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Saskatchewan Bulletin Columns

Monday, April 12, 2021
Pension & Benefits

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation was pleased to learn that the Government of Saskatchewan passed amendments to the Pension Benefits Regulations in March that give the Federation more flexibility to manage the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Retirement Plan. The changes will help to provide more stability in member contributions and will make it easier for the Federation to provide benefit increases when the Plan’s funded status allows it.

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Monday, March 29, 2021
Sask Bulletin

Much has been made of the effects on people’s mental health and wellness during this prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to the youth, a provincewide report issued by the Saskatchewan Alliance for Youth and Community Well-Being  confirmed the oft-mentioned scenarios that are surfacing.

In truth, some of the findings are probably even more alarming than what has anecdotally been suggested.

According to the report, beyond social isolation, COVID-19 has created erratic routines, a sense of helplessness and lack of control. Another finding in the report, led by Dr. Darren Courtney along with numerous colleagues nationwide, is that “youth are already profoundly influenced by their parents, and prolonged confinement will amplify the positive and negative impacts that families have on youth health.”

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Monday, April 5, 2021
Sask Bulletin

A horrific racial attack directed at a Vietnamese restaurateur in Saskatoon was captured on video and shared in the mainstream media.

It was decided by the Saskatoon Teachers’ Association, as part of their annual way of recognizing new teachers to the local, that they would be presented with gift certificates to Mai’s Kitchen Vietnamese Cuisine.

In addition, it was also seen as an ideal segue for these young teachers to be talking with their respective students about racism in what is becoming an evermore diverse mosaic in the province’s largest city.

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Monday, March 29, 2021
Sask Bulletin

In 2011, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation entered into a research project with the University of Waterloo and the University of Saskatchewan to build and mobilize knowledge on race and colonialism in Canada.

In 2014, the Federation supported Phase 2 of the project which included the development of a film on anti-colonialism in education. The goal of the film is to shine a light on not only the history of education in Canada, but also the ongoing impact of colonization on the K-12 system and beyond.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Sask Bulletin

In this instalment of Tech Talk, we’ll take a quick look into the world of e-sports. E-sports (electronic sports) is one of the fastest growing competitions in the world. The list of e-sports includes traditional sports video games such as Madden NFL (football), FIFA (soccer) and Y2K (basketball), to fighting games like Super Smash Bros., Fortnite and Call of Duty to strategy games such as Rocket League and League of Legends.

In fact, there are numbers that suggest that e-sports will overtake traditional sports viewership and already involves serious money. There is even a strong chance that one day e-sports will be part of the Olympics. Many colleges in the United States are offering scholarships to e-sports athletes as this competition continues to grow.

So what does that mean for teachers in Saskatchewan? It could mean a great opportunity to connect and offer students another way to get involved (an opportunity that many students might not have the chance to otherwise).

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Sask Bulletin

The Manitoba public education system could have a much different look in the future following the delayed K-12 Education Review Commission report that was released by the provincial government in mid-March.

Expected to be implemented by July 1, 2022, the report recommends dissolving the province’s 37 English school boards into 15 regions, plus Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM), and the elimination of elected school boards.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Sask Bulletin

Despite unforeseen factors delaying the Early Childhood Education program at the University of Saskatchewan, its first courses are on the threshold of launching in the coming months.

Debbie Pushor, a professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies at the U of S, has experienced the occasional roller-coaster ride for more than a decade, including the current delay due to COVID-19.

That followed the major funding cuts experienced in the mid-1980s, which sidelined what had been an Early Childhood Education program at the undergraduate level led by Millicent Marshall.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Sask Bulletin

There might have been a few students grumbling about the biting wind they were experiencing on this otherwise quite pleasant February morning.

Nevertheless, nothing was going to prevent them from gathering outside the venerable Westmount Community School on the west side of Saskatoon. The reason for the gathering–and photo opportunity–was that this was Pink Shirt Day.

Each of the students had been asked by the staff to share their thoughts on what kindness meant to each of them and those messages were then affixed to the fence.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Sask Bulletin

Stepping outside the organization, let alone the province, to appoint a new Executive Director is uncharted territory for the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation.

Yet, you don’t have to spend long in conversation with Bobbi Taillefer to appreciate that she is not feeling displaced in the least despite relocating from Toronto to Saskatoon. In fact, it feels almost like a homecoming of sorts.

While Ontario-born and having most recently served as Deputy General Secretary of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (Canada’s largest teacher organization with 86,000 members), this marks a return to the prairie landscape she and husband Paul (a fellow Ontarian) have come to embrace so wholeheartedly.

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Monday, March 8, 2021
Sask Bulletin

Why would you limit yourself to one project when you could somehow fit in three?

That pretty much sums up how Saskatoon-based educator Belinda Daniels goes about things. While she still teaches at Mount Royal Collegiate, she also managed to squeeze in time to complete her PhD (her dissertation is currently being reviewed).

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