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Tamarra Price Chambrinho: "heart and soul" of communications technologies program

Transcription – Tamarra Price-Chambrinho, Prime Minister's Award recipient

[Black screen fades up to a white background, with the following words appearing, line by line: Prime Minister's Awards. Music playing. Fade to black and then up white and grey screen with medium shot of woman, smiling, on the left side of the screen, with the following words appearing, line by line, on the right and voice over: Tamarra Price Chambrinho, Father Patrick Mercredi High School, Fort McMurray, Alberta.]

[Fade to black and then to photos, with voice over. Photos: Tamarra posing with student in matching t-shirts; Tamarra and a student smiling posing for a close up; Tamara standing in front a group of students looking at a computer sitting on a table; Tamarra and a student outside the school previewing a photo the student has taken of a tipi; Tamarra standing behind seated student who is pointing to something on a computer screen; Tamarra and student setting up a shot with a digital camera; Tamarra with student looking at computer screen.]

Some students at Tamarra Price Chambrinho's school take her classes every year or even every semester from grades 7 to 12. She ensures students have the technology they need, even opening the school on weekends so they can use resources they might not have at home. Advanced students help those who are new to technology. Others create technology-rich projects in non-tech subjects, such as using stop-motion animation to demonstrate concepts in biology.

[Fade to black and then up white and grey screen with medium shot of woman, smiling, on the left side of the screen, with the following words appearing, line by line, on the right: Tamarra Price Chambrinho, Father Patrick Mercredi High School, Fort McMurray, Alberta. Voice over: Tamarra Price Chambrinho.]

[Fade to white, with the Government of Canada FIP and then the Canada Wordmark appearing in black.]

Year: 2019 — Province: Alberta
Certificate of Excellence Recipient

Tamarra Price Chambrinho

Communication Technologies and Media, and Communication Technologies, grades 7–12
Father Patrick Mercredi High School, Fort McMurray, Alberta

"Tamarra [has proven] to be a dedicated and dynamic teacher. Regardless of the subject of the curriculum Tamarra knows how to reach the students! As she continues to spend her time in schools, her dedication continues to grow."
— Principal

A long-time educator, Tamarra Price Chambrinho is the "heart and soul" of the school's communications technologies and media design program. She builds close relationships with students who take her classes every year or even every semester from grades 7 to 12.

Teaching approach

Tamarra seeks to instil strong leadership characteristics in her students, teaching them about determination, teamwork, independence, reliability and self-sufficiency. Acting as a class facilitator, she makes young people feel valued and productive, which leads to high attendance and success.

STEM in the classroom

  • Ensures students—at a school in a remote community—have the technology they need: she opens the school on weekends so students can use the Internet and resources they might not have at home; students regularly participate in regional and provincial skills competitions.
  • Enables all students to participate, learn and grow in their digital and creative literacy: provides visual supports for students new to speaking English; teaching videos let students see and replay instructions, which benefits special education students, who develop new skills and feel included.
  • Emphasizes cooperative learning and mentorship: advanced students help those who are new to communication technology and media design; others create enriched projects outside the scope of her classes (e.g. using stop-motion animation to demonstrate concepts in biology).
  • Teaches students how to capture and display their materials in a professional manner, stressing the importance of following copyright procedures and respecting privacy, and how to be professional when taking pictures and videos in the school and community.

Outstanding achievements

  • Created school's communications technology and media design program: developed and aligned curriculum, and prepared classroom with hands-on learning resources to differentiate instruction for the hundreds of students; has rebuilt after damage from Fort McMurray wildfires.
  • Is a mentee and soon to be a mentor in the Indspire program, gathering ideas for helping meet the diverse needs of the school's Indigenous students (e.g. implementing traditional beading with coding for middle school robotics and computer classes).
  • Instrumental in planning 2016 graduation, despite losing her home to the wildfires, six-week evacuation and there being no venue big enough to hold it due to ongoing clean up.
Transcription – Tamarra Price-Chambrinho- 2019 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence in STEM

[Black screen fades up to medium shot of woman in interview setting against a white background. Music playing.]

"Students need to learn that it's okay to make mistakes. They need to learn how to learn. They need to know that the teacher doesn't always have the answers, so sometimes they're going to find those answers on their own."

[Fade to black and then up to white screen with medium shot of woman, smiling, on the right side of the screen, with the following words appearing, line by line, on the left: Tamarra Price Chambrinho, Father Patrick Mercredi High School, Fort McMurray, Alberta. Fade to black and then up to medium shot of Tamarra in interview setting.]

"I think when students can create things that have application outside the classroom, have an audience outside the classroom—something that they can share—that makes them more successful because they have a vested interest in creating something that's outside of themselves and outside of the walls of the classroom."

[Fade to black and then up to close-up of Tamarra in the interview setting.]

"We do a lot of crazy things in my classroom. It's kind of a classroom of chaos."

[Cut to photos, with voice over. Photos: Tamarra posing with student in matching t-shirts; Tamarra with student looking at computer screen; Tamarra and student setting up a shot with a digital camera; Tamarra standing behind seated student who is pointing to something on a computer screen; Tamarra and a student outside the school previewing a photo the student has taken of a tipi.]

"We start with partnerships in the school, so kids teaming up with clubs or teams to create tutorial animations, to create logos, to photograph their groups as they do events or to create commercials and video advertisements."

[Cut back to Tamarra in the interview setting.]

"So, our crazy projects may not be crazy when you think about them, because it's taking photos; it's designing logos; it's making pamphlets; it's making commercials; it's creating animations. But what's crazy is the involvement they get with community members, whether it's our school family or whether it's within our municipality."

[Fade to black and then back to medium shot of Tamarra in the interview setting.]

"When we give the kids technology, one, it gives them the tools they're going to need to develop other skills but, two, I think having technology—because it's changing so quickly—the kids have to learn how to learn. The kids have to learn how to find the answers themselves."

[Fade to black and then up to photos with voice over. Photos: Tamarra behind a podium speaking to fellow recipients during her presentation on best practices in the classroom; Tamarra chatting with fellow recipients; Tamarra listening to a presentation; Tamarra and the other recipients outside the Canada Museum of Science and Technology; Tamarra posing with the other recipient of the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence in STEM and a Mountie on Parliament Hill.]

"I've loved, loved, loved, loved, having our mornings where we got to talk together, share our best practices, have those conversations and learn from these people."

"Those connections with those kids, they're so special …"

[Fade to black and then back to Tamarra in the interview setting.]

"…and you don't realize how special they are sometimes when you live them day in and day out until you're away from them a little while and you realize that those bonds are incredibly, incredibly strong."

[Fade to black, with the Government of Canada FIP and then the Canada Wordmark appearing in white.]

Get in touch!

Father Patrick Mercredi High School
455 Silin Forest Road
Fort McMurray AB T9H 4V6

780-799-5725
fm@fmcsd.ab.ca; https://fathermercredi.fmcschools.ca/
Facebook: @trapperpride

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