BROCKVILLE — The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) and Queen’s University Faculty of Education have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow them to explore opportunities between the two institutions that will put an emphasis on rural and remote education for apprenticing teachers.
Through this collaboration and partnership, student teachers in the Queen’s program will eventually have the opportunity to receive their program of instruction on-site, in select UCDSB elementary schools. This will allow student teachers to spend more time in classrooms, working with children and apprenticing under qualified and experienced teachers.
For the university, this creates a unique experiential learning opportunity for teacher candidates. For the UCDSB, it enhances the local labour pool, develops a deep understanding of the unique climate of rural schools, and establishes connections between teacher candidates and the local community.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity alongside Queen’s University Faculty of Education. As a mainly rural school district, our schools have unique demands, challenges and opportunities that you don’t find at urban schools,” says UCDSB Director of Education Stephen Sliwa. “This partnership will provide student teachers with more than just practice teaching, it will give them a taste of the opportunities that are part of teaching students in rural classrooms.”
“It’s important for us to offer our teacher candidates a broad range of classroom experience during their time at Queen’s,” says Dean of Education Rebecca Luce-Kapler. “The opportunity for placement in a rural school provides them with the skills and knowledge to teach in these communities.”
The two institutions will be laying the groundwork for this opportunity, starting in the fall of 2020-2021, with the intent of establishing a host-site for this program by 2025 in an elementary school in the Gananoque and Thousand Islands areas.