High grades for Burns Lake from student teachers

UBC student teachers praise welcoming atmosphere in Burns Lake after three-week placement

Two student teachers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) have said their rural placements at area schools have broadened their horizons — and that Burns Lake locals offered them a warm welcome.

Rachel Vukovich and Cassie Tagseth, two students specializing in physical education, spent three weeks in the Burns Lake area as part of their community field placement in the university’s education program. Both praised the welcoming atmosphere of Burns Lake.

“Not only in the school but in the town and just everywhere, everyone’s so friendly,” said Vukovich, who hails from Toronto.

The two students — who drove together to Burns Lake from the Lower Mainland — were sitting in on courses at Lakes District Secondary School when they spoke to the Lakes District News, but they also spent time at William Konkin Elementary, helped out at schools in Granisle and Grassy Plains, and participated in the sturgeon release in Vanderhoof during their placements.

They also explored outdoor opportunities, including the trails on Boer Mountain. “We did everything we could considering the weather,” said Tagseth.

As well as shadowing teachers, they provided students with one-on-one support in courses including math and led gym courses as part of their time at the various schools.

“We had a lot of fun at all of them,” Tagseth said. Both said the experience in the Burns Lake area gave them a better sense of the opportunities available in remote locations.

The field placement program brought six UBC students to the region for a three-week period, with postings at Burns Lake, Vanderhoof and Fort St. James between April 23 and May 11.

The student teachers were billeted at local households, which received a $500 stipend from School District 91. The billeting program is meant to reduce expenses for the UBC students, who share the cost of travel with the university.

Both students said the housing arrangements worked well and that they felt at home in Burns Lake. “We’ve been welcomed so warmly,” said Tagseth, who is originally from Saskatoon.

For four years in a row, School District 91 has reached out to community members to help accommodate student-teachers as the district struggles to recruit teachers to permanent jobs. There are currently 10 job openings listed for the school district online.

The billeting program has been a success, said Manu Madhok, assistant superintendent of the Nechako Lakes School District. The district has recruited four teachers through the program over the past three years, and another cohort of elementary school student teachers from UBC is expected in June.

Just Posted

Flood warning maintained for long weekend

RDBN reminds boaters to go slow

“An awful roar”

Highway worker gives eyewitness account of spectacular flooding on Ootsa Nadina Road

Burns Lake RCMP seize tainted cannabis

Police find pot laced with opiates “on separate occasions” during past two weeks

Employer health tax may strain local governments

RDBN on the hook for an extra $24,000 by 2020

Letter — Praise for Burns Lake hospital

American letter-writer sees strength in Canadian health care

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads

Most Read