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How to Keep you FI Staff by howardtheduck


									How to Keep you FI Staff

      Conseil Français 2004
       Canmore, Alberta
         Fred Kreiner
• A short brainstorming session to get some
  perspectives from you.
• A little personal history in rural Alberta
• Look at things from Maslow’s pyramid (albeit
  adapted to the specificity of the immersion
  teacher perspective)
• Conclusions we can draw???
• What do you think are the reasons that you have
  lost French immersion staff?

• What reasons have staff given for their decision
  to leave the school/community/ board?
               My perspective
• Graduated Faculté Saint-Jean 1985
  – At that time, immersion teachers were not easy to
  – As a small town boy, having spent 4 years in the city,
    I was looking to relocate to a rural setting
• Signed a contract with Peace River 10
  – Wanted to stay for a minimum 5 years.
  – Loved the community.
  – Left after only 1 year.
               My perspective
• Moved to Yellowhead School Division in 1986
  –   Got married and my wife also worked in Immersion
  –   Spent 11 years in Yellowhead and GYRD
  –   Became acting principal for one year
  –   Member of school administrative team
• Moved to Parkland School Division in 1997
  – Access to post graduate education
 Maslow’s pyramid
(according to Fred)
               Physical / Security
• What do we do to ensure that new teachers have their
  physical and security needs met when they arrive in our
   – E-mail contact prior to their arrival
       • Arrival of Exchange Teachers
   – a phone number upon arriving
   – Temporary lodging
   – Finding an apartment
       • Classified ads,
       • C’est quoi un 5 ½?
   – Getting groceries, a case of beer
           Social / Emotional
• What do we do to help new teachers feel at
  home, develop friendships, get the emotional
  support they need for taking on the challenging
  task of a first year of teaching in a new system?
  – Despite language difficulties
  – Cultural differences
  – Lack of family support
           Social / Emotional
• Take the time to get to know the person, not the
• Make sure introductions are made early
  – Often patterns of calling home because of home
    sickness are started very early in a new setting.
• See to it that “compatible” staff get involved
  with new staff socially
• Sometimes, you may have to go outside your
  own school staff to the larger community
           Social / Emotional
• Get in touch with organizations that might be of
  interest to your new staff (hockey clubs, theatre
• CPF parents are a resource to draw on in
  helping new staff integrate into the community
• Recognize that you can’t replace family, but you
  can make them more accessible
  – Personal days around holidays to allow travel etc.
• What is the importance of the immersion program in
  your school?
   – Website that doesn’t mention FI.
   – Expectations of student communication in class and in
   – Language use in staff room or hallways
• Support from other Immersion staff in the
• Teamwork with other Immersion staff in the
• Teacher Evaluation
   – Is the policy explained and clear to staff?
   – Is the evaluator able to speak French?
       • If not, how about another staff member who is fluent being involved
         in the evaluation?
• What resources are available
   – Teaching resources, beyond basic resource & teacher’s guide
   – Support staff, especially for special needs students
       • True believers in FI feel that transferring a student into English to
                support services is a failure
   – Library books
   – Community resources & Field trip opportunities/support
• What about mentoring teachers?
• Would a reduced workload be in order?
  – Immersion secondary teachers may see the same
    students, but often have many subjects to prepare
  – What kinds of support for FSL teaching could be
         Professional & Personal
• What access is there available to PD?
  – Conseil Français
  – Association Canadienne des professeurs
    d’immersion (ACPI)
  – Consortium programming
  – Summer language training
  – Opportunities for post-graduate courses
  – (teachers, français, bourses)
    for financial support in all these areas.
         Professional & Personal
• Can teachers move into different positions?
  – FI coordinator
  – Department Head
  – Administration
• Can personal/professional fulfillment be found
  in the ATA?
  – School representative
  – Local organization
  – Specialist council
• Administrators need to know their staff
• This helps determine what level of needs staff are
  looking to fulfill
   – There are times when too great an emphasis is placed on the
     wrong level of need.
• We need to help teachers maintain a balance between
  their personal and professional lives
• When teachers feel they can meet all their levels of
  needs, there is little desire to change employment

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