Year: 2016 – Province: Alberta
Certificate of Excellence Recipient
Spruce Grove Composite High School
1000 Calahoo Road
Spruce Grove, Alberta T7X 2T7
Subjects and grades taught: Communication Technology, grades 10 to 12
Scott Onuczko uses both traditional tools and the latest technology to help students explore their creative sides, enhance their design and production skills, explore interests outside the curriculum and change the world … one personally designed and silkscreened t-shirt at a time.
Breaking away from the traditional teacher model, Mr. Onuczko designs his classes around his students' passions, areas of ability and learning needs. Recognizing that in the rapidly changing field of communications technology, he cannot always be the expert in the room, he acts as a guide for students as they solve problems and help each other.
- Leads collaborative projects that give students real-world experience, including preparing promotional materials for a project to develop math teaching capacity in rural Tanzania and making training videos to teach future health care workers how to interact with patients.
- Created high-quality instructional videos, posted to a file-sharing site, that students use to study software techniques on their own time, so they can use class time to apply what they have learned.
- Developed a comprehensive website to ground students' work in the provincial curriculum; the site features course module outlines, self-evaluation tools, links to professional tutorials and a section for peer feedback, questions and answers, and student-discovered content.
- Organizes an annual international photography field trip as part of the curriculum.
- Created a late-afternoon opportunity for students with a full academic course load, but who still wished to learn about communication technology, to complete course projects, for credit.
- Trained two teachers to take over his entry-level communication technology course when it became so popular that there were not enough spaces to meet student demand.
"Being an excellent teacher comes down to balancing curriculum and the personal development of your students and these are both areas Mr. Onuczko excels in fostering in his kids above all."
"[My son] was inspired [by Mr. Onuczko] to follow his dreams of becoming a teacher, and was able to experience first hand what teaching excellence is all about."
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