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Year: 2001 – Province: Alberta
Certificate of Achievement Recipients
School: Midland Colony School
Taber, Alberta T1G 1Z9
Principal: John Siddle
School Telephone: 403-223-8430
School Fax: 403-223-8430
School Website: www.horizon.ab.ca/virtual/hutcol/colhome.htm
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grades 4 to 8, all subjects
- Teaching and learning are more than academic pursuits.
- Establish a climate that promotes growth of the whole child. Academic skills and the acquisition of knowledge is important, but social, emotional and physical health is also important.
Mr. Oka is one of two teachers at a Hutterite Colony School with 36 students. English is the second language for all of these students. Most of the students are German-speaking, while approximately 10 percent are Mennonite immigrants from Mexico.
In three years, Mr. Oka has changed the atmosphere at the school, fostering the students' joy in learning and encouraging the development of many academic skills including English oral language skills. Lots of hands-on experiments with real scientific equipment, rather than dry lessons from the textbook, interesting math problems using manipulatives and problem-solving activities and relevant student writing make his class a warm, welcoming and busy place.
Adapts teaching strategies to needs of students, breaks new information into manageable units to assure success, groups students with different abilities together to solve a problem, and gives instructions to suit individual learning styles.
He has given the children the gift of literacy. Recognizing the need for an improved library of books for the Colony's schools, he wrote a grant proposal and received funds to create a travelling library of culturally appropriate, quality books for all reading levels.
Mr. Oka is a true professional in every sense of the word. He is a natural leader and has the ability to share his knowledge with others in a quiet, unassuming way. He has great credibility and a place of distinction and respect among the community of educators in southern Alberta. Principal
He has taken it upon himself to get to know the parents and get them involved in the education of their children, taking into consideration and showing great respect for our culture and heritage. Parent