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Visiting student teachers: Message from the Principal of Elementary

In October, I had the pleasure of hosting two cohorts of student teachers from the University of Calgary (U of C). The purpose of their week with us was to observe learning and teaching in our school. 

As a recognized leader in French immersion and international education, I believe that we have a fundamental role to play in supporting and mentoring new developing teachers in our profession. The strongest factor in the retention of teachers in the career of teaching is the quality of their first experiences. At Calgary French & International School, our amazing students and exemplary faculty, provide student teachers with outstanding examples of quality education in action.

Our U of C student teachers were provided with opportunities to interact with many teachers and students. Many of them were still unsure as to whether or not they wanted to specialize in elementary or secondary and their experiences over the course of the week helped them make decisions for their future.  Reflection in dialogues with peers, mentors and supervisors prepares student teachers for the real and complex classroom and provides future teachers with tools and confidence for the unique situations that will arise as they become more experienced in the profession. 

There are also some benefits for CFIS in hosting student teachers. Our experienced teachers may be provided with an opportunity to learn about current pedagogy and what is coming out in the latest research, and it allows them to reflect on their teaching style and on what they are modeling to those new to the profession. There is also an opportunity for us to recruit new teachers as they become engaged with the vibrant learning environment at CFIS. Mme Elyse Morrison is a perfect example of this as she came to us as a student teacher and then an intern. Above all, the number one reason our school benefits from hosting student teachers is the enthusiasm and the excitement that they bring with them. 

On the following page, you will find some quotations from the U of C students about their experience at CFIS. It was an absolute joy for me to hear about how Calgary French & International School played a role in their professional development. 

Mme Nicola Camirand
Principal of Elementary