The University Club was the site for a special dinner on May 9, celebrating the end of 16 months of hard work for students in the Academic and Professional Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Teachers (also known as the “IET Pilot Program.”)
The program is designed for graduates of international teacher education programs who require additional coursework in order to be certified to teach in Manitoba. The IET courses focus on the Manitoba curriculum, and on the cultural and political structures of Manitoba schools.
IET student Florencio Castillo, who immigrated to Manitoba from the Philippines two years ago, is one of the early success stories of the IET Pilot Program. In the Philippines, Castillo worked as a physical education teacher for 17 years. In late April, after completing the IET Pilot Program, he was hired to teach Grades 9 to 12 physical education at Nisichiwayasihk Neyo Ohtinwak Collegiate in Nelson House, Manitoba. Through the IET Pilot Program, Castillo gained some first-hand experience working in a Manitoba classroom by completing a practicum at Maples Collegiate, where he received support from mentor teachers in physical education and industrial arts.
“The IET Pilot Program helped me to improve my classroom management skills and exposed me to the Manitoba curriculum,” said Castillo. “I also completed an Aboriginal education course that was taught by professor Laara Fitznor, which has helped me in my current position working with Aboriginal students.”
The IET Pilot Program was made possible thanks to teams from the University of Manitoba and the Seven Oaks School Division, where students completed their school experiences. Funds were provided by University of Manitoba Strategic Program Development Fund, the University of Manitoba Employment Equity Incentive Fund and Manitoba Labour and Immigration.
“This program is now the envy of many provinces in Canada,” said Education dean John R. Wiens. “It’s the kind of program where we invite people to join us as students, then walk by their side, and then they join us again as colleagues.”
Lynn Campbell, Manitoba Labour and Immigration coordinator of language training for employment, also expressed similar sentiments.
“There is provincial history of programming in Manitoba,” said Campbell. “When we heard about the IET Pilot Program we said, ‘This is exactly what the province has been looking for.’”
In addition to Florencio Castillo, seven other IET’s were also recognized for successfully completing the 2006-2007 IET Pilot Program: Marianna Cap, Sonia Khanna, Ramona Mahler, Svetlana Medic, Halyna Oleh, Lalaine Tugade and Oxana Tymchuk.
For more information please see www.umanitoba.ca/education/iet/index.shtml