Year: 2017 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Queen Victoria Public School
46 Pine Street
Belleville, Ontario K8N 2M2
Subjects and grades taught: Grade 1-6 Adventure Class
Sheryl Parker & Susan Grace Sewell-Charles are a team of teachers who head up a multi-grade, family-based and holistic outdoor Adventure Class that emphasizes connections to the environment, global citizenship and local community.
Parker and Sewell-Charles lead a multi-grade and child-centred program that delivers the Ontario curriculum via experiential-based learning, and that relies heavily on the involvement of families. A culture of fun and belonging emerges from the use of a learning cycle that urges students to observe, plan, act and reflect.
- Parker and Sewell-Charles have designed a community-based system through which older students mentor their younger classmates, allowing students to learn at different paces in different topics. Each child's success represents the group's success.
- Parker was a co-founder of Project Achieve, an anti-poverty initiative funded by the Ministry of Education and the Elementary Teachers' Federation to dissipate myths and stereotypes surrounding poverty in schools.
- Parker and Sewell-Charles had their students build a Giving Tree where they hung bags of hats, mitts and socks – as well as a sign inviting people to take what they need.
"The Adventure Class is a place of safety for our children. It is a place where their well-being flourishes. This is accomplished through firm yet compassionate expectations and boundaries, by establishing authority and roles."
"Sheryl and Susan embody the personal qualities to inspire children to take risks, to see the world and learning through a lens of wondering, and to have the confidence to value the uniqueness of individuals' strengths and challenges."