Helping youth on the edge reach for the top
Aider la jeunesse à cran à viser haut
Myth Busting Trades
& Apprenticeships
École communautaire
francophone au
Teens in the Age
of Overindulgence
Canada’s National High School Counsellor Resource
CSC • T0209
❱❱ Contents
This Issue
Across Canada
Great Idea!
Gordon Bell High School,
301 Weston Street
Suite 218
Winnipeg, MB, CA
R3E 3H4
Ph: 888.634.5556
Fax: 888.318.0005
Email: [email protected]
Publisher: Trevor Shirtliff
Editor: Barbara Chabai
Art Direction & Design: Leigh McKenzie
Production Coordinator: Alan Harasymchuk
Circulation Manager: Rick Henkewich
(NRS Mail)
Advertisng Sales: Trevor Shirtliff,
Contributing Writers: Candice G. Ball
Barbara Chabai, Liz Katynski, Dan Kenning
French Translation: Daniel Embregts
Canadian School Counsellor
CSC-T0209 • Spring 2009
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Career Opportunity
Into the Wild/Dans la Nature >> 18
10 Dyslexia in Disguise
Fashion Designer
Candice G. Ball >> Why the learning disorder often goes
undetected until after high school
On The Bookshelf
Last Period
École de pensée
Liz Katynski >> Cette école secondaire francophone a une
culture d’esprit d’enterprise
18 Into the Wild/Dans la Nature
Barbara Chabai >> CanAdventure Education offers families
hope with wilderness therapy for at-risk youth. CanAdventure
Education offre de l’espoir aux familles avec une thérapie de
pleine nature pour jeunes à risque
Mitch Dorge >> 32
25 Going In For the Skill
Dan Kenning >> Counsellors play a vital role in changing the
stigma of a college education from a “lesser than” to an “equal to”
Apprenticeship: Post-Secondary
Education That Matters
>> Myth busting through to the truth about careers in skilled trades
32 The Wisest of Dummies
Dan Kenning >> Juno Award winner Mitch Dorge marches
to the beat of a different drummer with his unique approach to
motivational speaking
34 The Age of Overindulgence
Barbara Chabai >> Is it possible to reach and teach an
entitled generation?
❱❱ Across Canada
Nova Scotia School
Promotes Importance
of Reading Daily
Liverpool, NS – To enhance
literacy among students,
Liverpool Regional High
School has launched a
Sustained Silent Reading
(SSR) program. Already a
familiar concept in elementary and middle schools, SSR is a
10-minute period of daily uninterrupted reading where everyone
in the building – including students, teachers and administrative
staff – picks up a book.
“SSR offers our students the time and opportunity to
independently explore and practice their reading skills,”
says Principal Terry Doucette.
The school has embraced the program. Not only do improved
literacy skills have positive impact on all content areas and
course levels, it encourages students to become
life-long readers by incorporating reading time into their
daily activities.
Executive Quits Job to
Teach Teens How to Thrive
in Working World
Vancouver, BC – Shocked by the
lack of “soft skills” he was seeing in
the new crop of students looking for
work, Adi Rosin left his job as CEO
of a high-tech company to teach
future job seekers how to interact
during the hiring process and in
the workplace.
“Something was failing
these guys. They were brilliant
people, but if I had asked them to interact with other team
members, or write an e-mail to obtain a response, it would
have been disaster,” he tells the Vancouver Province. He says
many applicants had excellent credentials but they made
poor impressions with little eye contact, limp handshakes and
unconfident posture.
Rosin started an after-school program for students in North
and West Vancouver called Intelligent For Life, which helps
young people pick up essential skills such as assertiveness,
leadership and how to interact with people.
“It’s not about being smart, but these skills aren’t taught in
school,” Rosin says. “I would have loved to know these things
when I was 18.”
Contraband Cigarettes
Attracting More Ontario
Teens: Survey
Ottawa, ON – According to a report
by the Canadian Convenience
Stores Association (CCSA), more
teens are getting hooked on cheap,
illegal smokes. Of the cigarette
butts picked up from public grounds outside of 80 Ontario high
schools, 26 per cent were found to be illegal, up two per cent
from 2007.
Cash-strapped teens are often the target of counterfeit
cigarettes, with a bag of 200 “rollies” costing between $10
and $15, compared to a legal carton at about $75. The illegal
cigarettes are not only cheaper, but potentially more dangerous
as the smoker rarely knows what substances they contain or
where they were made. OPP Crime Stoppers reports that police
have received tips about people staking out high schools in an
attempt to sell the illegal cigarettes to students.
CCSA President Dave Bryans says his organization is hoping
the government will help snuff out the issue.
“We’re asking political parties to support a ban on use,
possession, youth purchasing and youth consumption of
tobacco products. It should be no different than alcohol,” he
says. “That would give school principals, health boards and
educators an opportunity to minimize this issue through
monitoring and working with youth.”
Safe Driving Message Reaches Saskatchewan Students
Regina, SK – Saskatchewan
Government Insurance (SGI) and the
Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company
(SNTC) have teamed up to present
an important traffic-safety play to
Roadies, written by Arron Naytowhow
and performed by members of SNTC,
targets youth and addresses such issues
as impaired driving, seatbelt safety, driver distractions and
speeding through skits and songs.
“I think it’s very important for the students themselves
because for them to see us, they can relate to us as we show
and share these stories… I think they get the message a whole
lot easier,” actor Lance Larocque tells the Regina Leader-Post.
According to Kwei Quaye, Assistant Vice-President of Traffic
Safety and Driver Services at SGI, the goal of the play is to
provide a message of safety to members of the audience from
people who are just like them.
“One of our core goals is to over time build a road safety
culture in the province. We believe that if we get to younger
people today, in 10 years time, we’ll have a much safer driving
community than we have today.”
❱❱ Across Canada
Students Beat
Astronomical Odds
Toronto, ON – Students of
Humber College Institute
of Technology & Advanced
Learning managed to go
where no college students
have gone before – by contacting the International Space Station
on a communications system they designed and assembled
Operation First Contact, which took four students more than
a year and a half to develop as a technical design project for
the Wireless and Telecommunications Technology program,
successfully contacted the space station for a pre-arranged
meeting in early February.
Along with meeting stringent NASA-approved design
criteria, the system had to be able to find and track the space
station, which travels in orbit at a speed of 27,700 km/hr and
transmit a radio signal 400 kilometres into space. The out-ofthis-world feat marked the first time that college-level students
have designed and put together a device to make contact with
the space station.
New Federal Support
Expands Post-Secondary
Access for High
School Graduates
Getting a university,
college or trade school
education has never been
more important. School
counsellors play an important
role in ensuring students have
the right information to help them succeed.
Beginning in fall 2009, the Government of Canada will reduce
financial barriers faced by Canadians and make it easier for youth
from low- and middle-income families to manage the cost of
post-secondary education.
These new measures will help students reduce and manage their
student loan debt and make it easier to repay their student loans:
• A new up-front Canada Student Grant for full-time students
from low- and middle-income families;
• A new Repayment Assistance Plan to help students who
have difficulty paying back loans;
• More support for students with permanent disabilities; and
• More support for part-time students including a grant worth
up to $1,200.
Find out more about how the Government of Canada can
help your students achieve their educational goals by visiting
Des nouvelles mesures fédérales rendent les études
postsecondaires plus abordables pour les titulaires d’un
diplôme d’études secondaires
Aujourd’hui, plus que jamais, il est important d’être titulaire d’un
diplôme d’études universitaires, collégiales ou professionnelles.
Les conseillers d’orientation scolaires jouent un rôle important
en s’assurant que les étudiants obtiennent les renseignements
appropriés qui les aideront à réussir dans leurs études.
À compter de l’automne 2009, le gouvernement du Canada
réduira les obstacles financiers auxquels les Canadiens sont
confrontés et aidera les jeunes de famille à revenu faible et
moyen à faire face au coût des études postsecondaires.
Les nouvelles mesures aideront les étudiants à réduire et à
gérer leurs dettes et faciliteront le remboursement de leurs prêts
étudiants :
• une nouvelle bourse canadienne pour les étudiants à temps
plein de famille à revenu faible et moyen;
• un nouveau Programme d’aide au remboursement pour les
étudiants ayant des difficultés à rembourser leur prêt;
• davantage de soutien aux étudiants ayant une invalidité
permanente; et,
• davantage de soutien aux étudiants à temps partiel, y
compris une bourse pouvant atteindre jusqu’à 1200$.
Pour obtenir davantage de renseignements sur la façon
dont le gouvernement du Canada peut aider vos étudiants
à réaliser leurs objectifs éducationnels, veuillez consulter
❱❱ Spring Issue
“Even in public school, I couldn’t read during reading periods.
I’d have to take the book home and read it out loud.”
Dyslexia in Disguise
Why the learning disorder often goes undetected until after high school
by Candice G. Ball
As Joshua (not his real name) waited
anxiously for his biology professor to call
his name, he told himself he had studied
hard for the exam so he probably did just
fine. Finally, Joshua’s turn came and his
prof handed him his paper. At the top:
30 per cent written in red marker.
Joshua felt sick to his stomach. “How
could I have even gotten into university
if I’m so stupid?” he wondered. He had
graduated from high school with a decent
average and never had trouble with
classes before starting university.
“It was all the reading and multiple
choice exams,” he now recalls. “I did fine
on short answers but the multiple choice
killed me.”
After failing several courses, Joshua’s
mother, a former teacher, suspected a
reading disability and encouraged him to
have an assessment done at the Saskatoon
Centre of Reading Excellence Inc.
Joshua went through the assessment
process and was relieved to discover he
wasn’t losing his mind. The diagnosis,
however, was that he had dyslexia. Both
Joshua and his mother found it odd that he
made it all the way to university without
anyone noticing his reading difficulties.
But according to Claudette Larocque,
Director of Public Policy and Programs
at Learning Disabilities Association of
Canada, it is not that uncommon for
a student to discover he or she has a
learning disability while pursuing their
post-secondary education.
“When a student is in a home
environment, there’s support. The
teachers also provide support,” Larocque
explains. “Once they go on to a college
or university setting, it’s totally different.
There is no support. It’s a totally different
environment in terms of the classroom –
it’s a lecture format in many instances.”
She adds the student is “asked to do
things they weren’t asked to do in high
school. Their environment has changed
and because of that, their learning
disability really comes out.”
Certainly that was the case with
Joshua. He found the volume of reading
and the fact he had to learn from
textbooks overwhelming. “Even in public
school, I couldn’t read during reading
periods. I’d have to take the book home
and read it out loud. I guess that was a
symptom of my dyslexia.”
The intellectual potential
Dr. Liz Adkins, a clinical psychologist
in private practice in Winnipeg, describes
dyslexia as “an impairment in the
brain’s ability to take images perceived
by the eyes and ears and put them
in understandable language. There’s
something wrong in the processing. The
information gets into the eyes and the
ears; so they can see okay and they can
hear okay, but the processing part of the
brain isn’t working properly,” she explains.
Dyslexia is typically diagnosed through
a learning assessment conducted by a
“We do tests to determine the person’s
reading level and to determine the
person’s potential,” says Dr. Adkins. “We
look at the intellectual potential versus
how they are performing.”
There are also a number of tests that
can determine whether an individual learns
best by hearing, seeing or doing. “We try to
also provide that information to help them
work more effectively,” she says.
A major component of the learning
assessment includes recommendations
on educational planning and student
For many students who were labeled as
slow or difficult, the proper assessment
can help them heal their damaged selfesteem. “It helps the person because they
realize, yes, there’s something wrong with
them, but it’s not that they’re crazy, stupid
or lazy; it’s that they’ve got a disability.”
The documentation is also the key
to getting a college or university to
provide the resources a student with
a learning disability needs. “When
you’re in post-secondary school, you’re
reading to learn; you’re not learning to
read,” says Larocque. “So that’s why the
accommodations at a post-secondary
level are specific to your program and not
specific to your learning how to read.”
Making accommodations
Larocque recommends university or
college students present themselves
to a support service for students with
disabilities well in advance of classes
beginning. “They sit down with the advisor,
go through the diagnosis and look at the
recommendations, look at the type of
program the student is registered in and
the type of accommodations required.”
That’s precisely what Joshua did
when he decided to embark on the
educational path towards becoming
an electrician. His recommendations
included taking an exam in a private
setting with a reader.
“After my negative experiences at
university, I was afraid to go back to
school,” he concedes. “But after I met
with the people at the disabilities centre
and made my instructor aware of my
situation, everything went really well.”
So well, in fact, that Joshua had no
fears when it came time to retrieve his
first exam. He knew going into it that he
needed a 65 per cent to pass; so no doubt
seeing the big red “79” marked on the
page felt pretty darn good.
In Good Company
Here are a few of the
famous who didn’t let
dyslexia stop them from
achieving greatness:
•Hans Christian Anderson, Writer
• Muhammad Ali, Champion Boxer
•Ann Bancroft, Arctic Explorer
• Richard Branson, Entrepreneur
• Agatha Christie, Writer
• Anderson Cooper, Journalist
• Tom Cruise, Actor
• Walt Disney, Entrepreneur
• Thomas Edison, Inventor
• Whoopi Goldberg, Comedian
• Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor
• Tommy Hilfiger, Clothing Designer
• Jay Leno, TV Host
• Pablo Picasso, Artist
• Jackie Stewart, Race Car Driver
Common Symptoms of Dyslexia
• Difficulty learning and remembering printed words
• Reversing letters and/or numbers
• Confusing vowel sounds or substituting one consonant for another
• Difficulty writing
❱❱ Great Idea!
to take control of their lives, use their
imaginations and capacity for reason to
question the world and then help them
create that world.”
Once the students had developed and
shared their stories, they were bursting
to tell others about what they had
discovered. The group found a venue to
do just that at the Winnipeg Storytelling
The Storytellers
School: Gordon Bell High School;
Winnipeg, MB
Population: Approximately 950 students,
Grades 7-12
Program: Many Voices, One World uses
the art of storytelling to bring students of
diverse backgrounds together
Every good story needs compelling
protagonists, and there is no shortage of
them at Gordon Bell High School, which
has students from all of Winnipeg’s major
ethno-cultural groups.
“The school has a truly mixed
population wherein there is no real
mainstream,” says teacher Marc Kuly,
noting that over 50 languages are spoken
in the homes of the school’s students.
“If public school’s job is to help create a
more equitable and hopeful world, there
is no better place than Gordon Bell to get
that job done.”
In 2007, Kuly and fellow teacher
Shelley St. Godard noticed that despite
the diverse school population, there was
still evidence of self-segregation amongst
the students.
“Students tolerated each other’s cultures,
but we wanted to move beyond tolerance
into understanding and perhaps even a
celebration of diversity,” Kuly recalls.
Kuly and St. Godard introduced
Students from Gordon Bell participated in the Winnipeg Storytelling Festival
students to the book A Long Way Gone,
the memoirs of former Sierra Leone child
soldier Ishmael Beah. Beah’s gripping
story of losing and then struggling to
regain his humanity resonated deeply
with students, especially refugees, and
aboriginal and Euro-Canadian youth.
“Of the 60 students who read Beah’s
book, 30 volunteered to meet after
school to do more work on the sorts of
intercultural activities that we had done in
the novel unit,” Kuly says.
The weekly meetings would start with
an exercise to shake off the events of the
day and focus students on being present.
Kuly would then tell a story and ask the
students to respond through one-on-one
storytelling, small group discussions or
sharing circles.
“For instance, a story might have a
character who faced tremendous odds or
who was granted a wish. After the story
was told, students would share their own
experience with facing challenges or one
of their wishes,” he says.
Although storytelling was a natural
way for the kids to interact, the process
was not without its challenges – not the
least of which was establishing trust
within the group.
“Students, especially refugee students,
Festival, which donated the space and
publicity for the students to participate.
“The festival also booked Ishmael Beah
and his adoptive mother (storyteller
Laura Simms) and gave our students a
chance to meet and speak with Ishmael
– the man who had inspired them,”
Kuly says. “They also participated in a
workshop with Laura, who helped them
tell their stories with more confidence,
clarity and artistry.”
Now in its second year, Many Voices,
One World has exceeded expectations,
with students able to accept someone
different from themselves as an opportunity
to expand their view of the world.
“Students are curious about each other
and more confident in themselves,” Kuly
says. “They have discovered a sense of
their own agency and prove it in their
interactions and response to local and
world events.”
Impressed by the program’s ability to
connect students, the Manitoba School
Improvement Program arranged
a secondment for Kuly, allowing him to
work with students in several different
schools while keeping the project going
at Gordon Bell. He says the idea of Many
Voices, One World can work well in most
high schools, although success depends
on a number of principles.
“First, use high interest, relevant, high ›
…continued on page 39
have good reason to suspect people who
ask them to tell their stories. For Canadian
students, one of the biggest challenges
was learning how to tell a story,” he says.
“In the West, we are pretty good about
talking about our feelings, but telling a
story is quite different.”
Kuly says that the new Canadian
students were able to help out their
Canadian-born classmates by modeling
the way a story shows something rather
than telling it.
“For instance, when a student tells
of his experience leaving his village for
a refugee camp and attending his first
day of school in the camp, a whole range
of emotions are evoked in listeners,” he
says. “It’s far more powerful than simply
explaining that he was sad and scared
and hopeful all at the same time.”
Although the peer storytelling
experience was emotional and even
cathartic for many of the students, Kuly
disagrees with the notion that Many
Voices, One World is more of a therapy
program than an education program.
“Once we are born, we get a name
and that is the start of our story. Either
we become authors of our own story
or we become the victim of it,” he says.
“Teachers need to empower students
❱❱ Career Opportunity
for Fashion
Know a style-savvy student bound to go from high school hallway to Project
Runway? Here’s what they need to know about becoming a fashion designer
by Liz Katynski
Carrie Hayes always knew she wanted to be a fashion
designer. From the age of six, she was sketching her own designs.
Today, the 27-year-old Toronto resident runs her own
fashion design business called Carrie, specializing exclusively
in women’s day dresses for young urban customers. She sells
them in small boutiques in Ontario and Calgary. She opened for
business in January 2007, and does both a spring and a fall line
each year. Her Spring 2009 line is her fifth collection.
“Fashion design is very rewarding, if you love it,” says Carrie.
“I love building fashions from scratch. It’s a hands-on job, an
amazing job.”
She admits she is not in it for the money, and defines her own
success by being able to pay the bills doing something she loves.
She knows that turning a profit can take years, and requires
talent, perseverance, and significant financial backing because
it’s so very competitive out there.
Carrie moved to Toronto from Wiarton, ON to attend the
International Academy of Design’s Fashion Design Program.
Although her mother and grandmother taught her how to
sew, she didn’t want to be known as a “sewn-in-grandma’sbasement” designer. She wanted professional training credibility.
At 19, she was already working in the industry. She interned with
Calvin Klein, to add a prestigious name to her resume.
Carrie advises aspiring fashion designers that they must be
talented and have something different to say, and they can’t be
afraid of working hard to accomplish their dream.
Get a diploma or degree from a reputable school. Be sure
to ask if they offer a more artistic or more technical training
program, and who some of their most successful graduates are.
Complete an internship with an impressive company. Consider
moving to Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver.
And remember, a fashion designer can expect to work 10
years before breaking even. There are many hours in the studio
cutting fabric, and sewing. Dealing with production suppliers
and buyers can be insanity. It’s not for everyone.
Creative design jobs at clothing manufacturers are also
prestigious although they require a few years of industry seniority.
Technical work can earn you $40,000 or more in a few years. Or
you could consider other fashion-related jobs like fashion television
or print journalist, retail buyer, marketing and public relations,
stylist, model, production assistant or fashion photographer.
• A
ccording to Human Resources and Development Canada
(HRDC), fashion designers design and create clothing and
accessories for men, women and children. Designers may
be employed by clothing and textile companies or selfemployed. Employment requirements are a university degree
in fine arts or visual arts, or a clothing design program at a
college or university. Creative ability is demonstrated in a
portfolio of work. Use of computer-assisted (CAD) design
may be required. Designers may advance to supervisor and
management positions.
• T
he Apparel Human Resources Council says fashion
designers create and develop new products based on
fashion trends, clients’ needs, and the company profile. The
job requires development of a collection plan, research,
sketching and supervising storyboards and technicians, as
well as participating in promotional events. There are 1,200
apparel firms in Canada and over 80 jobs in the industry
from production to creative, and more. Of the 63,000 people
working in the apparel industry in 2003, 80 per cent were in
production and 17 per cent were in administration.
Accessorizing Toolkit
Learn more about careers in fashion design by exploring the following books and websites:
• P
assion for Fashion: Careers in Style by
Jeanne Beker, Illustrated by Nathalie Dion
• P
ortfolio Presentation for Fashion Designers
by Linda Tain
• T
he Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary
Gehlhar with an introduction by (successful
American fashion designer) Zac Posen
École de pensée
Cette école secondaire francophone a une culture d’esprit d’entreprise
Par Liz Katynski
La Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux (PL-M) à Caraquet était
désignée la première école secondaire française communautaire
du Nouveau-Brunswick en juin 2008.
« Est-ce que c’est l’école parfaite? Non. Mais c’est une école
où les jeunes aiment venir apprendre, » dit Philip Chiasson,
directeur de la PL-M. « Notre école est ouverte au changement.
C’est un processus continuel. Le plus gros reste à venir. »
L’école communautaire a une philosophie qui cherche à
retenir les élèves en leur offrant une formation plus riche
et moderne. Ici, les communautés, les municipalités, les
entrepreneurs, les partenaires et les parents sont encouragés
à participer à l’éducation et à la formation des jeunes.
Au Nouveau-Brunswick, le gouvernement anticipe ouvrir 75
écoles communautaires d’ici 2012, en accordant 3,3 millions de
dollars à cette initiative.
L’idée, telle qu’exprimée dans le rapport Les Enfants au
premier plan, c’est de renouveler les méthodes d’enseignement
afin de s’assurer que les enfants ont une vie meilleure que celle
de leurs parents.
La province a déjà plus qu’une dizaine d’écoles communautaires.
Au Québec, on invite la communauté à participer activement
au sein de l’école pour intégrer des services dans ou à partir de
l’école. Leur but est de tenter d’augmenter le taux de réussite
des élèves, en invitant la communauté à s’y engager à leur succès.
La Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux a un comité composé de
membres de la communauté, d’enseignants, de la direction,
et d’un agent de développent communautaire. Ensemble, ils
déterminent ce que les élèves veulent, ce dont ils ont besoin
et comment intégrer le tout aux cours pour enrichir le
programme d’études.
Le comité existe depuis deux ans et il reste beaucoup de
travail à faire, dit Mme Cormier, directrice-adjointe de la PL-M.
L’année passée, la PL-M a offert une multitude de styles
d’apprentissage pour répondre aux intérêts variés des élèves les
mercredis après-midi. Il y avait plus de cent vingt activités telles
que des cours de danse, de scrapbooking, de cuisine animées
par plus de 60 personnes de la communauté. Par exemple, une
acadienne qui a marié un japonais a géré des sessions de culture
et cuisine japonaise pendant lesquelles les jeunes ont appris à
faire du sushi.
Cette année, l’école offre de tels styles d’apprentissage après
« Des gens d’affaires, d’autres nous donnent un coup de main
avec grand plaisir, sans rénumeration. Ils sont fiers de contribuer
à l’éducation des jeunes. Maintenant d’autres personnes nous
approchent, » dit M. Chiasson.
Il y a un fort partenariat communautaire.
« On veut exposer les élèves au monde sans se limiter à nos
connaissances. » dit M. Chaisson. « On mène à l’ignorance
quand on croit que l’on sait tout. »
Pour donner aux jeunes le goût de poursuivre un emploi dans
ces domaines, la PL-M offre des stages coopératifs- certains
avant-midis sont passés aux milieux du travail tels que chez un
avocat, un comptable, un enseignant, un mécanicien, un
plombier pendant une séance de cinq mois.
L’année passée, la PL-M a offert un cours de networking
au Collège Communautaire du Nouveau Brunswick- Campus
de Bathurst et Cisco Canada. Depuis deux ans, l’Université
de Moncton accepte des élèves du deuxième semestre de
la douzième année à s’inscrire aux cours de première année
universitaire. Les élèves peuvent ensuite obtenir un crédit au
niveau secondaire ainsi qu’un crédit universitaire.
Puisque la PL-M se situe en milieu rural, il n’y a pas de
services de recyclage mais l’école offre une formation sur le
compostage, et chaque mois, il y a une grosse activité basée
sur l’environnent. De plus, le directeur lit un capsule lié à
l’environnent chaque matin.
La PL-M a aussi une classe verte. Depuis janvier 2007, l’école
a des panneaux solaires et une éolienne qui fournissent l’énergie
nécessaire à faire fonctionner la classe verte.
Dans la salle de classe, un logiciel permet de voir la
production et la consommation électrique en watts. Si trop
est produit, le surplus est envoyé à Énergie Nouveau-Brunswick,
et s’il n’y a pas assez, l’énergie requise vient d’Énergie
Le système de lumières s’ajuste au montant de lumière
nécessaire. Des prises dans la classe sont utilisées pour des
expériences comme par exemple déterminer le montant
d’énergie nécessaire pour faire fonctionner un grille-pain.
Pour le Congres Mondial Acadien 2009, les étudiants de
la PL-M vont monter une pièce de théâtre. Des élèves d’un
cours de français l’ont écrite, et d’autres groupes d’élèves ont
composé la musique, écrit les paroles, et ont fait les recherches
historiques sur les grands personnages acadiens.
« Tu n’habites pas l’Acadie, elle habite en toi, » dit M.
La chanson de la pièce apparaît sur un CD promotionnel. Les
élèves ont eu la chance de faire l’enregistrement à un studio
« Ça peut leur ouvrir des portes. Ils vont voir autre chose
...suite à la page 39
❱❱ Cover Story
Into the Wild
Dans la Nature
CanAdventure Education offers families hope with wilderness therapy for
at-risk youth
CanAdventure Education offre de l’espoir aux familles avec une thérapie
de pleine nature pour jeunes à risque
By Barbara Chabai
Susan Grover’s son Juan was a well-adjusted honour student
at a pleasant Okanagan Valley community school when, as she
puts it, “the bottom dropped out of our life.”
“Suddenly, he didn’t want to go to school anymore. He would
talk about violence and retribution and stealing and that being in
a gang was the only way to go. We couldn’t figure out what was
wrong,” Susan says.
Upon talking to the school she learned that her son’s situation
was even worse that she thought.
“He had a terrible attitude and wasn’t doing his schoolwork,
plus I was told he was picking on other students,” she recalls.
“Then one day it all culminated when he took a paring knife to
school and threatened some kids.”
Unbeknownst to Juan’s parents, the 13-year-old had been
regularly beaten and bullied by a group of kids who were
pressuring him to join their gang. According to Susan, Juan took
Juan, le fils de Susan Grover, était un étudiant bien adapté
sur la liste d’honneur dans une école de l’agréable communauté
d’Okanagan Valley quand, comme elle le dit, « le tapis a été tiré
de dessous nos pieds ».
« Soudainement, il ne voulut plus aller à l’école. Il parlait de
violence, de vengeance, de vol et que d’appartenir à un gang
était l’unique façon de faire. Nous ne comprenions pas ce qui
n’allait pas », dit Susan.
En discutant avec l’école, elle apprit que la situation de son fils
était encore pire que ce qu’elle pensait.
« Il avait une terrible attitude, il ne faisait pas ses devoirs et
en plus, on me dit qu’il s’en prenait à d’autres étudiants », se
rappelle-t-elle. « Puis, un jour, cela atteint son point culminant
lorsqu’il apporta un couteau à l’école et menaça des enfants. »
À l’insu de ses parents, Juan, à l’âge de 13 ans, avait été
régulièrement battu et intimidé par un groupe d’enfants qui
the paring knife to school to ward them off then immediately threw
it away knowing what he’d done was wrong. But it was too late.
“Word got out that he had a knife and rumours flew that
it was a 10-inch hunting knife and that he threatened to slit
someone’s throat,” Susan says. “He became an instant pariah.
This is a really good kid who is active in the community, involved
in sports – now all of a sudden he’s branded a psychopath.”
Although Juan was the first to step up and tell the truth about
the incident, he was not only expelled from his school but barred
for life from all schools in the district.
“My husband and I were absolutely dumbfounded. We
were in shock and didn’t know what to do. Does he need more
discipline? Should we send him to military school? Nothing
seemed to fit.”
faisaient pression sur lui pour qu’il joigne leur gang. Selon Susan,
Juan avait apporté le couteau à l’école pour se parer d’eux puis
il l’avait immédiatement jeté sachant que ce qu’il avait fait était
mal. Mais c’était trop tard.
« La nouvelle qu’il avait un couteau se répandit et les rumeurs
circulèrent voulant que ce fût un couteau de chasse de 10
pouces et qu’il eût menacé de trancher la gorge de quelqu’un
», dit Susan. « Il est instantanément devenu un paria. C’est
réellement un bon garçon qui est actif dans la communauté,
impliqué dans les sports, mais maintenant, tout d’un coup, il fut
étiqueté comme psychopathe. »
Même si Juan fut le premier à se présenter et dire la vérité
au sujet de l’incident, il fut non seulement expulsé de son école,
mais également interdit dans toutes les écoles du district.
Then Susan found a website for CanAdventure Education, a
program on Vancouver Island for struggling teens ages 13-19
that combines a unique wilderness adventure curriculum with
clinical counseling.
Started five years ago by Corinna Stevenson, a former
high school teacher who had spent the balance of her career
engaging marginalized students, and her husband Greg, a
two-time Olympian and amateur sports coach, CanAdventure
offers an emotionally, physically safe and supportive community
environment for youth requiring more extensive intervention.
As the Director of Programming, Corinna created and oversees
a one-of-a-kind curriculum that envelops experiential education,
outdoor skills, cultural awareness and in-depth personal growth
work in the areas of self-esteem, interpersonal relationships and
the development of positive behavior for the long term. Being
of Métis decent, she was also able to integrate First Nations
cultural teachings into the therapeutic curriculum to offer youth a
symbolic and healthy rite of passage into adulthood.
“The traditional native way of life is akin to living with nature,”
Corinna says. “It’s about feeling connected to the earth and to
each other. So if you can teach these kids to find peace in the
wilderness, so many of those lessons are transferable to their
everyday lives.”
Although there are similar camps for troubled teens in the
U.S., CanAdventure is one of the only programs of its kind in
Canada, attracting participants from across the country and as
far away as Australia, Switzerland, France and Singapore.
« Mon mari et moi étions complètement ahuris. Nous étions
sous le choc et ne savions que faire. A-t-il besoin de plus de
discipline ? Devrions-nous l’inscrire à l’école militaire ? Rien ne
semblait faire l’affaire. »
Puis, Susan trouva un site web à propos de CanAdventure
Education, un programme sur l’île de Vancouver pour des
adolescents de 13-19 en peine qui associe un programme
scolaire unique d’aventures en pleine nature avec une aide
psychopédagogique clinique.
Démarré il y a cinq années par Corinna Stevenson, une exenseignante de niveau secondaire qui avait utilisé le reste de
sa carrière à mobiliser des étudiants marginalisés et son mari
Greg, deux fois olympien et entraineur de sports amateurs,
CanAdventure offre un environnement communautaire
émotionnellement et physiquement sur et aidant pour des
jeunes ayant besoin d’une intervention plus importante.
Comme directrice de la programmation, Corinna a créé
et supervise un programme scolaire unique qui inclut
l’éducation expérientielle, les habiletés de l’extérieur, la
conscience culturelle et un travail de croissance personnel en
profondeur dans les domaines de l’estime de soi, des relations
interpersonnelles et du développement d’un comportement
positif à long terme. Étant de descendance métisse, elle fut
capable d’intégrer des enseignements culturels des Premières
Nations dans le programme thérapeutique pour offrir aux jeunes
un rite de passage symbolique et sain vers l’âge adulte.
« Le mode de vie autochtone traditionnel est apparenté à
❱❱ Cover Story
“One thing that differentiates us is that we don’t just focus on
one element. We make a conscious effort to provide kids with
more than just a physical journey; we have a holistic personal
growth curriculum, the cultural aspect, the environmental studies
and academic component, plus a unique aftercare program.”
CanAdventure offers two unique programs – the 32-day
Struggling Teen Journey Camp and the Hero’s Quest program,
a boarding school alternative that provides teens with the
knowledge, skills, mentorship and confidence they need to
cope in the real world.
Matt, 16, first came to CanAdventure last April. What was
originally planned to be a month-long stay became an extended
educational retreat that lasted well into the fall.
“I was having lots of problems back home with drinking and
drugs and stuff. I didn’t go to school for a month so my mom
sent me here to see if we could figure out what was going on,”
he says.
“Being here has changed me. It’s a good place to be. I feel
better about myself and realize that you don’t always need to
get drunk to have fun. I had lots of fun while I was here and I
was sober every day.”
In January, Matt returned to school to make a fresh start in
Grade 11.
CanAdventure’s Journey program combines a core experiential
curriculum and therapeutic focus sessions designed to provide
interventions for teens experiencing challenges ranging from
behavioral issues, family problems, anger management and abuse.
Journey offers a personal approach, guaranteeing a 1:2
instructor-to-participant ratio and a maximum of six teens
vivre avec la nature », dit Corinna. « C’est le sentiment d’être
connecté à la terre et à chacun de soi. Donc, si vous pouvez
enseigner à ces enfants à trouver la paix dans la nature, il y a
tant de ces leçons qui sont transférables dans leurs vies de tous
les jours. »
Bien qu’il y ait plusieurs camps similaires pour adolescents
en difficulté aux États-Unis, CanAdventure est l’un des seuls
programmes de son genre au Canada, attirant des participants
de partout au pays et aussi loin que l’Australie, la Suisse, la
France et Singapour.
« Une chose qui nous différencie est que nous ne nous
concentrons pas uniquement sur un élément. Nous faisons
des efforts conscients pour fournir aux jeunes plus que
simplement un séjour physique. Nous avons un programme
de croissance personnelle holistique, l’aspect culturel, les
études environnementales une composante scolaire ainsi qu’un
programme unique de suivi post camp. »
CanAdventure offre deux programmes uniques : le camp
parcours de 32 jours pour adolescents en difficulté et le
programme de la quête du héros, un pensionnat alternatif
qui fournit aux adolescents la connaissance, les habiletés, le
mentorat et la confiance dont ils ont besoin pour affronter le
monde réel.
Matt, 16 ans, est venu à CanAdventure en avril dernier. Ce qui
au début devait être un séjour d’un mois est devenu une retraite
éducationnelle prolongée qui s’est poursuivie jusqu’à tard en
« J’avais beaucoup de problèmes à la maison avec l’alcool
et les drogues et tout. Je ne suis pas allé à l’école pendant un
mois et ma mère m’a envoyé ici pour voir si l’on trouverait ce qui
n’allait pas », dit-il.
« Être ici m’a changé. C’est un bon endroit pour être. Je me
sens mieux dans ma peau et je réalise qu’il n’est pas toujours
nécessaire de m’enivrer pour avoir du plaisir. J’ai eu beaucoup de
plaisir pendant que j’étais ici et je n’ai pas bu une seule fois. »
En janvier, Matt retournera à l’école pour redémarrer à neuf en
11e année.
Le programme parcours de CanAdventure combine un tronc
commun expérientiel et des sessions de concentration
per group. The instructors are with the participants 24/7 and
are guided by a team of Masters-level Registered Clinical
Counsellors who bring years of experience.
Clinical Supervisor Dr. Scott Lawrence, a former elementary
and secondary guidance counsellor, works full-time with the
CanAdventure counseling team. He says that most camp
participants are on an expedition toward self-discovery.
“When they arrive, their motivation is usually to find out ‘Who
am I?’” he says. “There’s a whole range of adolescent angst and
confusion about the relation between self and peers, so that’s
an underlying issue. Some want to get away from substance
issues (CanAdventure is not a rehab facility; Dr. Scott says that
if participants have significant addiction programs, they need to
detox before arriving.) or family dynamics, but generally, selfesteem and identity come up most commonly in what they’re
looking for.”
Participants spend 60 to 70 per cent of their time in
CanAdventure’s 40-acre outdoor classroom – featuring majestic
old-growth forest, grassy meadows and the crystal-clear waters
of the Salmon River. Dr. Scott says that the pristine wilderness is
essential in helping teens relate to the natural world.
“Physically, it’s very challenging in that we offer hiking and
kayaking, but we emphasize a lot more of the studies of the
natural world in the First Nations tradition,” he says.
“Being in these surroundings also slows the kids down
neurologically. Whether they’re from the city or a smaller
community, they come to us highly wired because of (teens’
constant use of) iPods, TV and the Internet. Suddenly,
they’re out here and they start to slow down,” says Dr. Scott.
thérapeutique conçues pour fournir des interventions pour des
adolescents aux prises avec des défis allant des problèmes de
comportement, problèmes de famille, de maîtrise de la colère
aux abus.
Parcours offre une approche personnelle garantissant un
ratio d’un instructeur pour deux participants et un maximum
de six adolescents par groupe. Les instructeurs sont avec
les participants 24/7 et ils sont guidés par une équipe de
conseillers cliniques enregistrés de niveau maître qui apportent
des années d’expérience.
Le Dr Scott Lawrence, superviseur clinicien, qui est un exconseiller d’orientation à l’élémentaire et au secondaire, travaille
à temps plein avec l’équipe d’orientation de CanAdventure.
Il mentionne que la plupart des participants au camp sont en
expédition vers l’autodécouverte.
« Quand ils arrivent, leur motivation est habituellement
de découvrir ‘Qui je suis.’ », dit-il. « Il y a toute une gamme
d’angoisse existentielle d’adolescent et de confusion à
propos de la relation du soi avec ses pairs ce qui est donc
un problème sous-jacent. Certains veulent se distancer de
problèmes de drogues (CanAdventure n’est pas un centre de
réhabilitation, si des participants ont des problèmes importants
de dépendance, ils doivent suivre une cure de désintoxication
avant d’arriver, selon le Dr Scott.) ou de la dynamique familiale,
mais généralement, l’estime de soi et l’identité sont les points
communs de leur recherche. »
Les participants passent 60 à 70 pour cent de leur temps à
CanAdventure dans ses 40 acres de classe extérieure composés
de vieilles forêts majestueuses, prairies d’herbages et d’eaux
“Therapeutically, it’s better for us to work with them when
they’re at peace as it provides better access to their experience
and creates an opportunity to build relationships.”
While at CanAdventure, the participants are guided through
the challenges that they face, facilitating growth in areas such as
values orientation, communication, conflict resolution, respect,
goal-setting and strategies for continued success once they
return home.
cristallines de la rivière au Saumon. Le Dr Scott mentionne que
la nature virginale est essentielle pour aider les adolescents à se
rapprocher du monde naturel.
« Physiquement, c’est très exigeant puisque nous offrons
la randonnée pédestre et le kayakisme, mais nous insistons
beaucoup plus sur l’étude du monde naturel selon la tradition
des Premières Nations », dit-il.
« Aussi, être dans cet environnement, ralentit les jeunes
au plan neurologique. Parce qu’ils nous viennent de la ville ou
de plus petites communautés, ils nous arrivent hautement
branchés à cause des iPod, de la télévision et de l’Internet (les
adolescents les utilisent constamment). Soudainement, ils sont
ici et ils commencent à ralentir », mentionne le Dr Scott. « Du
côté thérapeutique, c’est mieux pour nous de travailler avec eux
quand ils sont en paix, car cela favorise un meilleur accès à leur
expérience et créé une opportunité pour bâtir des relations. »
Associate Counsellor Ben Kotler, an independent Registered
Clinical Counsellor with a private practice, says he was drawn to
work with the CanAdventure program because of its philosophy
of caring for each individual and the focus on creating a
community of caring.
“I really believe in creating safe, emotionally-positive
❱❱ Cover Story
communities for these kids,” he says. “When five or six kids start
to buy in to the idea that they don’t always have to be protecting
themselves and that they can have healthy relationships by
supporting each other, it creates a community where kindness
and compassion are core beliefs.”
That sense of community is evident at the nightly council fire
when the campers participate in a talking circle. A traditional
talking stick or feather is passed around in turn, giving each
holder an opportunity to speak from the heart. Ben says that by
the end of the program, graduating campers use the circle as a
forum to celebrate what each other have accomplished.
“Every member of the community has an opportunity to
honour one another – sharing their positive interactions with
that individual, how they’ve witnessed them grow or what effect
that person has had on them,” Ben explains.
“It’s a very powerful experience because the families who
have returned to pick up their child are hearing all these great
insights. Of course, the parents love their child, they’ve seen
them grow up and they know their positive attributes, but it
sometimes gets lost in times of struggle and conflict. They tend
to really open up and share their own positive knowledge about
that child, so it’s very emotional.”
This opens the door for a family counseling session to review
the teen’s personal growth experience and discuss how family
dynamics may need to change as the teen prepares for reentry into the home. But CanAdventure does not simply send
families away – especially knowing that the teen is returning to
an environment where they may be vulnerable to falling into the
same negative patterns again.
“Every family is part of a one-year aftercare program, which
we’ve found to be very helpful in providing the support they
need,” Ben says. “We are in contact with the parents and the
youth on a weekly basis to monitor their situation, problem
solve with them or refer them to resources within their own
Susan Grover says the aftercare program has been a lifeline
for them.
“It was important for us as a family to have someone to turn
to who could understand and help,” she says. “They’re all just
a phone call away and we know that if there’s ever a problem,
they’ll move heaven and earth to make it right.”
Since her son graduated from CanAdventure in March 2008,
Susan’s family has relocated to Vancouver – yet moving is far
from the biggest change the Grovers have experienced.
“The day we went to pick Juan up from camp, we saw him
out shooting hoops. My husband and I looked at each other and
said, ‘Is that really him?’” she chuckles. “The baggy pants with
the underwear hanging out, the untied shoes and backwards
cap were gone. He had a new way of walking, of carrying himself
with confidence.”
A month after returning home, Juan also began talking to
his parents about what triggered his downward spiral earlier
in the year.
“When he started at his new school, he came home and told
me, ‘Mom, you know what? I’m really not a fat, lazy Mexican,’” ›
…continued on page 40
Pendant leur séjour à CanAdventure, les participants sont
guidés par rapport aux défis auxquels ils font face, facilitant
leur croissance dans des domaines comme l’orientation de
valeurs, la communication, la résolution de conflits, le respect,
l’établissement d’objectifs et de stratégies pour un succès
continu lorsqu’ils retournent à la maison.
Toronto’s Christian University
Ben Kotler, conseiller associé, un conseiller clinicien enregistré
avec une pratique privée, mentionne qu’il fut amené à travailler
avec le programme de CanAdventure à cause de sa philosophie
de soin pour chaque individu et l’accent mis pour créer une
communauté de soins.
« Je crois réellement à la création de communautés
sécuritaires et émotionnellement positives pour ces jeunes »,
dit-il. « Quand cinq ou six jeunes commencent à croire en l’idée
qu’ils n’ont pas toujours besoin de se protéger et qu’ils peuvent
avoir de saines relations en s’encourageant les uns les autres,
cela créé une communauté où la bonté et la compassion sont
des croyances importantes. »
Ce sens de la communauté est évident lors des conseils de
feu de camp le soir où les campeurs participent à un cercle de
discussion. Un bâton ou une plume de la parole est passé de l’un
à l’autre donnant à chacun l’opportunité de parler avec le cœur.
Ben dit que vers la fin du programme, les campeurs finissants
utilisent le cercle comme forum pour célébrer ce que chacun a
« Les membres de la communauté ont l’opportunité de
s’honorer les uns les autres partageant leurs interactions
positives avec un individu, comment ils l’ont vu grandir ou quel
effet cette personne a eu sur eux », nous explique Ben.
« C’est une expérience très puissante, car les familles qui
sont venues chercher leur enfant entendent toutes ces bonnes
appréciations. Bien sûr, les parents aiment leur enfant, ils l’ont vu
grandir et ils connaissent leurs qualités, mais, parfois, cela se perd
de vue dans les périodes de lutte et de conflit. Ils ont tendance à
vraiment s’ouvrir et partager leur propre connaissance positive à
propos de leur enfant, c’est donc très émotionnel. »
Ceci ouvre la porte à une session de counseling familial pour
revoir l’expérience de croissance personnelle de l’adolescent et
discuter des changements à apporter à la dynamique familiale
si nécessaire au moment où l’adolescent se prépare à réintégrer
le foyer. Mais, CanAdventure ne renvoie pas simplement les
familles, spécialement en sachant que l’adolescent retourne
dans un environnement où il peut être vulnérable et reprendre
les mêmes comportements négatifs.
« Chaque famille fait partie d’un programme d’une année de
soins post camp que nous estimons très utile pour apporter
le support dont ils ont besoin », dit Ben. « Nous sommes en
contact avec les parents et le jeune sur une base hebdomadaire
pour suivre leur situation, résoudre les problèmes avec eux ou
les référer à des ressources dans leurs propres communautés. »
Susan Grover mentionne que le programme de soins post
camp a été une bouée de sauvetage pour eux.
« Il nous était important, en tant que famille, d’avoir
...suite à la page 40
Going in for the Skill
Counsellors play a vital role in changing the stigma of a college
education from a “lesser than” to an “equal to”
Brian Tamblyn
By Dan Kenning
When it comes to getting students
excited about attending college, Brian
Tamblyn loves when a good program
comes to bear.
The president and CEO of Ontario’s
Georgian College can’t hide his ebullience
when speaking of Grizzly Cub Day, in
which Grade 7 and 8 students in the
Barrie region become honorary enrollees
for a day, complete with a Georgian
campus tour, workshops in skilled
disciplines, prizes and contests, fun with
mascot Growler Grizzly, and a basic
introduction to the courses Georgian
offers – including studies in automotive,
aviation, nursing, fine art, culinary,
business, justice and public safety and
golf management.
The program’s goal, Tamblyn explains,
is to get students familiar with the
campus and thinking about a future
career. And many times he is surprised at
who ends up learning the most.
“The teachers and counselors who
accompany the students are really blown
away by what we do here,” Tamblyn
says. “When they set foot on campus
and see what we actually do, it really
opens their eyes to what our college
offers and the quality of our programs
and philosophy toward education.
Having them here really changes
their perceptions.”
The not-so-grizzly truth is, with
Canada’s colleges, institutes, cégeps,
university colleges and polytechnics
now more than ever offering advanced
courses directly linked with the needs
of employers, it’s easy to see why any
student would want to enrol.
A recent survey by the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business
reported that its members who were
facing severe labour shortages required
the skills of college graduates versus
university grads by a ratio of 6 to 1. More
in tune with technology than universities,
career-focused colleges are on the
leading edge of skills identification,
economic trends and market shifts.
The facts are in, yet they may not
be getting across. A panel at the 2008
Association of Canadian Community
Colleges’ “Forests of Change” conference
noted that too often counsellors are
still dissuading students from college
enrolment, acknowledging that they
still had a long way to go in shifting the
perception of a college post-secondary
education from a “lesser than” to an
“equal to.”
Figuring it out
As CEO of NRL Group
Inc., Janet Stewart-Lussier
works primarily with
colleges and their local
boards of education to
provide students with
quality career information.
She believes that college
programs have been
undervalued for a long
time, and that it’s a
generational attitude.
“Parents and educators,
particularly those
who have completed
a university program
themselves, are less likely
to encourage a young
person to pursue a college
education – and yet,
college programs lead to
many very well-paying jobs that are in
high demand,” Stewart-Lussier says.
The notion that university equals
success has also been engrained into
the minds of students through media.
TV character Rory Gilmore of Gilmore
Girls vacillated between Harvard and
Yale, yet never once considered Roxbury
Community College or Naugatuck Valley.
More in tune with technology than
universities, career-focused colleges are
on the leading edge of skills identification,
economic trends and market shifts.
Armed with all of this knowledge, how
can school counsellors help students
figure out if a college or career college
– the latter being privately-owned
institutions which offer programs that
provide students with practical skills for
today’s job market after a short-term
but intensive training period – is right
for them? Stewart-Lussier suggests
counsellors start by taking a closer look
at the student’s particular skills and
interests. Find out what they are really
passionate about and help match those
interests to potential careers. The training
and education that is required will
naturally flow from that conversation.
“This is a healthier approach than
deciding what type of post-secondary
education you want to enrol in and
arbitrarily selecting from the list of
programs available,” Stewart-Lussier says.
“This sounds obvious, but it is amazing
how many students make their postsecondary education decisions that way.
150 colleges and technical institutes and
thousands of private career colleges play
a huge part in keeping our workforce
competitive. Counsellors can be a huge
help in reminding students that the
options are there – and in many cases, are
right in line with their dream jobs.
Stewart-Lussier concurs. “When a
student has a sense of what kind of work
he/she wants to do, then it is relatively
simple to identify the ‘right fit’ in terms of
post-secondary education – and for more
and more students who desire a practical,
hands on, post-secondary education, the
‘right fit’ is going to be college.”
Some studies have revealed that between
20 and 30 per cent of students who
register for a post-secondary program
have not done any kinds of career
exploration before doing so.”
Another worthwhile approach is
the “near-to-peer” process. Counsellors
can invite students from their local
colleges to their school to lead job
exploration exercises.
“Because these young adults are
currently enrolled in a college program
themselves, they have proven to be
“credible messengers,” notes StewartLussier. School officials can contact area
colleges to find out if they have this type
of program available.
Getting students and their parents
on board is a huge piece of the puzzle,
but as Tamblyn notes, getting face time
with the head of the class can be equally
“It’s interesting how much students
are influenced by their teachers,” he
observes. “Colleges and counsellors
should work together to educate teachers
on the benefits of a college education
so that is incorporated into their
Stewart-Lussier applauds open houses
such as Georgian’s Grizzly Cub Days, where
teachers are invited to challenge their own
misperceptions. “It is important to include
teachers and counsellors of all grade levels
in this process. Research has indicated that
students make their career choices as early
as Grade 6, so career exploration is not
something that we can leave until students
reach high school. It needs to be embedded
in the curriculum at all levels.”
With campuses in over 1,000 urban
and rural communities, 1.5 million
learners and 60,000 educators, Canada’s
Education that Matters
Myth busting through to the truth about careers in skilled trades
Submitted by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum canadien sur l’apprentissage
WANTED: One million
skilled workers by 2020.
No, you’re not seeing things. The
Conference Board of Canada estimates
that, if current trends continue, we
could be short about one million skilled
workers in just 12 years. Now compare
this number with roughly 300,000
apprentices who are currently registered
in Canada. Economists say that a skilled
labour shortage will affect not only our
ability to compete in a global market, but
also our long-term economic growth.
With almost 300 apprenticeable
occupations and trades in Canada today,
apprenticeship training touches every
aspect of our lives: from the homes
we live in; to the cars we drive; to the
food we eat. It’s an established form of
post-secondary education that allows
apprentices to “earn while they learn”
– opening doors to a wide range of
rewarding and well-paying careers.
At the Canadian Apprenticeship ForumForum canadien sur l’apprentissage
(CAF-FCA), our goal is to support
educators in their efforts to identify all
Anyone can take an apprenticeship.
And age doesn’t matter, though many young people start their training right
after high school
Forecasts vary from sector to sector and
region to region, but the result is the
same. Apprentices and journeypersons
are already in demand across the country.
As the baby-boom generation that
makes up most of our skilled workforce
continues to retire over the next few
years, this demand will only increase.
So why not encourage your students to
take stock of their interests, skills and
abilities and check out one of the many
challenging and rewarding careers that
apprenticeship can lead to?
“Choose a job you love,
and you will never have
to work a day in your life”
– Confucius
relevant post-secondary options available
to their students. We know from our
research that there is a real need to
promote and develop career options
through apprenticeship and the skilled
trades. For example, a 2005 Ipsos-Reid
study showed that only 32 per cent of
youth aged 13 to 17 would be likely to
consider a career in this area. This is
despite the reality that skilled trades
offer challenging, satisfying and enriching
career options for Canadian youth.
Apprenticeship = Respect
+ Opportunity + Good Pay
Apprenticeship is a recognized and
respected post-secondary education
option that gives young people the
opportunity to combine on-the-job and
in-school technical training, enabling
them to obtain the skills required to
become a certified tradesperson.
• D
epending on the occupation or trade,
an apprenticeship can take two to five
years to complete.
• A
pprentices usually spend 40 to 44
weeks a year on the job and go to
school for six to eight weeks.
• A
pprentices must find an employer
and may need to pay tuition fees for
in-school training.
• A
pprentices earn
a salary on the
job from their
first day.
• A
receive a
Certificate of
in a designated
Apprenticeships cost very little compared to most post-secondary training options.
Generally, tuition costs are $200-$800 per session depending on the trade
and the province/territory. Other costs may include books, equipment, tools
and living expenses.
A recent
survey of
their first year
of in-school
training in Canada
shows that they
expect to earn an average
annual income of between $52,000 and
$55,000 upon graduation. Compare this
to the responses received from college
and university under-graduates who
were making an average of $42,250 and
graduates who were making $45,400.
Many provincial/territorial
governments have introduced special
programs for secondary school students
who are interested in apprenticeship.
These programs offer early training in
the skilled trades and opportunities to
try working on-the-job. Typically offered
at the Grade 11 and 12 levels, preapprenticeship programs allow students
to earn credits toward their high school
diploma, as well as credits toward the
completion of their apprenticeship. As an educator, there many reasons
to talk to your students about careers in
skilled trades.
Myth Busting
Negative perceptions and attitudes
about apprenticeship and the skilled
trades have been around for years. Here
are some of the most comment myths
that educators can help to dispel.
Myth: Skilled trades are not for
students who get good grades.
Reality: This is probably the most
common misperception
about skilled trades. The
reality is that skilled
trades require a strong
academic foundation
in reading, writing,
maths and sciences.
Like university, entering
into an apprenticeship
requires a high school diploma and
successful completion takes intelligence,
dedication, focus and hard work.
Myth: A university degree is the only
post-secondary education that provides
Apprenticeships cost very little compared to most post-secondary training options.
Generally, tuition costs are $200-$800 per session depending on the trade
and the province/territory. Other costs may include books, equipment, tools and
living expenses.
Apprenticeship training has a long history as a model for work-based learning.
The ancient Greek, Roman and Babylonian civilizations used apprenticeship as a
way to pass on knowledge and skills. Apprenticeship systems, as we recognize
them today, originated with the medieval craft guilds of Europe and crossed the
ocean with European immigrants who came to North America in the 18th and
19th centuries.
a good future.
Reality: Completing an apprenticeship
and achieving a Certificate of Qualification
for a designated trade is also a ticket to a
good future. Tradespeople are in demand,
earn good pay, have the ability to work
across the country, and benefit from solid
job security.
Myth: Jobs in the trades are dead-end
Reality: Apprenticeship training
offers a path to careers, not just
jobs. There are many chances for
advancement from supervisory
positions, to management positions, to
the possibility of business ownership.
The level of advancement is up to the
capability and desire of each individual.
Myth: Skilled trades don’t pay well.
Reality: Not only do tradespeople
earn above-average incomes, they also
complete their studies without being
overwhelmed by debt. Apprentices “earn
while they learn,” and many complete
their training and achieve certification
without any debt.
Myth: Skilled trades are dirty, noisy
and physically demanding.
Reality: Though technology has greatly
changed the face of many skilled trades,
there is no doubt that many occupations
involve “hands-on” work. But this is why
many choose apprenticeship training in
the first place! This
type of work can
be far more
than a job that
requires a lot of
desk work.
Myth: Women
don’t have the
physical strength
needed for apprenticeship or the
skilled trades.
Reality: Physical work doesn’t always
mean brute strength. In fact, careers
in the skilled trades more often require
dexterity, stamina, good hand-eye
coordination and balance – all attributes
that women and men possess equally.
❱❱ Spring Issue
Key Benefits of
• E
arn while you learn on the job.
Apprentices are given a salary by
the employers that hire them. This is
equitable within the industry and in
accordance to provincial standards.
The apprentice’s salary may increase
each year, reaching salary rates of
Power, Passion, Precision - Canada hosts the 2009 WorldSkills Competition.
Over 900 top young professionals from apprenticed trades, service and
vocational programs will meet in Calgary next September to showcase their
talents and abilities. Participants from 49 different countries will compete
for gold, silver and bronze medals in 40 different categories, ranging from
cabinetmaking and welding to fashion and web design. WorldSkills events are
held every two years in a different host country. Skills competitions in Canada
are held each year at regional, provincial and national levels.
a certified tradesperson as they get
closer to completion.
• Keep student debt low. Another
big benefit is that debt loads after
completion of apprenticeships are
much lower since apprentices “earn
while they learn”. For example, a
university graduate may make $30,000
in their first year of work, but they will
leave school with an average debt of
$19,500. An apprentice might make
$28,000 their first year, but will not
have to contend with a $20,000 debt.
• A
guaranteed job. Skilled workers are in
demand across Canada and around the
world. A good work ethic, a “can-do”
attitude and a completed Certificate
of Qualification will almost guarantee
young people a job when they finish
their post-secondary education.
• R
eceive personal training and
mentorship. Apprentices have an
opportunity to learn high level skills
through personal, on-the-job training
from a highly qualified journeyperson.
Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum canadien sur l’apprentissage
116 Albert Street, Suite 812
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G3
Debbie Miller, Communications Manager
613.235.4004 ext. 207 / [email protected]
• A
cquire a skill that will last a lifetime.
The skills learned as an apprentice not
only last a lifetime, they will also open
doors to other opportunities. Qualified
tradespeople can pursue advanced
training in their field and move into
management or teaching positions, and
many choose to start their own business.
Apprenticeship programs are
regulated by our provincial and territorial
governments. Much like the driver
license registration system in Canada,
each province or territory has its own
government apprenticeship office that
assists apprentices in obtaining their
The Government of Canada supports
apprenticeship training by working with
the provinces and territories through
the Canadian Council of Directors of
Apprenticeship (CCDA). The CCDA
is responsible for the Interprovincial
Standards Red Seal Program. The “Red
Seal” allows qualified tradespeople in
49 different occupations to work in any
province or territory without having to
write additional exams.
Apprenticeship is a first-choice
career option.
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum
canadien sur l’apprentissage (CAF-FCA) is a notfor-profit, multi-partite organization that plays an
integral role in bringing together the key players
within the apprenticeship. The CAF-FCA works
to strengthen relationships, provide opportunities
to discuss the challenges facing apprenticeship
training in Canada, and help develop solutions
to address those challenges. The Forum offers a
number of apprenticeship resources for educators,
such as toolkits, PowerPoint presentations, posters
and brochures.
❱❱ Spring Issue
“I’m not standing on a soapbox. I know
that drugs and drinking are going to
be part of their lives. What I’m trying
to do is get teens to think; to educate
themselves and make better choices.”
Juno Award winner Mitch Dorge marches to the beat of a different drummer with
his unique approach to motivational speaking
By Dan Kenning
Rule One from the Mitch Dorge public speaking playbook:
no message is heavy-handed when it’s served alongside a
rubber chicken.
It’s why you’ll find boxes of the pliable poultry accompanying
the former Crash Test Dummies’ drummer across Canada on his
high school speaking engagements, as he gives his presentation
on the realities of drugs, sex and alcohol. Students love the
chickens – no stretch there – yet it’s Dorge’s unconventional
approach to his subject matter that earns not only laughs, but
his audience’s undivided attention.
At first glance, the animated, sanguine Dorge is not the lesson
type. He’s self-described as erratic, he’s notorious for flouting
authority and his former band is best known for a hit song totally
devoid of vowels (“Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”). So why does
he think he’s the perfect candidate to get any message through
to teens?
“I have a different approach, I think that’s why it works,”
Dorge offers. “What I’m offering is not a lecture; I’m educating
about life choices. In a way it’s a performance, as I’m very aware
that the kids in front of me need to be entertained. I go that
extra mile to involve them and show them that I think of them as
individuals. It’s opening up a door. I’m going to create a ground
for us to communicate on, and then there’s a level of trust that
opens up. I’m there to tell them that I’ve got an opinion, and
encouraging them to voice theirs.”
Part of Dorge’s real-as-it-gets approach includes an open
acknowledgement that he has done drugs in the past and a
shocking laundry-list reading of ingredients involved in the
making of crystal meth.
“I’m not standing on a soapbox. I know that drugs and
drinking are going to be part of their lives,” Dorge says. “I’m not
trying to stop them from doing it. Any time you say no, the more
they’re going to say yes. What I’m trying to do is get (teens) to
think; to educate themselves and make better choices.”
One of Dorge’s favourite things to do is dispel myths and
clarify the fractured misinformation students often receive on
these topics. “These kids are so used to being inundated with
the death-and-destruction angle. I get up there and say, ‘I’m not
gonna tell you that doing drugs means you’re going to put the
baby in the microwave. Although it did happen once in America
in the ‘70s…’”
As he travels the country meeting kids and educators, Dorge
singles out one group for whom he has tremendous respect.
“I have an incredible rapport with the counsellors. They are
in the unique position where they have kids that are at-risk,
and they know that stuff is happening out there, but they can’t
betray the trust of the kids. There are so many things they would
do or intervene in but they can’t. So a lot of them identify when
somebody like me comes along and brings a different kind of
thinking to the school.”
It’s those after-show conversations that bring Dorge back to
the days of rockstar fandom.
“Often, counsellors will come to me afterwards and say, ‘I
don’t know how you knew to pick that kid but man, you made
his day. That kid has been a challenge for me for a long time, and
this is exactly what he needed.’ It’s not something that I did – it’s
no revelation – it’s just the fact that I found that kid. It lets me
know I’m still doing something right.”
The Age of Overindulgence
Is it possible to reach and teach an entitled generation?
by Barbara Chabai
A great many of today’s teens have
been overindulged to the point of not
having the critical skills to make confident
decisions or to take responsibility seriously,
says a Toronto-based youth expert.
Counsellor and coach Karyn Gordon has
worked with teens, parents and educators
for over 12 years. She says it’s little wonder
that growing numbers of kids have
developed an innate sense of entitlement
since many have grown up being handed
everything their hearts’ desire – and a
whole lot more.
The author of the Raising Healthy Teens
in an Age of Overindulgence CD series,
as well as the new book Dr. Karyn’s Guide
to the Teen Years: Understanding and
Parenting Your Teenager, talked to us
about how parents, teens and teachers can
work together to restore boundaries and
balance when enough is too much.
Counsellor: How do you define overindulgence?
Dr. Karyn Gordon: Overindulgence is when
parents give something to their child that
may be inappropriate for that age – it’s
too early, it’s too much, it’s too soon.
On one hand, it causes kids to grow up
faster but in many ways, it’s making them
slower to mature. As a result of being
overfunctioned and micromanaged by
their parents, kids tend to stay child-like
longer. In extreme cases, we see young
adults in their 20s still living at home,
playing video games on the sofa all day.
They call it an “extended adolescence.”
Counsellor: But isn’t overindulging the same as
KG: Overindulging is different from
spoiling. Parents overindulge their children
because it meets their own need – it
alleviates their own guilt or fear – while
spoiling is giving in to the child simply for
the sake of keeping them quiet.
For example, I met a mom who was a
successful executive at a huge company.
She traveled a lot and whenever she
would go out of town on business, she
would buy her preteen daughter a pair
of jeans. She said she recently went into
her daughter’s room and discovered 12
or 14 pairs of expensive jeans! As we
talked, it was like, “Oh my goodness,
now I understand what I’ve been doing.”
Suddenly, she was able to see that she
was buying gifts out of her own guilt for
working away from home so much.
Counsellor: How could a child be overindulged
out of fear?
KG: Overfunctioning – parents
micromanaging their kids or doing way
too much for them – is another type of
overindulgence because parents are
actually doing it to fulfill their own need.
It may be the need to control, to appear
perfect, or they’re afraid that if they
don’t do it then their child’s never going
our culture. Overscheduling kids so that
their time is packed with extra-curricular
activities is that they get exhausted and
once they get to that point, it’s almost
impossible to deal with conflict in a
good way. The other consequence is
overspending. Many parents turn into a
bank on weekends. Interestingly, research
shows that youth under the age of 25 are
one of the fastest groups going bankrupt
because so many young people simply do
not understand how money works. This
goes back to the bigger problem – when
parents overindulge or do too much for
their child, they steal the opportunity for
them to learn a fundamental skill.
Counsellor: How is overindulgence spilling over
into the classroom?
KG: I had one math teacher tell me that
kids often come to her class expecting
her to have calculators and pencils
“When parents overindulge or do too much
for their child, they steal the opportunity for
them to learn a fundamental skill.”
to get it done. But when we’re telling
our kids what to do, where to go, what
time to do it and how to do it properly,
we’re weakening their critical thinking
muscle. The more we tell a child what
to think, the more they don’t learn how
to think for themselves. As a result of
overfunctioning, parents end up doing all
the work and the kids do all the taking.
Counsellor: Which is how kids develop that sense
of entitlement?
KG: Right.
Counsellor: What are some of the other
consequences of overindulging kids?
KG: The three most significant
consequences I’ve found are overeating,
overscheduling and overspending.
Obviously, overeating and childhood
obesity have become serious issues in
ready for them. She finally had to put
her foot down and tell them supplies
are their responsibility! From an
education standpoint, teachers have to
be clear about communicating student
responsibilities and really define their
expectations. As a youth counsellor and
coach, I find that it’s important to clarify
what my job is and what it is not at our
first session. I explain that my job is to
coach you and teach you the right tools,
but my job is not to do your work. If you
come here and then just sit back and wait
something magical to happen, you’re out
of luck because I can’t do it for you.
Counsellor: So, it’s a little like tough love.
KG: With teens, you have to take a hard
line, but still do it in a loving, truthful and
respectful way. I was coaching one teen
who I could tell just wasn’t on board; he
really was not into it at all. So I asked
him what he expected to get out of our
sessions and he said, “What do you
mean?” Being totally loving but truthful,
I told him, “From what I’ve seen, you’re
coming late, you’re unprepared, you’re
not bringing a pen, so you’ll probably only
retain 10 to 15 per cent of what we’re
discussing. I’m telling you this because I
care about you and I want you to attain
your goals.” He was a little flustered but
agreed with what I was saying. On our
next visit, he came prepared and ever
since, he’s done phenomenally well.
Counsellor: It’s great when kids get the message,
but when you have to tell them the same
things over and over again… surely it becomes
KG: Of course. Many teachers grow
frustrated because they think kids should
already know what is expected of them.
Why should I have to tell students to
bring a pen or pencil to class, right? But
the problem is that in the greater culture,
someone else has always taken care
of these little details for the kid. By the
time they arrive in the classroom, the
expectations are suddenly different from
what they’re used to at home. But when
teachers let frustration get the best of
them, it blocks how effective they can be.
Counsellor: Is it becoming more difficult to get
overindulged kids to respect authority?
KG: One of the things I talk about in my
book is the difference between power
and authority. Teachers, parents and
counsellors have authority because it’s the
position that has been given to us. Yet it
has no bearing on whether or not the child
will listen to us. If teachers only take a hard
line, they will have zero impact in terms of
getting students to listen to what they’re
saying. The way we gain influence in their
life is to respect them and when they feel
respected, that’s when we increase our
ability to influence them in a positive way.
Teachers and guidance counsellors are
going to gain the power to influence when
they focus on respect and saying things in
a loving, but truthful way.
Counsellor: What is the first step towards
making a difference?
KG: The reality is that there is a cultural
shift happening and an enormous amount
of parents who are overindulging and
overfunctioning their kids. Last year, I had
speaking engagements across the country
and by far, overfunctioning is one of the
largest issues that parents identify with
today. We may not like it, but we don’t
have to like it to see that this is where
things are at right now. However, we need
to shift our own attitude, accept what
we cannot control and focus on what
we can. We may not be able to control a
cultural shift, but we can control the way
we respond by being loving, truthful and
respectful to our students.
Counsellor: So it’s not too late for parents and
teachers to turn things around?
KG: I hope parents realize that the
situation is still very hopeful and that
…continued on page 41
❱❱ On the Bookshelf
The Program That Helps Kids and Teens Say
“No Way” – and Parents Say “Way to Go”
By John S. March
Guilford Press
This new self-help resource from Duke
University Medical Center researcher John
S. March encourages teens and kids to take
control of their own treatment and “boss back” when Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder butts in. The book is based on a pioneering
cognitive-behavioural therapy program developed by the author,
which harnesses kids’ exasperation with OCD to motivate their
involvement with a treatment program designed to help them
reduce or eliminate their symptoms. Filled with worksheets and
graphs, each chapter begins with a section that helps kids zero in
on specific problems and develop skills they can use to tune out
obsessions and resist compulsions.
What’s the Problem, What’s the Solution?
By Lesley Farmer
Teachers College Press
Drawing on the work of experts in
psychology, sociology, technology and
education, this book provides a framework
that schools and parents can use to empower girls to succeed
in today’s high-tech world. Not only does Farmer, a Professor at
California State University, explores the disconnect many girls
have with technology, she instructs adults on how to create
an environment in which girls feel confident and comfortable
engaging with technology. The book also includes fun
learning activities designed specifically for girls based on their
developmental needs and interests in areas like entertainment,
fashion, design, business, environment, fitness and writing.
By Ellen Schwartz
Tundra Books
Chock full of information for youth who
are, or who are considering becoming
vegetarians, this is an invaluable resource
filled with advice on proper nutrition,
how to inform parents and peers of the
decision and tips for navigating a vegetarian lifestyle in a meateating world. Readers are treated to thought-provoking facts
about health, food and food production that may be helpful for
people wanting more data before making the choice. Light in
tone, yet deeply informative, the book is a reassuring read for
both parents and teens and offers a wide-ranging and accessible
recipe section with ideas on how to prepare vegetarian fare.
By St. Stephen’s Community House
Annick Press
These tandem “owner’s manuals,” written for
teens by teens, offer the real and the revealing
details about sexuality that can’t be found in
a textbook. Between covering gender-specific
issues related to body image, puberty, dating,
relationships, safe sex and birth control, there are interviews
with certified health professionals plus a startlingly open and
honest collection of stories, poems, essays and artwork about
first-hand physical and emotional experiences. Both of these
backpack-sized books are written, illustrated and designed by
youth of St. Stephen’s Community House, a community-based
social service agency in downtown Toronto.
❱❱ Continued From
The Storytellers (13)
-quality curricular materials. Second, get
the help you need. Without the support
of a psycho-social support worker we
would not have been able to provide
the trauma counseling that some of our
students discovered they needed, and
without the help of storytellers (such as
Laura Simms), we would have had a much
harder time moving as far as we did with
students’ stories,” he advises.
“Third, rid yourself of the belief there is
a ‘real world’ waiting for students when
they graduate. There is only one world
and there is no need to wait to start
making it better.”
Talkback: We want to hear about
your “Great Idea!” including successful
programs, student initiatives or special
events in your school. Contact us at:
[email protected]
énormément d’activités, » dit Mme Cormier.
La mission de la PL-M c’est de «
Rendre nos jeunes entreprenant », d’
«Entreprendre et s’entreprendre. »
« La tâche des enseignants n’est pas
d’être experts en tout. Les autres peuvent
aussi contribuer au développent des
jeunes et de l’Acadie, » dit M. Chiasson.
Pour plus d’information:
École de pensée (17)
que l’école et ses quatre murs, » il dit.
L’éducation continue à évoluer, dit M.
Chiasson. « La demande c’est de créer
des cours qui donnent le goût d’un travail.
Pour que nos étudiants prennent leur
place dans la société acadienne, on a un
rôle important. »
Au mois de juin, la PL-M offre sa
deuxième journée portes-ouvertes à la
La PL-M a été établie à Caraquet en
1972, prenant son nom de l’Affaire Louis
Mailloux. En janvier 1875, les Acadiens sont
révoltés contre les Anglais pour défendre
leur langue et leur foi. Ce jeune homme de
19 ans a été tué par une balle perdue.
À la PL-M, 20 pourcent des étudiants
viennent de Caraquet et l’autre 80
pourcent sont de la région de moins de
50 minutes de route de l’école. La PL-M a
moins de 700 élèves de la neuvième à la
douzième année. Il y a 12 ans, l’école avait
presque 1200 étudiants.
Caraquet est la capitale culturelle de
l’Acadie, mais aujourd’hui, les familles
sont moins grandes ayant un enfant ou
deux au maximum. Aussi, la communauté
voit l’exode des gens vers le sud et l’ouest
à la recherche d’emplois. C’est commun
pour la mère or le père de partir au travail
pendant des semaines.
« On connaît les parents. On parle
aux élèves tous les jours. On leur offre
❱❱ Continued From
Into the Wild (22)
Susan recalls. “I said, ‘I had no idea you
thought that you were.’ Then he explained
that some kids at his old school would
call him stupid, lazy and fat. It had been
pounded into him day after day to the
point where he believed he was inferior.”
Today, Juan loves going to school
because, as Susan explains, he’s
virtually invisible in an ethnically-diverse
population of 1,500 students.
“Being part Mexican, Juan stood out
at his old school, but now no one looks
twice. He fits in. And it’s very interesting
that three of the friends he’s made since
September are Mexican. He’s actually
learning to speak Spanish; so instead of
being ridiculed for being Mexican, he’s
able to identify with it.”
Susan says that Juan’s camp
experience required hard work that
was both emotionally and physically
demanding, but firmly believes
CanAdventure was the right decision for
“Somehow, something basic inside
him was fixed. He’s not perfect, but now
the kind of things he goes through is just
regular teenage stuff – it’s not breakingyour-spirit stuff,” she says.
“I think CanAdventure saved our
family. They really did.”
For more information on CanAdventure
Education, visit
Dans la Nature (22)
quelqu’un vers qui se tourner qui
pouvait comprendre et aider. Ils sont
tous disponibles sur simple appel
téléphonique et nous savons que s’il y
avait un problème, ils remueraient ciel et
terre pour le régler. »
Depuis la fin du séjour de son fils chez
CanAdventure en mars 2008, la famille
de Susan a déménagé à Vancouver, et le
déménagement est loin d’être le plus grand
changement que les Grovers ont connu.
« Le jour où nous sommes allés
chercher Juan au camp, nous l’avons vu à
l’extérieur faisant des baskets. Mon mari
et moi nous nous sommes regardés en
nous demandant : ‘est-ce réellement lui
?’ », ricane-t-elle. « Les pantalons trop
grands avec le sous-vêtement sorti, les
souliers non attachés et la casquette
à l’envers avaient disparu. Il avait une
nouvelle démarche, une façon de se
porter avec confiance. »
Un mois après le retour à la maison,
Juan commença à parler à ses parents à
propos des causes de son déclin du début
de l’année.
« Quand il a débuté à sa nouvelle
école, il est revenu à la maison et m’a
dit : ‘Maman, tu sais quoi ? Je ne suis
vraiment pas un Mexicain obèse et
paresseux,’ » se souvient Susan. « J’ai dit
: ‘Je ne savais pas que tu pensais l’être.’
Puis il expliqua que des jeunes de son
ancienne école avaient l’habitude de
l’appeler stupide, paresseux et obèse.
Cela lui avait été répété jour après jour
au point où il en était venu à croire qu’il
était inférieur. »
Aujourd’hui, Juan aime aller à l’école
parce que, comme Susan l’explique,
il est virtuellement invisible dans une
population ethniquement diverse de 1
500 étudiants.
« Étant en partie Mexicain, Juan se faisait
remarquer à son ancienne école, mais,
maintenant, personne n’y regarde à deux
fois. Il s’intègre. Il est aussi intéressant de
savoir que les trois amis qu’il s’est faits
depuis septembre sont Mexicains. En fait,
il apprend l’espagnol, donc, plutôt que de
se faire ridiculiser d’être Mexicain, il est
capable de s’y identifier. »
Susan affirme que l’expérience de Juan
au camp a demandé un dur travail qui
fut exigeant aussi émotionnellement que
physiquement, mais elle croit fermement
que CanAdventure fut la bonne décision
pour eux.
« D’une manière ou d’une autre,
quelque chose de fondamental en lui
a été réparé. Il n’est pas parfait, mais,
maintenant, le genre de chose qu’il vit
n’est que ce que les adolescents vivent
régulièrement, ce n’est pas le genre de
chose à vous briser le moral », dit-elle.
« Je crois que CanAdventure a sauvé
notre famille. Ils l’ont réellement sauvée. »
Pour plus d’information à propos
de CanAdventure Education, visitez
Our Apologies
In our September 2008 issue, we inadvertently
left out the final words of Dr. David Palframan’s
article, “Spotting Student Depression: What You
Can Do to Help” (pages 40-41 and 49). In its
entirety, the final paragraph should have read:
Rather than feeling trusted and privileged and
important, the teacher might well identify such
a situation as cause for alarm. At this point, the
situation will need to be shared with a health
care professional. The student is in clear need of
treatment. Nothing can be more painful to a teacher
than a suicidal student who has extracted a promise
that their secret be kept. Teachers are usually helpful
and compassionate, but all of us know the feeling
of being out of our depth. Any use of emotional
blackmail—“If you tell anyone, it will be a betrayal
and I might do something awful”—should confirm
that a painful combination of depression, anger,
and dependency now qualifies such a student for
emergency assistance.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
Overindulgence (35)
there are things they can do to have a
radical difference in terms of their power
of influence. Many times, they feel
powerless or pessimistic – it’s too late; I’ve
already screwed them up. The good news
here is that there really is an enormous
amount of things that parents can do to
have an exceptional relationship with their
teens. And I see it happen all the time.
At school, sometimes it only takes one
teacher to have a profound impact on a
student. The reason it happens is because
that teacher focuses on their power to
influence the student by respecting and
listening to them. Listening is huge. It’s one
of the most powerful ways to be a positive
influence in a teen’s life.
Dr. Karyn Gordon has a bachelor’s degree in
psychology, a master’s degree in counselling,
and a doctorate in marriage and family therapy.
Her latest book is Dr. Karyn’s Guide to the Teen
Years: Understanding and Parenting Your Teenager
(Harper Collins Canada).
❱❱ The Last Period
by Tiffany Prochera
May you be inspired today.
May you be encouraged to travel your path with sure feet, confident in your direction.
May you be spurred on to explore, to face the challenge, to go to the next level.
May you experience many moments when you want to stand up and
shout, “Huzzah! How grand this life is and I want more of it!”
May you fall asleep exhausted but giddy with anticipation for what is to come,
as though you cannot wait until the morning to continue the adventure,
to see what glorious miracles are going to occur.
And finally, may you realize your power to create such a day and such a
life for yourself for you truly do possess it.
From the book “A Candle At Both Ends” by Tiffany Prochera. Copyright 2005,
Tiffany Prochera. Reproduced with permission from the author.