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Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey Professional Development Day

December 2, 2022

In the past, some of our MK schools chose November 1st as a school shut-down day to take part in individual school Professional Development. This year we wanted to try something new and bring teachers from several schools to one location for a conference.

 Our Technology Integration Consultants Kim MacKinnon and James Young, along with the team from Atlantic Canada’s First Nation Help Desk took on the task of planning the session and coordinated a day filled with learning opportunities for teachers to find ways to bring technology into every classroom. They worked together with consultants from each of our departments to plan several integrated sessions to offer the teachers. They invited Brian Buffington, who has been providing online PD sessions to our teachers, to kick off the day with a Keynote address and he was absolutely amazing. The event took place at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre so following the keynote, teachers were able to attend a variety of breakout sessions with topics including everything from Technology in Mi’kmaw Language teaching to using tech in Phys Ed lessons.


“We had hoped that this conference would shed a light on all that technology can do in the classroom. It’s not just a stand-alone subject,” said Kim Mackinnon. “Based on the feedback and comments we got from teachers I feel they came away inspired and enthusiastic to try new things. I am so grateful to all of our presenters that made this day such a success!”


Because the conference took place the day after Halloween and not all teachers were able to attend in-person, a virtual option was available for all teachers who wished to take part from their own communities.

To go along with our teacher’s conference, we wanted to be able to offer training to our EA’s as well. Our Student Services Consultant Doreen Stevens, Wellness Consultant Rebecca Scirocco, and Autism Teacher Specialist Ambrah MacNeil planned a session that took place in Eskasoni.


This PD was hosted at Allison Bernard Memorial high school for EA‘s from our MK family of schools. There were about 70 people who were able to attend in-person and also over 50 participants who joined virtually. They spent the morning with Kelly Humphries who is a registered psychologist. She has worked as a school psychologist for 20+ years in multiple centres for education in Nova Scotia but now has her own private practice called Threshold Psychology. Kelly did a presentation focused on ADHD called All Kinds of Minds: A Neuro developmental Framework to Understand Learning and Attention which was very informative and strengths-based.


After a delicious lunch, everyone participated in a mindfulness activity followed by a vision board activity. This gave educators the opportunity to reflect on their own goals and values both as an educator and on a personal level. Everyone did a lot of learning and sharing while also having a lot of fun and laughs. 


Both sessions turned out fantastic and we are looking forward to planning future conferences that can bring our teachers together from across the province.