We work with northern First Nations to recruit, prepare, and support committed teachers who will increase student outcomes in the North. This model has been defined by First Nations community partners, our Circle of Advisors, our Board of Directors, and experienced northern educators.
TEACH FOR CANADA–GAKINAAMAAGE'S APPROACH
We engage and build relationships with teachers through learning events and one-on-one conversations to explore whether teaching in the North is a good fit for them. Those who apply go through a rigorous selection process, including interviews by a panel made up of First Nations education leaders. Finally, we facilitate a matching process between selected teachers and northern First Nations, in which community partners extend job offers directly to teachers.
The Teacher Development team prepares teachers for teaching and living in the North during the Summer Enrichment Program. This intensive program focuses on First Nations histories, cultures, languages, culturally-responsive pedagogies, and outdoor education, as well as strategies for success in the North. When teachers head North, Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage offers peer, professional, and personal supports for two years. We provide a support network around each teacher so that they can support student success in the classroom and the school. Overall, we aim to provide a relationship-based program that encourages teacher retention and supports student success in the North.
The Community Engagement team builds and strengthens ongoing, collaborative, community-focused relationships with First Nations community partners and Indigenous organizations. We aspire to build a new model of working with First Nations; one that is community-directed and built on trust and transparency rather than the one-sided models that have existed in the past. To this end, we have built our community partners into the governance structure of Teach For Canada—an education leader from each First Nation sits on our Advisory Council—and community partner representatives participate in our teacher recruitment, selection, preparation, and support programs. We also promote collaboration and coordination with Indigenous organizations to support First Nations control of First Nations education. Teach For Canada is proud to have mutually beneficial, successful partnerships with First Nations.
The Growth and Partnership team seeks strategic partnerships with generous donors that share Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage’s organizational values of humility, collaboration, respect, integrity, and learning. At the present time, our programs are fully funded by generous corporate, foundation, government, and individual donors.
The Communications team shares stories from the North to inspire teachers and donors, connect with communities, and engage with the public. We work alongside partner First Nations to tell stories of our collective impact and to provide more information to teacher applicants about the unique cultures, traditions, and histories of their communities. We also collaborate with TFC–Gakinaamaage teachers to share their reflections on living and teaching in the North.
The Team and Operations department supports the team by strengthening workplace culture, implementing sustainable operational structures, and building a strategic approach to retention and growth. Our team is hardworking, passionate, humble, and innovative. As an organization that works with First Nations, we value Indigenous perspectives and diversity in the workplace and continuously strive to cultivate an inclusive work environment.
Learning is a core part of Teach For Canada–Gakinaamaage’s work to recruit, prepare, and support teachers. The Impact and Learning team wants to learn alongside partner First Nations, recognizing that we are only one indirect part of student success. We work with partner First Nations to identify their goals for students, determine the principles and processes for research and evaluation, and once that has been agreed upon, we collect and analyze information together. Our team will continue to work in partnership to improve and communicate our collective impact.