Rebecca Sands Receives H.H. Stern Award
Congratulations to Rebecca Sands, a teacher in the Louis Riel School Division, on receiving the H.H. Stern Award from the Canadian Association of Second Language Teachers (CASLT). The award recognizes innovative second language teaching practices and aims to help share these practices among second language educators.
She is this year’s H. H. Stern Award recipient for her project titled Grounded: Mindfulness and Land-Based Learning as Tools to Address Anxieties Related to Climate Change in French Class.
To support mental health promotion and well-being, Rebecca began to take learning outside in January 2022 (weather permitting). Students were encouraged to engage in contemplative practices through an ecological mindfulness approach and experience how it felt to just "be" in the present moment. The senses, the four directions and breath were used to ground themselves and notice what was happening around them and within, while in nature.
"Inherently, there is an interconnectedness between humans and nature," said Rebecca. "Research indicates that when time is spent outdoors in nature, adolescents benefit from improved mental health and wellbeing and there is an increase in sustainability practices. When the relationship between humans and nature is nurtured, self-care, care for others and care for the environment flourishes and we can move forward in more balanced, purposeful, sustainable ways."
Rebecca was presented the H. H. Stern Award at a ceremony last month.