Spanish Teacher Reflects

Spanish teacher reflects on Ottawa PD opportunities
Posted on 01/17/2023

Red Arrow Carlos has participated in six visits to Ottawa to attend OCENET teacher training programs.

For nearly 15 years, groups of experienced educators from Galicia in northwest Spain have been coming to Ottawa to participate in OCENET’s renowned teacher training programs.

These visiting teachers work in a variety of schools from elementary to post-secondary in Spain. The focus while in Ottawa is on language education using Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). The teachers are here for four weeks, first attending professional development sessions at OCENET followed by assigned placements in local schools with mentoring from OCDSB teachers.

One of the Galician teachers is Carlos who has just recently completed his sixth time in the teacher training program.

He first participated in 2010 and has found the learning so beneficial he has continued to reapply. Carlos currently teaches computer science to post-secondary students in Santiago.

He is reflective about his professional development opportunities in Ottawa and indicates that each visit has been very different and what he has learned each time has influenced his teaching practices.

This time his placement has been with Continuing Education at 440 Albert St. and he observed many ESL language classes for students just beginning to learn English. Many of the students are refugees from war torn parts of the world and he was struck by how remarkable the local teachers are in creating a positive and safe learning environment for people who have endured so much trauma. He describes the students learning in “an oasis of peace.”

Carlos says that he will apply many of the teaching strategies with his own students, especially using empathic understanding as a way of motivating students with learning challenges.

Carlos loves Ottawa and has stayed with the same host family, with whom he has developed a close friendship, on all six of his teacher training courses.

He noted how he has been impressed by Canada as an example of a country where diversity is truly valued.

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