Local teacher honoured with writing award from union



By Ron Giofu


A local teacher is happy with a recent award given to her by her union.

Teaching awardThe Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) awarded kindergarten teacher Deanna Pecaski McLennan with its 2013 Writers Award – Women’s Program for her published work which urges educators to become authors. Pecaski McLennan, an Amherstburg resident, is a former teacher at Amherstburg Public School and now teaches at Queen Victoria Public School in Windsor. She has been teaching for 13 years and began her career at General Brock Public School in Windsor.
“I love to do professional writing,” she said. “Writing is a huge passion of mine.”

Pecaski McLennan makes the case in her published work that writing about teacher practices in the classroom can have a huge impact on transforming education. She points to moments when students connect new knowledge with prior understanding, that can be a jumping-off point to view and share key perspectives on the inner workings of teaching.

The article, entitled “Educators as Authors: Teaching Beyond the Classroom,” was originally published in an Early Childhood Education Journal last fall.

Pecaski McLennan said the Greater Essex County District School Board wants more teachers to get together to do more writing and that those such professional development behaviours will find their way back into the classroom and benefit students.
According to a press release sent by the ETFO, the award is presented to an active ETFO female member or a group of female members to recognize manuscripts written for children, teachers, or others.
“I haven’t received any kind of recognition like this,” she said. “It’s probably the biggest professional honour I’ve been given. I was just over the moon. I think it puts a really positive light on public education right now. It’s a great achievement.”

Pecaski McLennan said she is a big fan of the full-day kindergarten program and that “it’s a great time to be a teacher in Ontario.” She said she is excited by new programming and it gives a chance for new research, new opportunities and new chances for networking. Pecaski McLennan added she would like to share her new ideas with colleagues going forward.

“Kindergarten is my absolute passion,” she said. “It’s what I live for.”
The EFTO notes that Pecaski McLennan holds a Ph.D in educational studies from University of Windsor and has published “numerous scholarly articles on early years learning.”
“Given her literary canon of writing, Deanna is an excellent role model for other teachers to take up the torch and advance professional development in education,” said ETFO president Sam Hammond. “It is the constant development and sharing of pedagogy that continually transforms the learning environment for students in the best ways possible.”

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