Parents group says teachers make a big difference

Nominations sought for Great Teachers program that recognizes Greater Victoria's top educators

Stephanie Longstaff served 19 years with the Parents Advisory Councils at Hans Helgesen and Metchosin elementary schools

Stephanie Longstaff served 19 years with the Parents Advisory Councils at Hans Helgesen and Metchosin elementary schools

Parents are well aware of the important role teachers play in the lives of their children. Black Press is teaming up with Staples with support from Camosun College to let parents express their gratitude and support towards some of the best teachers the community has to offer with the Great Teachers program.

Stephanie Longstaff’s focus on teachers is coloured by a variety of views seen through a multitude of lenses. She served 19 years with the Parents Advisory Councils at Hans Helgesen and Metchosin elementary schools, as well as Dunsmuir middle school and Belmont secondary.

Although no longer “officially” attached to PACs, Longstaff is heavily involved with the Vancouver Island Parents’ Conference, which brings together educators and parents from across the province to discuss innovative approaches to the best practices to ensure student success.

“Communication between parents and teachers is a key element in enabling students to reach their full potential,” Longstaff noted. “The conference in particular and PAC meetings in general give everyone an opportunity to get on the same page. Some of the best improvements we see in the classroom evolved from those kind of interactions between parents and teachers.”

This approach is even more important in today’s changing world of education, where the reality is that both parents work.

Interacting with teachers who work at all levels of primary education through her involvement with PACs has provided Longstaff  with a deeper insight into the role teachers play in the development of students. “It gives you a greater appreciation of their commitment and dedication to the work they do,” she said.

Seeing teachers take the time to participate in PAC fundraisers when they weren’t obligated to attend and watching how much the students and teachers enjoyed interacting together in a casual environment far removed from the classroom also left a lasting impression that underscored the qualities they bring to their workplace.

Shepherding 10 children through the school system has also given Longstaff a wider perspective, with her youngest son being part of the last class to graduate from the old Belmont secondary, which was torn down this year and replaced with a new school where the old Glen Lake elementary once stood. She remembers how one of her sons struggled with reading all the way to Grade 11 before a teacher took the time to take him to the library and find a book that completely absorbed him in reading. “That extra effort by his teacher changed how my son looked at something as simple, yet as important as reading,” she explained. “Something he had no success with changed into something he enjoys and utilizes in his everyday life.”

Longstaff said that’s only one of numerous examples she could mention that highlight how every one of her children has benefited from the time their teachers took to engage them in learning.

“Every one has at least one teacher they talk about fondly years later and credit for their success,” she added. “It takes an amazing person to dedicate their career to improving our future through the students they reach.”

If you know of a teacher who is making a lasting impression on their students, go to SaanichNews.com, click on the Great Teachers icon, and let us know why you would like to nominate them. Those who fill out nominations are eligible to win a $500 grocery gift card. The deadline for nominations is May 29.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Club Phoenix Fitness in Langford is the first Island business to be ordered closed by the provincial workplace closure order put into effect April 11. It will be closed until at least April 29. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
Langford gym first Island business to be closed by public health order

Workplace closure order can now close businesses with three or more COVID-19 cases

Steven Manchur, who lives near the proposed site of supportive housing in Central Saanich on Prosser Road, said the province has misinformed the public about the site. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich residents protest supportive housing project

BC Housing rejects claim that project will lead to more crime

A sewage pipe is pulled along Niagara Street in James Bay in 2018 as part of the Capital Regional District’s wastewater treatment plant project. Over the next 10 years, the city will complete 78 new underground infrastructure projects, upgrading sewage, stormwater and water main pipes. (Black Press Media file photo)
Construction begins on Victoria’s 10-year pipe replacement project

78 underground infrastructure projects will cost $53.8 million

Father Marinaldo Batista, who served at Catholic parishes in Saanich and Sooke, died April 1 in Brazil from complications of COVID-19. (Facebook/St. Elizabeth Church)
Brazilian priest who served in Saanich and Sooke dies from COVID-19

Father Marinaldo Batista, 53, went to Brazil to visit his parents and died there April 1

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial into 2016 Campbell River killing underway in Victoria

Ricky Alexander is charged with the first-degree murder of John Dillon Brown

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

Alex Mah of Chemainus spends a sunny day at Kin Beach reading to daughter Beatrice Mah. 3. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Vancouver Island’s mini-summer poised to fade

Cooler and damper this weekend, summer-like conditions not likely to return until late June

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigator Mark Jonah probes the scene of a blaze that destroyed two apartments on Sunday, April 18. The cause of the blaze has not been determined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Arson suspect arrested after apartment fire in Nanaimo

35-year-old man arrested for allegedly starting fire lived in the complex

A wildfire has started near Gold River, and B.C. Wildfire Service crews are on scene. Photo courtesy Coastal Fire Centre
Small wildfire burning in difficult terrain near Gold River

Coastal Fire Centre investigating, but confirms blaze is human-caused

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

Most Read