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Inkster teacher earns Excellence in Education Award

May 11, 2021 Announcement, News Story
Inkster School - Shelagh McGregor, Teaching Excellence Award

Inkster School teacher Shelagh McGregor is bringing learning to life. 

McGregor, a Grades 5 and 6 teacher, recently received a Teaching Excellence Award, part of the province’s annual Excellence in Education Awards. 

Nominated by her colleagues Dino Di Fabrizio and Catherine Colli, McGregor was recognized for her ability to engage and immerse students in their studies. 

“I try to bring stories or aspects of history alive,” McGregor said. “A couple of years ago we turned the classroom into a giant medieval castle, complete with QR codes that visitors could scan to learn about different aspects of the castle.”

“This year we’re learning about the Winnipeg General Strike, so we used Strike!, a play by local composer Danny Schur that was featured at Rainbow Stage and was turned into a movie called Stand! We made our own movie, where each student got into a role, and we brought it to life.”

McGregor’s students also participated in a virtual chat with Schur, where they peppered the playwright with questions about the 1919 strike and making musicals.  

“When students can have empathy for the role or character they’re playing, I think they understand it more. They have a connection to it,” McGregor said.

“Engagement is a big part of it. Students learn in different modalities and having an opportunity to use technology is also a carrot for them. Everything we do links to technology, whether its building a castle or putting on a production. Even my shyest student was able to participate by being the videographer and editor of our final production.”

McGregor has been an educator for 21 years, including six at Inkster. She’s active in all aspects of education, from helping to establish various school clubs to assisting in the redevelopment of Inkster’s library and the creation of its community medicine wheel garden.

McGregor is also involved in the WSD Teacher Induction and Mentorship Program, sharing her wealth of education experience with newer teachers in the division. McGregor also serves on the executive committee of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association. 

““I don’t stop. I’m not idle and I don’t stop learning,” McGregor said. “I usually change the grade area I work with every five years just to keep fresh. Having such a wide range of experience with different grade levels of children in 21 years has really helped me hone my craft, in addition to working with many other excellent teachers.”

“I’ve had the privilege to collaborate with and learn from many master teachers over the years and I’ve taken a little something from each.”

Of course, like all educators, McGregor has had to deal with some setbacks, including the challenges that come with the COVID-19 pandemic.

But that comes with the territory. She said education is all about the “little victories.”

“Teaching is a profession where you don’t always see a finished product,” McGregor said. “It’s a little victory when a student makes a breakthrough or shows progress in something they’ve been working on for a long time. Those little victories keep me going.”

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