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Published by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Canadian teachers head overseas for professional development and cross-cultural collaboration

Posted: 07/05/17 9:12am CST
Photo credit: Ruthie

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) will be sending 54 teachers to four Caribbean and five East and West African countries to work with teacher colleagues in those countries. The initiative is part of the CTF’s Project Overseas (PO), which marks its 56th anniversary this summer.

The PO, a joint endeavour of CTF and its Member organizations, sends approximately 12 teams of teachers to various countries every summer. The program aims to strengthen publicly funded public education, assist teacher organizations overseas as they provide professional services to members, and address gender equality in education. In order to participate, teachers apply online through their respective organizations between September and November.

“PO gives teachers the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise with other teachers overseas, as well as learn from colleagues in different settings. It’s a mutual learning experience,” says CTF President Heather Smith. “Each team of teachers learns from one another as they collaborate to strengthen their skills.”

Teams depart for their respective destinations either July 10 or 11, but prior to this, PO participants will take part in an orientation workshop in Ottawa, July 8 to 10. The three-day orientation will cover a number of topics, such as safety, health, cross-cultural communication, development cooperation, and the specifics of each of their assignments. As well, teacher participants will consider effective ways their PO experience can be put to use in schools and classrooms when they return to Canada. This year, CTF is partnering with the Aga Khan Foundation for part of the orientation program.

This year’s participants are:

The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA)

  • Jessica Kornder, Team Leader to Burkina Faso
  • Stephanie Clements, team member to Dominica
  • Vanda Rufli, Team Leader to Ghana (Nkabom-TAL)
  • Kevin Weimer, team member to Guyana
  • Nancy Crousset, team member to Haiti (CNEH)
  • Oscar Ngoie-Kadila, team member to Haiti (FENATEC/UNNOEH)
  • Carla Cuglietta, Team Leader to Sierra Leone
  • Robert McKague, team member to St. Vincent
  • Shawn Arseneault, team member to Uganda (Masaka)
  • Katherine Anne Cook, team member to Uganda (Mbale)

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF)

  • Lynda Gellner, team member to Ghana (Nkabom -TAL)
  • Kendra Helfrich, team member to Guyana
  • Nicole Turcotte, team member to Togo

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