Parents group says teachers make a big difference

Nominations sought for Great Teachers program that recognizes Greater Victoria's top educators

Stephanie Longstaff served 19 years with the Parents Advisory Councils at Hans Helgesen and Metchosin elementary schools

Stephanie Longstaff served 19 years with the Parents Advisory Councils at Hans Helgesen and Metchosin elementary schools

Parents are well aware of the important role teachers play in the lives of their children. Black Press is teaming up with Staples with support from Camosun College to let parents express their gratitude and support towards some of the best teachers the community has to offer with the Great Teachers program.

Stephanie Longstaff’s focus on teachers is coloured by a variety of views seen through a multitude of lenses. She served 19 years with the Parents Advisory Councils at Hans Helgesen and Metchosin elementary schools, as well as Dunsmuir middle school and Belmont secondary.

Although no longer “officially” attached to PACs, Longstaff is heavily involved with the Vancouver Island Parents’ Conference, which brings together educators and parents from across the province to discuss innovative approaches to the best practices to ensure student success.

“Communication between parents and teachers is a key element in enabling students to reach their full potential,” Longstaff noted. “The conference in particular and PAC meetings in general give everyone an opportunity to get on the same page. Some of the best improvements we see in the classroom evolved from those kind of interactions between parents and teachers.”

This approach is even more important in today’s changing world of education, where the reality is that both parents work.

Interacting with teachers who work at all levels of primary education through her involvement with PACs has provided Longstaff  with a deeper insight into the role teachers play in the development of students. “It gives you a greater appreciation of their commitment and dedication to the work they do,” she said.

Seeing teachers take the time to participate in PAC fundraisers when they weren’t obligated to attend and watching how much the students and teachers enjoyed interacting together in a casual environment far removed from the classroom also left a lasting impression that underscored the qualities they bring to their workplace.

Shepherding 10 children through the school system has also given Longstaff a wider perspective, with her youngest son being part of the last class to graduate from the old Belmont secondary, which was torn down this year and replaced with a new school where the old Glen Lake elementary once stood. She remembers how one of her sons struggled with reading all the way to Grade 11 before a teacher took the time to take him to the library and find a book that completely absorbed him in reading. “That extra effort by his teacher changed how my son looked at something as simple, yet as important as reading,” she explained. “Something he had no success with changed into something he enjoys and utilizes in his everyday life.”

Longstaff said that’s only one of numerous examples she could mention that highlight how every one of her children has benefited from the time their teachers took to engage them in learning.

“Every one has at least one teacher they talk about fondly years later and credit for their success,” she added. “It takes an amazing person to dedicate their career to improving our future through the students they reach.”

If you know of a teacher who is making a lasting impression on their students, go to SaanichNews.com, click on the Great Teachers icon, and let us know why you would like to nominate them. Those who fill out nominations are eligible to win a $500 grocery gift card. The deadline for nominations is May 29.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

The WHL’s Victoria Royals will compete in a 24-game season starting March 26, <strong></strong>based out of a Kamloops and Kelowna B.C. division bubble (Kevin Light/Courtesy Victoria Royals)
‘Important to cherish every moment’: Victoria Royals not taking bubble season for granted

The Victoria WHL team’s coach and GM calls the season a ‘privilege,’ expects fierce rivalries

The Victoria Fire Department was able to contain a fire to one room after a bed placed directly against a heater ignited. (Black Press Media file photo)
Early morning Victoria balcony fire causes $20,000 in damages

Victoria Fire Department said nobody was injured in the fire on View Street

Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director, will present a Zoom lecture as part of the University of Victoria’s Orion fine art series on March 8. (Photo: University of Victoria).
Award-winning directors highlight coming University of Victoria lecture series

The March 8 and 18 Zoom events are part of the Orion fine arts lecture series

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complaints about that condo

Most Read