Sask. teacher goes high-tech to help Indigenous students learn
SASKATOON -- A high school teacher at Little Red River School is going the extra distance to help Indigenous students succeed, according to the Little Red River Education Authority (LRREA).
The authority nominated Kayln Heisler for the Prime Minister Awards for Teaching Excellence and she was chosen as this year’s recipient of the Saskatchewan Certificate of Achievement Award.
“We thought the work that Kalyn was doing in the school, a lot of her innovative strategies and the different activities that she was doing with the kids, introducing them to subject such as photography and automotive. We thought she’d be a good candidate for the Prime Minister Awards,” said Larry Wilke, LRREA director of education.
He says Heisler’s approach to teaching has earned her the respect of students and they respond well to her teaching methods.
Instead of turning students away from their devices, Heisler has brought the material to them by posting it online. Even before the pandemic Heisler was using these methods to improve students access to material as students’ attendance was sometimes an issue.
“I think that's my biggest challenge is to get them here and to get them working,” said Heisler.
She uses smart whiteboards, tablets, computers and apps to give students hands-on experience with different technology, software and platforms. She’s created nine websites for classes she teaches. She posts reading material, photos, videos and assignments that can be completed online.
“I love technology in my classroom. My students are always on their phones, so why not bring that technology into the classroom and have students do their assignments right online or get their material from our websites,” said Heisler.
Student Eldon Halkett said he likes her teaching style.
“If you don't understand one way, she take the time to search it out to try and make us understand. She's very supportive of the students.”
This term Heilser is teaching Financial Literacy 20, Psychology 20 and English Language Arts 10. She also teaches Mechanical Automotive 10, Photography 20, Native Studies 20 and Communication Media 20.
She’s the founder of the school’s homework club and has taught at Little Red River School for 10 years.