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Arlene Flett: Nurturing success, confidence and pride

Year: 2020 — Province: Manitoba
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

headshot of Arlene Flett

St. Theresa First Nation School
Kindergarten for children ages 4 and 5 years
St. Theresa Point, Manitoba

Cooperation is an integral part of how [Arlene's] class functions and every student knows that they are valued, each of their ideas matter, and they are loved.
Principal

With her knowledge of traditional practices, and her fluency in both English and Island Lake dialect (an Indigenous language also called Oji-Cree), Arlene Flett engages her students and fosters pride in their heritage. From setting up classroom snares for imaginary rabbits to organizing a pickerel fish fry, she engages children with familiar, age-appropriate activities. In addition, she eagerly hones her teaching skills via independent learning.

Philosophy of care

Arlene's classroom is a busy, welcoming place where every child's individuality and successes are celebrated. Arlene is generous with warm embraces, loving words and a compassionate ear. She also advocates to ensure the children in her care have access to the school supplies and community services they need to grow and thrive.

Support of child development

  • Focuses on hands-on activities: spends significant time outside of school hours preparing individual sets of manipulatives for each child.
  • Creates a sensory learning classroom to engage all children: builds specialized work and art centres, such as a tabletop streetscape for a boy fascinated by toy cars, to encourage play-based learning.
  • Researches ways to address social, behavioural and learning challenges, and tracks related issues: children's basic readiness skills have improved; non-verbal children have become more confident and sociable.
  • Encourages healthy lifestyles: works to ensure children are well fed and have access to healthy traditional foods; makes nutritious snacks for class parties; organizes outdoor activities, such as dog-sledding.

Involvement with parents, families and the community

  • Celebrates and fosters Indigenous culture: creates thematic units based on hunting seasons; hand-crafts traditional toys as gifts for each child; teaches children to sing, count and speak new words in their Indigenous language.
  • Maintains close contact with all parents: uses a welcoming, informal tone with parents to encourage conversation; invites parents to participate in class activities.
  • Asks local resource people to share their knowledge: Elders and other community experts help her provide the children in her care with authentic learning experiences.
  • Requests help from parents and the wider community: is collecting materials from the community to build an igloo for the children.

Get in touch!

St. Theresa First Nation School
P.O. Box 520
St. Theresa Point MB  R0B 1J0

204-462-9179
tanyadawnmcdougall@outlook.com
https://www.stpfirstnation.com/stpfn-schools

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