On a snowy day in November Faculty of Education administrators spent time at the Balderson Farm.

L to R: Drs. Danny Balderson, Assistant Dean Student Program Services; Craig Loewen, Dean Faculty of Education; Robin Bright, Assistant Dean Field Experiences; Chris Mattatall, Associate Dean Graduate Studies and Research. Dr. Nancy Grigg, Associate Dean Undergraduate Studies was unavailable for this session.

Faculty of Education
Drs. Danny Balderson and Craig Loewen walking Chex and Piper out and about.

I HAD THE PRIVILEGE of starting my teaching career at a very small school in central Alberta. Most of the 175 students in that school drove or bussed in daily from the nearby farms.

NitsiiKihtowaps nitaomataps’KsinimatstohKsi matamahKo itaissKsinimatstohKiopi tatsiKiohtsi Alberta. Kipipi ihKitsiKiKoptoyimi poKaiKs itaissKsinimatsaya. PoKaiKs aotsipiaya KiniKsi itaissapopiya omahKotohKoinam. PoKaiKs itoKoyiya itainsimopi.

It was a wonderful place to start teaching given the breadth of experience I gained, and I quickly learned the importance of shopping local, getting to know your neighbours, and grasping important community rules (such as, never assign homework to high school boys until the crops are in).

IKsoKapi ahKitomatapsKsinimatstohKiosi SaoKiohtsi nitsiKsiKamsKsini’p itohpommopi KimatapiKs. NimataohpowahKapia poKaiKs sinaKsin mahKsKotsipohtosa. Aspommihtaya otsitainsimah­pia.

My years teaching there connected me to a community in a manner I have not experienced since, and the closeness of the community and support it provided is something I vividly remember.

NitsiKsisamitapotaKi, matapiKs iKaisoKaKaamotsiya. NitaKsisamaisKsini’p.

Faculty of Education Dean's Message
Drs. Robin Bright and Chris Mattatall enjoying a beautiful winter's day at the Balderson Farm.

Teaching in a rural setting can be a very different experience from teaching in an urban setting.

I KohKiitsi KamitsKsinimatstohKioKi saoKiohtsi.

Rural school teaching offers a broad range of classes, teaching multiple grades or subjects (sometimes simultaneously), and the need to share teaching resources and space across programs and schools.

I KohKiitsi KamitsKsinimatstohKioKi saoKio’ohtsi. NitaomianitsKsinimatsaya nitaoKstaKiopi.AisKsinimatstohKiiKs aKsoKapi mahKaisspomotsisa.

It is important for teachers, while in their education programs, to experience a variety of practicum grades and settings in order to develop the necessary skills in planning and flexibility, and to learn how to adapt and translate those skills from one setting to another.

IKototamiapi aisKsinimatstohKiKs mahKaiKsinisa poKaiKs amahtotohpia. IhtaissKsinimia manistaKsKsinimatstohKsa.

The practicum program in the Faculty of Education strives to provide a breadth of experiences (grade level as well as urban and rural settings) for all of our students, and this principle helps to ensure their readiness for their first teaching position, whatever it may bring.

MatapiKs aisKsinimatsaiKs nitaisKsinimatstohKiopi aitapipotowaya itaisKsiNimatstohKiopi, mahKitsKsinisa nitaisKsinimatstohKiopi. Aitapipotawaya omahKaKaitapisKoyi Ki saoKio’ohtsi IhtaisKsinimia mahKanistsoKsKsi nimatstohKsa. OtaKanis’tsipi isohtsi’K.

A. Craig Loewen, PhD
Dean, Faculty of Education


Photographer: Rob Olson

An audio file of the Dean's Message read in the Blackfoot language can be found here:
Translation in the Blackfoot language facilitated by Don Shade, Blackfoot Elder and Faculty of Education Instructor
Print translation: Teresa Rosann Many Fingers, Blackfoot Elder
Audio translation: Arnold Mountain Horse, Blackfoot Elder


Other rural-related Faculty of Education stories:
Learning and Teaching in Rural Schools: Janice Jensen (BEd '02)
A Circle is Complete: Nathan Comstock (BA/BEd ’19)
A Community in the Middle of Nowhere
Land of a Hundred One-Room Schools: Art and Rena Loewen
Teacher Still Learning at 105-years-old: Alma McLachlan
Wellness is Ranching: Danny Balderson


For more information please contact:

Darcy Tamayose
Communications Officer
Dean's Office • Faculty of Education
University of Lethbridge
Learn more about the Faculty of Education: Legacy Magazine (2008-2019)
Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu Website: uleth.ca/education
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