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Saskatchewan Bulletin Columns

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

It wasn’t difficult to spot the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation hierarchy following keynote presenter Annie Kidder’s speech at the Councillor Conference opening session.

By all accounts, they were the ones with the smile on their face. Without any prompting, Kidder, the widely respected executive director of the Ontario-based People for Education non-profit association, praised the merits of the Re-Imagine Education initiative undertaken by the STF and a host of outside organizations in contemplating the future of public education in Saskatchewan.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

A year ago, a foundation was established for students to talk about mental health issues at Aden Bowman Collegiate in Saskatoon. This year it had morphed into an all-day event with no less than 26 wellness sessions in the morning and another 28 offered in the afternoon (many were off-site).

Even that statement gives you an appreciation for the amount of logistical work that had to be put in place. While the entire staff pitched in, resource teacher Joelle Krysak and science teacher Rick Bowes were front and centre when it came to organizing the day.

Enlisting the help of a host of community organizations, Saskatoon City Police and the Grades 10 to 12 students themselves, the organizers fulfilled what they saw as integral to the day–students being able to choose what resonated with them the most.

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Monday, November 18, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation is changing.

We have come a long way since 1933 and are working hard to support teachers and publicly funded public education in Saskatchewan. To reflect these changes, we have rebranded the Federation to align with the new service offerings and supports for our members.

While the current logo is recognizable given the many years it’s been in use, it’s often misunderstood. The Federation needs a new brand; one that is strong and distinct, clearly displaying who we are and what we stand for. A new brand that builds upon a solid foundation; one that celebrates successes.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

During his presentation at the Councillor Conference regarding wellness for teachers, Wade Repta offered plenty of options for those in attendance to contemplate, but at the same time he also shared some hard truths.

“On a day-to-day basis it’s not necessarily realistic to have balance between work and life. Reducing the workload for teachers is not always realistic,” he offered.

“That’s why it’s important to be realistic when you are looking to improve your physical well-being in particular. You need to set goals that are attainable. If you think in terms of black and white, that can be hard. It’s more about looking at the bigger picture. It might look different in how to create a culture of wellness and remember, we don’t have all the answers.”

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

Although it has been an oft-repeated goal of the Ministry of Education to increase First Nations and Métis graduation rates to 65 percent by 2020, the reality is that based on the most recent numbers, it is actually trending downwards.

Leaders of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation recently addressed the media in a united call for an immediate investment by the government in order to address this troubling trend.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

REGINA–Rolling out the ambitious Education Re-Imagined initiative to the media, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive Director Randy Schmaltz alluded to the 12 Actions for Education, saving the best for last in terms of making sure the message was heard loud and clear.

Schmaltz, who was the chairperson of the Re-Imagine Education Reference Committee, said the 12th action “is the most important” in that it stresses the “actions of education outlined in this report must be acted upon.”

It was clear the message was meant for Education Minister Gord Wyant and his Deputy Minister Rob Currie to mull over from their front row seats.

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Friday, November 8, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

Mental health issues and general wellness have increasingly become intertwined in the conversation when it comes to teachers and their respective workloads.

The fact was underscored by Troy Milnthorp while introducing the new Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation initiative, the Member and Family Assistance Program, to those in attendance at the recent Local Association Symposium.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

Their respective presentations as keynote presenters at the Saskatoon Teachers’ Association Annual Convention were unmistakably distinct from one another, but there was no questioning the similar messages presented by Max FineDay and Kevin Lamoureux in discussing truth and reconciliation.

Both share an Indigenous background, although in both cases it was one parent, and so they have had the shared experience of seeing life through a different lens. While FineDay’s message was filled with self-deprecating humour as the younger, more hip of the two, Lamoureux brought his wealth of knowledge from the world of academia, highlighted by his assessment that “you didn’t create this problem but you can be part of the solution.”

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Saturday, November 2, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

Île-à-la-Crosse–The Right Honorable Paul Martin, former prime minister of Canada, visited the northern community of Île-à-la-Crosse on June 22 to launch the Greenhouse Project, a Martin Family Initiative.

MFI is a foundation committed to supporting education, health and overall well-being outcomes for First Nations, Métis Nations and Inuit children and youth in Canada. The Greenhouse Project hopes to address many issues related to food, food security and horticulture that disproportionately affects Indigenous peoples and their communities.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Sask Bulletin Article

REGINA–In a submission released October 3, Saskatchewan’s school boards are sharing that they consistently heard about the importance of Connections for education during local public engagements conducted earlier this year.

The report from boards to the Minister of Education highlights the need to enhance and expand Connections for education in three categories of main findings: Connections Among People and Relationships; Connections Between Systems and Structures; and Connections to the Future and Navigating Technology.

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