Teachers are at the heart of our education system and play a significant role in educating and supporting students.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development asked for input through Ideas for Education.

The purpose of this ask was to listen and learn from those of you on the front line, who know the system best and have good ideas that will make both students’ and your lives better. Now, those ideas are being put into action.

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Beginning in September, existing teacher initiatives will be expanded, and new ideas coming from teachers will be piloted.

Some will be unique to one or two schools, others will be provincewide. Here are a few ideas for the 2023-24 school year:

  • Creating Elementary Math Specialists (like physical education / music or implement as a team-teaching model)
  • Assigning Child and Youth Care Practitioners (CYCPs) to specific classrooms
  • Expanding programs like GuysWork to promote healthy masculinity in our schools
  • Hiring more term substitute teachers, and
  • Reinstating the provincial attendance policy
Helping improve student achievement and outcomesHelping improve student achievement and outcomes

Teacher-initiated ideas happening regionally:

Annapolis Valley Regional Centre for Education

In AVRCE, Darlene Barr, a student-centred Literacy Coach and member of the AVRCE Elementary Literacy Support Team, is the author and photographer of a new series of levelled non-fiction books for early and emergent readers. Topics that reflect the interests and experiences of AVRCE students - ATVs, fishing, farms, and hunting - are a hit with young readers.

Students were part of the writing process, helping to edit the text and choose the right words based on their knowledge. This idea continues as AVRCE teachers look to involve high school and elementary students in the publishing process of this continuing pilot.

Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education

In CBVRCE, teachers created, initiated, and developed the alternative education program (AEP) connect program at Memorial High School.

This supports students with mental health, anxiety and / or substantial attendance challenges. Impact? This year seven more students will graduate because of this teacher-initiated idea.

Chignecto Central Regional Centre for Education

In CCRCE, teachers at New Glasgow Academy have been successfully piloting their foundational approach to word reading skills, aligned with the provincial focus on phonics and phonological awareness.

This pilot is expanding to 39 other schools in September!

Conseil scolaire acadien provincial

In CSAP, one of the teacher-initiated ideas was to match experienced mentors with new teachers.

This idea strengthens support for professionals early in their career and captures the strength of experienced colleagues who are willing and able to assist their peers.

Halifax Regional Centre for Education

In HRCE, teachers at Clayton Park Junior High had an idea to better support their growing newcomer population. They piloted a literacy class designed for students who had experienced interruptions in their schooling or may not have ever attended school.

The pilot program consisted of two streams: a language class and guided reading groups. Newcomer students continue to benefit from gaining a better understanding of school life and routine, while acquiring basic language and literacy skills. Teacher ideas became a pilot resulting in a safe, supportive environment for newcomers.

Strait Regional Centre for Education

In SRCE, teachers wanted a way for students to move more in classrooms.

Their idea was developed and resulted in Active Smarter Kids (ASK) training. Professional learning and resources were provided to all teachers in response.

South Shore Regional Centre for Education In SSRCE, one of the teacher-initiated ideas resulted in Girls with Goals, an experience for grade 9 female students exploring hands-on trades like refrigeration, electrical, carpentry, motorcycle and power products repair and automotive.
Tri-County Regional Centre for Education

In TCRCE, one of the teacher-initiated ideas created opportunities for students to learn more about and grow their own food!

Kudos to Digby Elementary School for bringing Health Promoting Schools to life in partnership with the Digby and Area Community Gardens Society. What a great teacher idea brought to impact!


Message from Hon. Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development:

Continue to share your voice, experience and ideas to strengthen Nova Scotia’s public education system.