A Lesson in Cultural Awareness for new teachers of BWDSB

Over 20 new educators from schools across Bluewater District School Board (BWDSB) recently participated in a full day of professional learning and development with a special focus on cultural awareness.

The New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) is hosted regularly by BWDSB system staff from the Learning Services – Program and Student Success departments, to assist those new to the teaching profession with support and resources for a successful career start-up.

                                                            NTIP participants and guests

The Wednesday, March 27, 2024 NTIP session featured a series of carousels related to a diverse range of curriculum areas, including math manipulatives, the science of writing, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), and coding and artificial intelligence, among others. Attendees also had a chance to learn about culturally relevant and responsive teaching practices.

                                                                       New BWDSB educators


Joan John, Founder (left) and Safoora Forde, Executive Officer (right at podium) from JunCtian Community Initiatives

To kickstart the day, special guests from JunCtian Community Initiatives joined the BWDSB Human Rights and Equity Advisor to share about anti-Black racism and thought-provoking scenarios for educators to consider with ever-growing diversity among BWDSB students, staff, and families. Archaic examples of local newspaper clippings from the 1800s and early 1900s were provided to highlight the progress that has been made in how members of the Black community are represented in the media.

While acknowledging the darker parts of  history and work that still needs to be done in combatting all forms of discrimination, it was a hopeful and inspiring message of positive change for new educators.