Michelle Parrish: Inclusion and Collaboration in Education

Year: 2021 — Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Keewatin Patricia District School Board
Grades K to 12 – blended learning, digital skills
Kenora, Ontario


“As a classroom educator and systems support teacher, Michelle has a significant impact on student success and student skills development. She promotes the skills that students need to thrive in our changing and complex world. She also understands the role of well-being and the risks associated with technology and social media, with a mindset of ensuring the best pedagogical outcomes for students.”


Teaching Approach

Three words to describe Michelle’s approach to learning – collaboration, inclusion and innovation. She uses a number of innovative methods to achieve her learning goals including “inquiry learning” that allows students to use their own strengths to acquire knowledge and skills. For her, learning cannot be disassociated from the rapport between the educator and the learner. This includes awareness and appreciation of Indigenous cultures. Learning about Indigenous history is not just an academic exercise. It is a key element in bringing about reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

Michelle stands out as an educator in her deep commitment to improving the lives of students and widening their opportunities through the building of 21st century skills. She advocates for “techequity” and inclusive approaches to designing tasks and evaluation.

In the Classroom

As a classroom educator, interim vice-principal, and now student achievement teacher, she advocates for the wise and efficient use of technology to instruct and assess students and to conduct professional learning with both educators and administrators. With in-depth knowledge of the latest online tools she provides differentiated and diverse learning opportunities for both teachers and students, recognizing that student achievement and well-being occur in learning environments that meet individual needs.

Michelle is now a coach to teachers. With researched and creative approaches and strong organisational skills, she leads educators in literacy and numeracy, as well as in evaluation methods. She is always endeavouring to integrate technology as a tool to increase efficacy in learning. She has a deep understanding of curriculum and assessment and she works at the planning process to provide guidance and feedback to the teacher in the classroom setting.

Outstanding Achievements

Michelle was featured in Canadian Geographic in April 2020 for her systems project with the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. At a time where decisive action is the most critical component of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada, Michelle is a unique model in answering the Calls to Actions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and integrating the basic values of inclusion and fairness in the classroom.

When COVID struck, Michelle was up to the task. She created a platform to house internal and external resources such as lessons, recorded webinars delivered by teachers, as well as sourced experts, links to professional resources and to the board’s human resources – all the tools to support educators. Michelle also designed and implemented a model for educator instant support and collaboration using chat rooms. This has greatly alleviated the pressures of rapid change related to COVID and made adaptation much more manageable for educators.

Get in touch!

Keewatin Patricia District School Board
240 Veterans Dr
Kenora, ON  P9N 3Y5
Email: sheena.pilipishen@kpdsb.ca
Facebook: @KPDSB
Twitter: @KPDSB_Schools
Instagram: @kpdsb_schools