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Spanish foundation partners with OCENET and OCDSB for an intensive yearlong professional development program in Ottawa

The Spanish teachers sponsored by the Fundación Amancio Ortega (FAO) upon their arrival at the Ottawa International Airport. These recent graduate teachers will be participating in a wide range of teacher development programs throughout this academic year.

OCENET has gained international recognition for its teacher training programs because they feature practical pedagogical learning and professional development focused on a variety of targeted training modules combined with in-school practicum experience in an OCDSB school. Close to 50 Spanish teachers recently arrived in Ottawa through the Fundación Amancio Ortega (FAO) and will be studying in Ottawa throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. These teachers are recent graduates from Spanish universities and are in Ottawa to enhance their training before they assume full time teaching positions in Spanish schools.

For the first half of the academic year these educators will participate in workshops and presentations related to best teaching practices, and learn from educators in the OCDSB, the Ontario College of Teachers, and several universities including the University of Ottawa, OISE, Queen’s, and Brock. The training modules that the Spanish teachers will participate in include topics of particular relevance to pre-service teachers, such as Classroom Management and Differentiation, Technology for Learning Enhancement, Assessment and Evaluation, and Professional Development and Leadership, among others.

The Spanish teachers will also be studying two education courses offered at the University of Ottawa.

Throughout the second half of the academic year the teachers will have a placement in an OCDSB school to work with mentor teachers and actively share in the life of their assigned school. During the time in schools, the Spanish teachers will observe and assist OCDSB teachers by following a schedule as agreed upon by both the Spanish and Canadian teachers.

 

"The teacher training programs are mutually beneficial for both the educators from other countries and for local OCDSB teachers and students."

- Constantine Ioannou, Program Director,
  Short-Term/Group Projects, OCENET

OCENET Executive Director Geoff Best, Amancio Ortega, OCDSB Director of Education Dr. Jennifer Adams, and OCENET Program Director Constantine Ioannou (l-r) at the signing of the teacher training program partnership agreement between Fundación Amancio Ortega Gaona (Spain), the OCDSB, and OCENET.

FAO and the OCDSB are very excited about this educational partnership. As stated in the Program Summary for this initiative: “The experience in Ottawa will offer Spanish teachers many additional ideas to implement into their teaching upon their return home, and the Canadian teachers and their students will be further enriched and inspired by the inclusion of a Spanish educator within their classrooms.”

Many groups of educators, both large and small, come from many countries throughout the school year to attend the teacher training programs offered by OCENET and OCDSB. This school year, including the 50 FAO teachers, several other groups will be participating in OCENET Teacher Training and Study Tours, including educators from South Korea, Sweden China, and other groups from Spain.

 FAO teachers participate in a learning carousel where they worked in groups focused on a series of practical classroom activities in various subject areas including Math, Science, Social Studies and Language. These workshops are designed and delivered by OCDSB educators to demonstrate best teaching practices to the Spanish teachers.

It is clear that there is a reciprocal benefit from hosting visiting educators because local teachers share and learn about the educational practices in other parts of the world, and they often adopt these ideas for teaching their students in Ottawa schools. In addition, several long term friendships develop which continue these educational collaborations over time.

 

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