March 3rd, 2020
MP Gord Johns Welcomes Teachers to Ottawa for Institute on Parliamentary Democracy
Ottawa — MP Gord Johns welcomed ADSS teacher Anne Ostwald and three other high school teachers from his riding of Courtenay-Alberni to the annual Teachers Institute on Parliamentary Democracy in Ottawa last week.
“One of the best parts of my job as M.P. is visiting classrooms throughout the riding to engage with students and I never fail to be impressed with the amazing work that our teachers are doing to facilitate learning about our democratic processes”, Mr. Johns said. “These teachers were selected to attend this Institute because of their dedication to quality education in our community”.
Coordinated by the Library of Parliament, the Teachers Institute on Parliamentary Democracy is a unique intensive professional development opportunity to engage Canadian educators with Parliament and collaborate on strategies to teach governance and promote civic engagement among their students.
"This week’s experiences were an absolute highlight of my professional life”, said ADSS teacher Anne Ostwald. "I’ve never been so uplifted, acknowledged, respected, honoured, loved, and valued as a teacher as I was by every person we met”, she said. “Everybody spoke from their heart – a number of us cried on more than one occasion”, she said.
The Institute includes up to sixty teachers from kindergarten to Grade 12 from across Canada who teach in a subject area related to citizenship, civics or social studies. Educators hear from parliamentarians, senior officials, journalists, lobbyists and other experts. They discuss key issues related to citizenship and democracy and develop strategies for teaching these fields, taking what they learn back to the classroom.
“Liaising with other teachers from all the provinces and territories was a highlight”, said Ms. Ostwald. “And, having conversations with the Governor General, a Supreme Court Judge, Senators, MP’s and librarians from the Library of Parliament was so enlightening.” “I have applied to attend four times and, thanks to support from my Member of Parliament, Gord Johns, I was able to attend this year. I am so grateful and blessed to have been able to go”, she said.