Year: 2016 – Province: British Columbia
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Kitchener Elementary School
1351 Gilmore Avenue
Burnaby, British Columbia V5C 4S8
Principal: Anthony Yam
School telephone: 604-664-8727
School website: http://kitchener.sd41.bc.ca
Subjects and grades taught: Grades 4 and 5, all subjects
Learning the craft of teaching by helping his educator father, and seeing how his sister with special needs was affected by inclusion and exclusion at school, Bryan Tesan has gone on to be a "bright light" for parents and children finding their way in the school system.
Following his father's example, Mr. Tesan seeks to forge connections with his students—believing that each student-teacher relationship matters to the success not only of the individual but also the whole class—and to build a community of belonging that welcomes and values everyone.
- Develops simulation games to present students with meaningful opportunities to explore real-life issues in a safe and structured environment: in Age of Exploration, for example, groups of students form countries and work together to make decisions about forms of government, colonial expansion, resource extraction and other issues.
- Champions technology to enhance and extend classroom learning for all students regardless of ability, all while ensuring that technology does not replace meaningful face-to-face relationships.
- Introduced mindfulness activities (such as breathing exercises) initially to support students who were having trouble with self-regulation, but later finding that they help children cope with anxiety and smoothly make the transition from outdoor play to classroom time.
- Developed Friday Showdown to encourage engagement and participation: student teams compete on a quiz about the week's lessons, with possession of the Beaver of Knowledge, a stuffed toy, as the coveted prize.
- Initiated and oversees the school's morning announcement team: groups of students write and record, with music and sound effects, the various school notices for broadcast the next day.
"Before, I used to wake up and just go to school. Now it's like, 'YES! More School!' [Mr. Tesan] makes it so that everyone WANTS to come back to school!"
"Mr. Tesan's colleagues trust him, as do students and parents. He consistently acts in a manner true to his values and beliefs."
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