VANCOUVER  I SLAND  UNIVERSITY  -­‐    T EACHER  E DUCATION  

PROGRAM
Summary  of  Y ear  6   Final  PracCcum

Student: Samantha GARSTANG
School: Navigate / NIDES
Analysis By: Craig Gillis
Received and Discussed
Date:

Practicum Dates:

October 28 to December 13, 2013

District: 71 (Comox Valley)
Supervising Teachers:

Grade: K to 5

Roberta Evans: Ken Marcuzzi

Signatures:
Student:
Sponsor:
Sponsor:

Page 1 of 2

Supervisor:

This report includes: School/class context statement and evaluative comments based on the
eight BC Teachers’ Council Standards.

Context  (school,  class/teaching):
Navigate  @  N IDES  located  in  Merville  ( Comox  V alley)  is  part  of  SD71  and  operates  out  of  the  
former  T solum  School.  T he  total  staff  at  N avigate@NIDES  is  45  which  includes  31  teachers,  
counselors,  office  staff  and  administraLon.    T he  total  school  F TE  is  5000  (includes  all  programs  
and  cross  enrolled).    T he  philosophy  of  this  school  is  very  much  student-­‐centered,  with  a  focus  on  
social-­‐emoLonal  learning.  W ith  a  home  schooling  component,  parents  are  acLvely  involved  as  
part  of  the  ‘team’  to  support  the  student  learners.    Samantha  taught  the  N .I.D.E.S    " I  
Class"  ( North  Island  Distrance  E ducaLon  Society)  and  F Ae  ( Fine   Arts  e-­‐Cademy)  programs  face  to  
face  on  Monday  to  T hursday  integraLng  curriculum  through  a  F ine   Arts  lens.     She  teaches  two  
grade  3,  4,  5  classes  (18  students  with  4  on  I EP’s  and  21  students  with  5  on  I EP’s  respecLvely),  
and  three  other  classes  in  rotaLon.    T his  includes  two  K,  1,  2  classes  (19  students  and  14  
students)  and  one  3,  4,  5  class  (22  students  with  4  on  I EP’s).     O n  F ridays,  when  F Ae  students  are  
homeschooled,    E lluminate  online  classroom  sessions  are  held  (11:00  to  12:00).
Value  and  Care  for  S tudents:      Samantha's    unique  prac1cum  placement  provided  an  opportunity  
to  work  with  a  wide  range  of  students  and  families  seeking  a  more  individualized  approach  to  
learning.    She  is  a=uned  to  crea1ng  a  classroom  culture  that  celebrates  and  supports  diversity.    
She  is  able  to  read  the  moods  and  energy  of  her  students.    Her  ac1ons  ensure  the  physical  and  
emo1onal  safety  of  students.    She  has  a  calm,  caring,  pa1ent  and  welcoming  presence.    
Samantha  makes  accommoda1ons  in  many  learning  ac1vi1es  so  that  each  child  feels  successful  
and  safe  within  the  group.    Quick  to  make  connec1ons,  she  is  mo1vated  to  learn  as  much  as  she  
can  about  her  students  as  learners  and  community  members.    Pre-­‐prac1cum  research  revealed  a  
conscious  effort  to  know  the  abili1es  and  the  needs  of  her  students.    She  addresses  concerns  she  
no1ces  or  those  that  students  bring  to  her.    Students  value  and  trust  Samantha.          She  no1ces  the  
efforts  of  her  students  and  is  quick  to  acknowledge  them.    Students  are  treated  with  dignity  and  
respect.    It  is  evident  that  she  honours  confiden1ality  and    models  an  awareness  of  professional  
boundaries.    
Role  Model  AcCng  ethically  and  honestly:      Samantha's  words  and  ac1ons  reflect  understanding  
of  the  roles  and  responsibili1es  of  a  teacher.      As  a  parent,  a  community  member,  and  a  teacher,  
she  innately  recognizes  the  importance  of  serving  as  a  role  model  within  the  school  and  the  larger  
community.    Whether  interac1ng  with  students,  parents,  teachers,  or  educa1onal  assistants  she  
exudes  a  professionalism  when  sharing.      Her  gentle  and  posi1ve  nature  engenders  trust.    Give  
the  highly  interac1ve  presence  of  some  parents,  Samantha  has  been  quick  to  establish  herself  and  
to  convey  her  apprecia1on  for  the  role  parents  play  in  the  educa1on  of  their  children.    Samantha  
is  fully  aware  of  the  guidelines  established  by  the  BCTF  Code  of  Ethics  and  the  TRB  standards.    
She  has  a  good  understanding  of  the  B.C.  educa1on  system  and  has  shown  a  healthy  curiosity  
about  the  role  of  agencies  that  oRen  have  a  func1on  or  a  connec1on  to    schools.    
Understands  and  applies  knowledge  of  student  growth  and  development:      In  her  assignment,  
Samantha  interacts  with  a  range  of  student  groups  in  a  variety  of  groupings  providing  her  with  a  
good  base  of  experience.    Her  FAe  students  are  from  grades  K  to  five  with  a  wide  range  of  
abili1es  from  those  needing  enrichment  to  those  requiring  special  assistance.    As  such,  Samantha  
is  developing  different  expecta1ons  for  individual  learners.      Quick  to  recognize  where  students  
are  in  the  learning  process,  she  has  made  a  conscien1ous  a=empt  to  address  their  needs  through  
adapta1ons.    She  is  encouraged  to  con1nue  to  explore  a  range  of  individual  supports  and  consider  
means  of  extending  the  skills  of  students  who  require  addi1onal  challenge.    Students  gravitate  to  
her  because  she  is  interested  in  their  stories  and  in  developing  a  deeper  sense  of  their  abili1es  
and  needs.      Samantha's  lesson  ac1vi1es  oRen  incorporate  a  variety  of  groupings  -­‐-­‐-­‐  individual,  
partner,  table  groups  and  whole  class.    She  knows  that  students  possess  varied  learning  styles  and  
realizes  that  successful  lessons  acknowledge    that  students  learn  at  different  rates  and  in  

different  ways.    
Involves  parents,  guardians,  families  in  the  school:      Samantha  worked  closely  with  her  sponsor  
teachers  to  sustain  well  established  communica1on  links  with  families.    She  took  the  ini1a1ve  to  
share  informa1on  with  parents  through  an  introductory  le=er  that  provided  a  unit  overview  for  a  
homework  project.      ORen  she  is  present  for  parents  as  they  drop  off/pick  up  their  children  to  have  
an  informal  check  in.    She  has  a  natural  ability  to  communicate  conveying  her  genuine  interest  in  
the  progress  and  well  being  of  her  students.    She  oRen  uses  notes  home  or  e-­‐mails.    She  was  
eager  to  par1cipate  in  the  Navigate  World  Cafe  Visioning  Day.    Samantha  is  an  excellent  listener  
who  connects  with  parents  in  authen1c  ways.    She  par1cipated  in  several  interviews  during    
'Compass  Week'  demonstra1ng  an  informa1ve  and  suppor1ve  awareness  of  student  abili1es  and  
needs.    
EffecBve  pracBces  in  planning,  instrucBon,  assessing,  evaluaBng,  and  reporBng:      The  nature  of  
Samantha's  assignment  required  complex  unit  overviews.      These  overviews  provide  a  solid  
framework  for  student  learning  guided  by  key  learning  outcomes.      She  knows  that  flexibility  is  
required  to  meet  the  needs  of  students  who  do  not  meet  together  as  a  group  each  week  day.      
Lessons  follow  the  VIU  lesson  template.    Samantha  provides  clear  links  between  and  within  her  
lessons.    Pacing,  resource  selec1on,  and  the  sequence  of  lesson  ac1vi1es  are  age  and  interest  
appropriate.      Samantha  has  command  of  an  impressive  repertoire  of  instruc1onal  strategies  and  
rou1ne  prac1ces.    She  values  effec1ve  ques1oning  and  con1nues  to  work  towards  providing  
adequate  'wait  1me'  to  increase  student  voice  and  accountability.    She  is  encouraged  to  con1nue  
to  be  responsive  to  student  moods  and  energy  to  change  plans  'in  the  moment'.      ORen  her  
adapta1ons  and  modifica1ons  are  invisible,  designed  to  clearly  support  all  learners.    Materials  are  
chosen  carefully  and  managed  efficiently  to  increase    ac1ve  par1cipa1on.    At  ease  with  
technology,  Samantha  uses  the  'Smart  Board'  purposefully  to  engage  her  students.    Crea1vity  is  
apparent  in  many  of  her  learning  ac1vi1es  whether  an  art  project  or  global  studies  unit.      
Samantha  embraces  descrip1ve  feedback  and  is  quick  to  incorporate  the  sugges1ons  of  her  
sponsor  teachers.      She  is  commi=ed  to  improving  her  craR.    Management  skills  are  exemplary.      
A  proac1ve  nature  ensures  students  understand  expecta1ons  ….and  that  expected  behaviour  is  
reinforced.    Samantha  uses  low  key  responses  to  elicit  the  desired  behaviour.    She  is  able  to  think  
on  her  feet  to  redirect  students.    She  is  fortunate  to  have  worked  with  sponsor  teachers  who  have  
progressive  assessment  prac1ces.    She  encourages  students  be  be  part  of  the  assessment  process  
(eg.  art  project).    Forma1ve  assessment  ensures  lesson  planning  relates  to  her  student  learning.    
Knowledge  and  understanding  of  subject  areas  being  taught:      As  Samantha  works  with  a  grade  
range  of  students  from  grade  K  to  5  in  a  variety  of  groups,  it  has  been  essen1al  for  her  to  have  a  
strong  curriculum  founda1on.    She  has  a  clear  sense  of  targets  for  each  grade  level.    Learning  
ac1vi1es  were  developed  in  response  to  student  generated  topics.    Samantha  chooses  curriculum  
that  explores  and  celebrates  diversity.    Many  of  her  lessons  have  a  global  context  as  Samantha  
connects  the  student  community  to  the  larger  world.    She  has  also  been  deliberate  in  her  inclusion  
of  Aboriginal  context.    Her  classroom  models  the  democra1c  ethics  of  an  inclusive  society.    
Communica1on  skills  are  excellent.      She  has  also  focused  on  proving  opportuni1es  for  student  
expression  through  ac1vi1es  such  as  Readers'  Theatre.    Technology  is  used  purposefully  to  'hook'  
student  interest  or  deepen  understanding.      Samantha  is  conscien1ous  about  searching  for  'just  
right'  resources  to  supplement  her  lessons  drawing  from    print  materials,  internet  sources,  films  
or  audio.    She  frequently  incorporates  manipula1ves  to  provide  a  hands  on  learning  experience.    
Engaged  in  professional  growth  /  ContribuBon  to  the  profession:      Samantha  is  guided  by  a  well  
defined  educa1onal  philosophy.      She  has  been  eager  to  learn  more  about  distributed  learning  
programs  and  an  individualized  approach  to  teaching/learning.    She  par1cipates  in  the  school's  
PLC,  a=ends  staff  mee1ngs,  and  volunteers  for  school-­‐wide  events  such  as  the  World  Cafe.    
Reflec1on  is  cri1cal  to  her  professional  prac1ce.    Lesson  notes  reveal  an  ability  to  self-­‐assess  and  
to  target  ideas  for  future  considera1on.      Eager  to  explore  the  world  of  professional  development,  
she  has  oRen  ini1ated  learning  opportuni1es.      She  is  encouraged  to  iden1fy  specific  learning  
goals  that  can  guide  her  prac1ce  in  the  ini1al  years  of  her  career.    The  highly  collabora1ve  
partnership  she  developed  with  both  sponsor  teachers  and  other  mentors  demonstrated  an  ability  
to  work  in  a  collegial  environment.        Samantha  has  developed  greater  confidence  with  Elluminate  
and  the  Web  Quest  for  her  class.    She  has  also  contributed  resources  and  units  to  the  pool  of  
learning  ac1vi1es.  
Concluding  Comments
Samantha  is  an  enthusias1c,  knowledgeable,  and  caring  teacher.        She  possesses  the  skill  set  and  
commitment  of  someone  who  will  flourish  in  the  world  of  teaching  and  learning.        Samantha's  
consciousness  of  the  needs  and  assets  of  individual  learners,  her  careful  a=en1on  to  planning  
details  to  meet  needs,  and  her  genuine  interest  in  'making  a  difference'  will  undoubtedly  lead  to  
success.      Collabora1ve  by  nature,  Samantha  understands  that  professional  growth  results  when  
an  individual  is  eager  to  seek  ways  to  share  ideas  and  to  contribute  to  group  efforts.    Students  
gravitate  to  her  because  of  her  openness,  her  sense  of  calm,  and  her  passion  for  learning.    
Ul1mately  it  is  her  enthusiasm  for  learning  and  her  self-­‐mo1vated  nature  that  will  contribute  to  

her  journey  as  a  lifelong  learner.    Samantha  has  the  heart  and  skills  of  a  teacher.    
Samantha  G arstang    has  successfully  met  the  outcomes  for  the  Vancouver  Island  
University  Teacher  E ducaBon  program  Year  6  final  pracBcum.