Christine Gates-Leach – Transmitting the Skills for the 21st Century

Year: 2021 — Province: Alberta
Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Calgary Board of Education, Home Education
Grades 1 to 9 - math, science, physical education, art and learning leader
Calgary, Alberta


“Christine is an inspirational leader and educator who is loved by students, staff and families. She leads with heart and compassion. She describes herself as consumed and fascinated by all things related to young people acquiring skills for the 21st century. We are beyond fortunate to have her leading the teaching and learning in our school and in our school board.”


Teaching Approach

As an educator, Christine consistently creates engaging, meaningful and accessible learning activities for all of her students. She incorporates aspects of the local, provincial, national and international community into her learning tasks, helping students understand and appreciate the roles they play in their communities. Christine’s passion for mathematics, science, and teaching with technologies has led to many engaging and innovative learning activities in her classroom, including the integration of online resources into the daily face-to-face teaching practice.

In the Classroom

Christine looks at each learner’s needs and abilities and creates unique lessons to engage students at all levels of learning. She ensures that not only is technology woven into her lesson plans daily, but that physical geography, Indigenous ways of knowing, the arts and body movement are also embedded. She knows – and applies - what six to eight-year olds need in order to learn with happiness, confidence and passion.

Christine is always building digital literacy with her students. She teaches them in the first couple of weeks how to access their online course material (D2L shells), how to submit work, how to access video conferencing, how to take photos and save them within files. She also focuses on teaching her students how to access and use Google Classroom and the full G Suite for education. Her students quickly show confidence and mastery as it pertains to accessing and making the most of online learning opportunities.

Christine gives particular attention to access to technology for students who are non-readers. They use symbol identification, colour coding and practice to ensure that, in the process of learning to read, they can still access the technology. She also creates, with her students, a weekly blog/vlog where the students use a wide range of technologies to profile their work, their skill development and their learning highlights.

Outstanding achievements

Christine is known throughout the school community for her engagement locally, nationally and globally. She begins her year with the question, “What can I learn from the land and my local and global community?” She ensures her teaching approach is not only cross-curricular, but also delves into Indigenous Ways of Knowing and emphasizes for the students that they are intricately woven into the current writing of history. The students learn to see themselves as vital to being the current and future loving caretakers of each other and our planet. Her conversations and higher-level questions move her students and families to see themselves as critical to all of their communities.

Get in touch!

Calgary Board of Education, Home Education
5505 4A St SW
Calgary, AB  T2V 0Z7
Twitter: @cbe_homeschool