This past school year, educators were again faced with unprecedented challenges and changes that were often sudden and unpredictable. It proved to be another difficult time that was met with perseverance and determination by teachers all over the globe. Through the Barbara Koffman Scholarship, the MCRC is pleased to recognize and support two teachers, who have not only dedicated themselves to teaching, but also learning. Congratulation to our two scholarship recipients who continue to learn and grow as educators in the Masters of Language and Literacy program through the University of Manitoba. The MCRC wishes you continued success on your journey!
Nadine has always been interested in a career working with, and helping, children. Surrounded by family members in health care professions, she pursued a medical degree with the goal of becoming a pediatrician. While working towards her medical volunteer hours, she worked in a small rural school in Manitoba, in a targeted reading program. This was Nadine’s first exposure to teaching and she was amazed at the diversity in reading levels and abilities of so many different children. Nadine was inspired, intrigued, and discovered that her true passion was teaching! Shortly after, Nadine changed career paths. She applied, and was accepted, to the University of Winnipeg’s After Degree Program and graduated with her Bachelor of Education.
Upon graduating, Nadine received her first term as a Literacy Support Teacher. She supported classroom teachers conducting the Read-to-Me program and was fascinated and obsessed with finding the best methods of instruction to help struggling readers. After this term, she worked as a classroom teacher for a few years and was exposed to more students, with different backgrounds and reading experiences. During this time, she found herself constantly switching her teaching methods and frequently conducting research on how to best teach each student. Encouraged to focus her teaching on reading and literacy, she accepted a resource/support position for the current school year. Her time in resource has allowed her to focus on literacy and expand her knowledge on how and why students struggle with reading.
In 2020, Nadine’s curiosities led her to begin her Master of Education in language and literacy. She is currently working towards completing the required courses which will allow her to obtain her reading clinician certification. Nadine strongly believes that everyone is a reader, and is excited to continue on her learning journey to better serve her students.
My name is Michelle Durand and I am honoured to have been awarded the 2021 MCRC Barbara Koffman Scholarship. My love for literacy started at a young age and has shaped who I am both personally and professionally. Throughout my experiences as an education student, classroom teacher, and support teacher, I have had many opportunities to learn, explore, question and deepen my understanding of literacy learning. One of my most influential experiences occurred very early on in my career, while I was still pursuing my education degree. It was at this time that I had the opportunity to work for the School Age Literacy Links program offered through St. James-Assiniboia School Division. Through this summer employment I not only gained valuable knowledge and skills needed to be an effective teacher, but I also began to realize how complex and multifaceted reading and writing really are! As I moved forward in my career as a middle years classroom teacher, and then as a literacy and numeracy support teacher, I had the opportunity to work with students of all ages and backgrounds. Some of the students struggled with gaining basic literacy skills, while others excelled in reading and writing. While learning how best to support these learners, I had the opportunity to work with a number of reading clinicians who helped shape my understanding and knowledge of effective instructional approaches to support students. The more I learned, the more I continued to be intrigued by the intricacies of language and literacy. This interest is what has guided me in advancing both my career and post-secondary education. I recently began working as a Reading Clinician Associate with the Winnipeg School Division. As well, I have been pursuing my Master of Education degree in Language and Literacy, with the goal of becoming a certified Reading Clinician. Through my combined education and experience I feel I have learned so much about the literacy field, while at the same time realizing that I have so much more to learn. I hope that through my continued studies I will be able to gain the skills needed to allow me to support all learners in reaching their full potential.