Emily Constance, left, and Simone Taschereau, Grade 7 students at Cinnabar Valley Elementary School, direct a learning session on composting as part of the school’s environmental conference Thursday. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Students educate on environmental efforts at south Nanaimo school

VIU and Cinnabar Valley Elementary students team for conference

Students played the role of teachers at an environmental conference at Cinnabar Valley Elementary School Thursday.

Vancouver Island University students have been at the school as part of their practicum and Thursday’s event was an opportunity for student-teachers to work with elementary students, according to Marisol Chatton, school principal.

An environmental conference was decided on because it adheres to district and school goals, said Chatton. She also said elementary students gave 25-minute lessons and would stay with a teacher that helped them with planning and organization.

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“Our VIU practicum students have connected with our student leaders, our Grade 7 student leaders, and so they have taken two of our Grade 7 student leaders for each of the lessons and so they are supporting and teaching with them,” said Chatton. “So for me, the beauty of this is that we have teachers guiding student teachers, who are guiding younger student leaders, teaching everybody and the environment lessons are through the eyes of these amazing young students. It’s a different lens.”

Shelley Beleznay, VIU instructor supporting the practicum students, said it was the university students’ first field experience and they were happy to be putting on the conference.

“What’s been beautiful about this is that they’re immediately immersed in the classroom and everything we talk about on campus, they get to visualize and practise it immediately,” said Beleznay. “It’s been an amazing experience.”

Simone Taschereau, a Cinnabar Valley Grade 7 student and aspiring teacher, led a session on composting and said while she is teaching, she is also learning as well.

“We learned that a lot of grown-ups and a lot of people don’t know where proper things go and it affects a lot of the environment,” said Taschereau. “If you put some foods, that go in the compost, in the garbage it really affects the air and the water because it lets out toxins when it combines with the garbage.”


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