Athena’s Alawa to Alberta adventure


Alawa Primary School teacher Athena Hammond will start teaching in the Okotoks on 6 January.

In moving to the Canadian town, the Year 2 teacher will swap places with Alberta educator Stephanie Skory, set to take-up a year-long placement at the northern suburbs school.

Ms Hammond said the "massive" application process began in January this year.

"I made an application that had to be approved by the Department of Education and sent to Canada," she said. "But then I had to wait until a Canadian teacher indicated an interest in teaching here."

"I have already met the kids and the principal of the Canadian school on Skype. I love teaching and experiencing other cultures, and my first task will be to establish a classroom routine before concentrating on the curriculum.

"I don’t believe the teaching will be too different. Teaching is teaching. But I think the weather will be a different story."

Ms Hammond, who has never been involved in a teacher exchange program, believes the experience will be an invaluable opportunity for professional development.

"When I return I’ll be keen to share my story with my Alawa colleagues, giving them insights into teaching in a different country," she said.

"I have always been interested in Canada. The last Alawa teacher to participate in a reciprocal program went to the USA four years ago."

Athena’s Alawa to Alberta adventure

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