Who Am I:
My name is Courtney Albrecht. I am currently a teacher with Living Waters Catholic School Division at St. Joseph School in Whitecourt. I currently work as part of the inclusion team at the school. I also teach Grade 5 and High School ESL. Previously I worked as a teacher Parkland School Division at Greystone Centennial Middle School teaching grade 5 and French. I have also worked as a substitute teacher with PSD70, EPSB as an instructor for the Bennett Centre, and as a technician and trainer with Apple Retail. Before Education, I studied Psychology with a focus on child development and human behaviour.
Throughout the day, I wear many hats. I believe my job is to facilitate learning experiences for my students. Before I can do that, I need to make sure that my students are happy and healthy so that they can learn. I focus not only on their school based education but also help them develop as citizens of our community and our world. Learning is a passion of mine, and I want to help spark that same passion in my students.
What I do:
I look for ways to create meaningful learning opportunities for my students so that students are engaged in their learning and see value in what they are learning. We focus on feedback (assessment as learning), reflection and self-assessment to create an awareness of their work and of themselves as learners. I look for ways to authentically assess my students’ ability to demonstrate a meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills they have learned.
I strive to create a culture of innovation in my classroom. I challenge my students and myself to find a different way of doing things that will improve their learning and/or their lives. My goal is to create a generation of risk takers and to help students learn patience, perseverance, and to develop a growth mindset.
Most importantly, I build relationships with my students. I learn about my students and their needs. I strive to create a caring, kind, trusting, and supportive environment for my students.
How I do it:
I make collaboration and working together a priority in my classroom. This builds students’ abilities and confidence. Collaboration also helps students learn from each other and support each other. Instead of “me” it becomes about “us.” The whole succeeds when the students work together and acknowledge not only the strengths of others but come to realize their own strengths. I focus on finding and promoting the strengths of my students. There is no “can’t” or “I’m not smart enough” in our class. We work together to find ways to draw upon the things we can do. I am open to a variety of ways for students to communicate their learning with many tools and audiences. I look for ways to connect the students with experts and the world outside of the walls of our classroom.
Why I do it:
I want to see my students gain ownership over their education and become advocates for their learning. I know that students want to learn. Engagement in what they are learning is important. I want students to move away from fact-based knowledge and towards understanding the how and why behind what they are learning. There needs to be a shift to skills and competencies for this to occur. Students benefit from a variety of opportunities, approaches, and resources to build their self-confidence. These tools are the key to leading students to the desire to become life-long learners.