R’s for teaching youth: Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity, Responsibility; and Dr. Martin Brokenleg’s Circle of Courage. The mission of the program is to develop and deliver relationship-based, communal mentor programs involving children, youth and adult allies from diverse cultural backgrounds. Informed by Indigenous world views and practices, we seek to build on the strengths of racialized minority youth to build healthy inclusive communities. This session will have mentors and youth within the community tell the AYMP story.
Student in Mind: An Upstream Approach to Student Mental Health
A Focus on Trauma Informed Environments
Presented by the Alberta School Board Association
What is trauma? Trauma is a response to a negative external event, which surpasses the child’s ordinary coping skills. Research states that one half to two-thirds of children experience some type of trauma. Traumatic Events happen to all individuals across a lifespan. All types of trauma can have a direct and potentially overwhelming impact on the ability for a child to learn. During this pre conference we will hear from a variety of speakers who will share their own experiences when working with children and the community on areas of trauma. Through conversations, sharing of knowledge and research, and through personal experiences the delegates will begin to understand the role of trauma, its effects on students and learning, and that the school environment has an important role to play in providing stability and a safe place for all to learn and grow.
Opening Keynote: Deepika Mittra
Speakers: Nathalie Reid, Chelsea Hobbs, Sarah Lees
Thriving in a 24/7 World with Peter Jensen
Presented by the Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan
We live in a world where the number of hours in a day has not changed, yet the sheer volume of demands we face has grown exponentially. In the face of 24/7 demands, many people turn to time management strategies to cope. The challenge with this approach is that often it is time that has control over us. Energy management, on the other hand, is within our control. By striking a balance between moments of high performance and periods of renewal, ensuring we get enough rest and recovery, and learning the moment to moment skills that allow us to better control our energy levels, we can all learn to be more resilient- and ultimately, thrive in our own 24/7 reality.
In Thriving in a 24/7 World, Peter Jensen will draw on his experience working with over 70 Olympic medal-winning athletes, their coaches and thousands of executives at Queen’s Smith School of Business to provide an entertaining and interactive tour of the energy management skills that elite performers use to help transform pressure into growth.
Over this insightful, three hour workshop, you will learn how to:
- Monitor your ‘arousal level’- the crucial diagnostic tool that allows you to gauge whether your energy level is too high or too low,
- Maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day while getting more accomplished,
- Use the ABC model to lower energy in high-pressure situations,
- Minimize the drain on your valuable energy resources, and
- Renew and energize throughout the day
A F T E R N O O N S E S S I O N S
Addressing Prejudice and Discrimination, and Fostering Resilience in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students
Presented by The Alberta Teachers' Association Walking Together Team
This workshop builds on the important idea that, in order to learn, all students need to feel safe in school. Unfortunately, many students experience racism, discrimination and prejudice in school, a situation that significantly diminishes their potential to learn. This workshop explores techniques that teachers can use to help all students learn to be more respectful of the culture of others. The workshop is also intended to help teachers increase the resilience of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, thereby enhancing their chances of success. Participants will examine their school’s current First Nations, Métis and Inuit policies and practices.
Learning in Motion
Presented by Ever Active Schools
The physical spaces of our learning environments shape staff and student behaviours in meaningful ways. This session brings the evidence to life in an experiential way to reinforce the link between movement and learning, while providing participants with practical tips on how structure learning environments to not only permit movement, but to promote it.
Re-wilding: Get them Outside!
Presented by Barbara Schmidt, Education Liaison, Palisades Stewardship Education Centre Jasper National Park
Join the Education Lead from the Palisades
Stewardship Education Centre in Jasper National Park and learn how and why
"outdoor learning" is a healthy, growing trend that makes an impact
on youth! Current research will be highlighted but the majority of the session
will be outdoors. Learn easy to use techniques and activities that will
motivate youth, increase engagement, promote connection and improve the culture
of your classroom or organization. Use experiential learning to harness the
power of reflection. In addition to simple, easy to use games and activities
that will engage youth, participants will learn how to facilitate three types
of reflection: process, cognitive, and affective. Participants, through their
own experiential learning, will come to understand the value of engaging youth
in outdoor learning activities. There will be time for networking and sharing.
Lastly, teachers will be introduced to a variety of easy to access resources
and challenged to take youth outside and create a culture of nature inside as
well! Through social media, participants will continue the conversation and be
encouraged to share resources in an online community.
Wisdom is in the Room: an ongoing conversation among division level leaders (THIS SESSION IS FROM 1:00pm to 4:00pm)
Hosted by Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund and Alberta Health Services
Are you in a leadership role coordinating a district-wide healthy
schools initiative? Join our enthusiastic hosts from the Wellness Fund and
Alberta Health Services to exchange ideas with like-minded leaders invested in
building and strengthening a culture of wellness for their school communities.
This pre-conference session will inspire and support you by exploring
strategies to help mindfully embed wellness into your school jurisdiction. Come
prepared to discuss what makes you proud of your school district, your
challenges, successes, and lessons learned. This is an invaluable opportunity
to network, collaborate, share and learn. You will leave with new contacts,
strategies and resources to keep moving forward. The session will begin with a
short presentation by the Wellness Fund, featuring provincial data related to
Wellness Funded Projects, district level wellness priorities, and significant
correlations from Tell Them from Me data. Participants will then have
opportunities to share, celebrate, and network with numerous colleagues through
a series of facilitated conversations. We will conclude the afternoon by
exploring emerging trends in school health and where additional supports are
needed to move this work forward at a district, regional, and provincial level.
Whether you are just getting started or are an experienced health champion
looking to “keep the fire burning”, this session will be valuable for you.