J.W. SCHNARR – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
A Fort Macleod Kindergarten teacher has been recognized for hitting the ground running on her teaching career.
W.A. Day school Kindergarten teacher Chiyoko Kensley was formally recognized for her work as a first year teacher at the Edwin Parr Award banquet May 14 at the Heritage Inn in Taber.
The evening featured a full house of Alberta School Board Association guests, including staff, faculty, and trustees from the 10 school divisions in Zone 6.
The evening was hosted by Livingstone Range School Board chair Martha Ratcliffe, who is Zone 6 chair, and by association president Helen Clease.
The 10 Edwin Parr nominees from the 10 school divisions in Zone 6 were each introduced with a video highlighting their first year of teaching, followed by an opportunity to speak to the guests about what they’ve learned and to thank their supporters.
Kensley said a big part of her success came about because of her opportunity to be mentored by teaching staff who were always happy to guide her.
“You have inspired me to always do my best,” Kensley said. “It has been an honour to learn from dedicated teaching professionals like you.”
“Sometimes all it takes is a smile or a thumbs up to reassure me I’m doing a great job and that I chose the right profession,” Kensley added.
Kensley said her first year of teaching was successful because of three achievements.
The first are the positive relationships Kensley said she’s built with students, staff and community members
“These people have been the backbone to my success as a first-year teacher, and I am grateful for the opportunity to now give back and share in support of student learning.”
Kensley’s second achievement stems from her personal and professional growth in her first year.
“I remember the first day of school, when I had 20 kindergarten students staring at me,” Kensley said. “I wondered if I could handle it.”
“I’ve learned being reflective in my practice is essential to reaching all types of learners as a teacher.”
Kensley’s third achievement comes from her involvement in the community and with extra-curricular activities.
“It has been an honour to take a leadership role in the school for our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit culture club,” Kensley said, noting she has enjoyed the challenges of balancing school and community activities and the steep learning curve she has climbed in her first year.
“This has been a memorable and exciting year,” Kensley said.
Palliser Regional School Division teacher Danielle Booker from Prairieview elementary school in Vulcan was selected as this year’s Zone 6 Edwin Parr winner.