For those of you who haven’t heard I am now working as an EA in Pembina Trails Early College (PTEC).
After 7 years at General Byng it’s a big, but welcomed change for me. I don’t usually look for change over the summer because I was quite content at Byng but when this posting was sent my way it was like it was meant for me. I was on the beach at Hecla Island when my Admin sent me a text and said I should apply, and I am glad I did!
Pembina Trails Early College (PTEC) is an exciting new four-year program that prepares students for jobs in the Information Technology (IT) industry. Students with a passion for software development, cyber security, coding and more have an opportunity to leave with a high school diploma, a post-secondary certificate and a head start in an exciting career.
The program is just amazing and the only of its kind in Canada. I am working with kids who have a genuine interest in technology and are brought in from a handful of other schools in the Pembina Trails School Division. The hope is to fast track and support their learning so that they can enter into a focused career path straight out of high school. Jobs in which a University Degrees come second to experience and know-how.
What I love most is the idea that we are changing the way kids are allowed to learn. Although technology is the common ground they all walk a different path creatively. Given the time and freedom to expand on the concepts presented students are creating some amazing things and taking their learning to extremes simply because it’s fun and engaging for them.
I think education (in general) and curricular outcomes need to change significantly in the coming years to accommodate this incredible technological shift in the way humans are processing information. I feel as though our kids should have more time and freedom to explore their interests in a school setting where there is adult and peer support. I think programs like this are the first step toward this kind of change.
I have always loved writing. I write a blog, and I have about 3 chapters of a novel I have been writing over the last 7 years. I feel quite often that I have no time to write. The time I do make to write is very limited because of my family and work demands and my ideas feel forced and poorly worked out. I enjoyed writing at school in early years until about grade 7 when creative writing turned to essay writing. In continued to write about what was interesting to me on weekends and after school but very rarely and solely for myself. When I graduated my marks were average and I had very little interest and even less money for University so I went to work right away driving a forklift at the Northwest Company. I also applied for the Creative Communications Course at RRC hoping to pursue my interest in writing but I was denied.
Luckily that was about the same time I took an interest in HTML and creating my own website so that I could blog. Following that interest soon got me off the forklift and onto the Intranet Development Team at the NWC. I feel lucky to have worked so many years doing something that I enjoy so much but there is still a big “WHAT IF?”.
WHAT IF there was a school like PTEC (that I could start in grade nine) where I could get all of my regular credits in the morning and have my afternoons dedicated to learning about writing. All different styles of writing and different authors and publishers would visit the classroom to speak about writing careers and different kinds of publications. There would be ample opportunity to write and develop my own ideas with adult support and seemingly unlimited resources all through my high school career. In grade 11-12 I could fastrack to “CreCom” at RRC. When I graduated I could apply for jobs with industry giants I have already met through school or publish my own works if I haven’t already! This is just my story about writing. What about the dancers, singers, artists, or soccer players that could have been?
For me PTEC represents a glimmer of a better tomorrow. It’s the start of changing education to suit the needs of a person’s interests rather than feeding a need for ongoing education.
I work with an amazing team of forward thinkers and I am super excited to be a part of this team. I can’t wait to see where these kids end up.