Year: 2015 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Williamsburg Public School
20 Kirkland Place
Whitby, Ontario L1P 1W7
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 1-2, Reading, Writing, Math, Art, Media, and Phys. Ed.
Grade one is a critical time for young children to develop a love of lifelong learning. Mr. Asa Schoonderbeek takes this mission seriously and works hard to spark his students' imaginations. The worn out knees of his pants are a testament to his drive to get on the floor with his students for hands on science projects and his 'dress up' literacy program.
- Organized a "Repeating Reading" program to assist young students struggling with literacy. He recruited, trained, and welcomed volunteers to help facilitate the program;
- Developed a "Boys Reading Club" where he dressed up as a superhero or Star Wars character to bring reading to life;
- Engaged kindergarten families each spring with the 'Welcome to Grade One Night' and supported parents on what to expect academically and socially in the year ahead;
- Employed effective skills development programs for students with autism, learning disabilities and behavioural issues to ensure they learn to their full potential in class.
Mr. Schoonderbeek was the best thing for our son's self esteem. He gave up a lot of his personal time to meet our son's needs and be the best advocate for our son. Mr. Schoonderbeek observed that our son had great difficulty with written language and was a great kinaesthetic (hands-on) learner so he incorporated lots of hands-on activities into his programming. He was always very positive, creative, flexible and a collaborative team member with us, fellow teachers and administration.
When I first arrived at Williamsburg five years ago, I was immediately struck by Asa's ability to connect with our students. Grade one is a critical year on the journey to reading and this journey is made easier because he is a caring, warm person who ultimately wants every student in his class to achieve. His classroom is a hub of activity and fun where each child is given the opportunity to shine.
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