A Ladner private school teacher has been recognized for her innovative methods with a 2012 Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the recipients of the annual award last week, a list that included Wanda Graham, a Grade 6 teacher at Sacred Heart Elementary.
The Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence honour outstanding elementary and secondary school teachers who, through the innovative use of information and communications technologies in the classroom, help students develop the knowledge and skills to succeed in the digital economy.
Graham was recognized in particular for successfully incorporating technology into every day learning in the classroom.
"They have to be entertained, so we have to go with the flow and we have to move forward. It doesn't matter whether I'm an older lady or not, an older teacher, I need to move ahead with technology, whatever works to keep their attention," she told the Optimist.
The future of education is very much present in her classroom at Sacred Heart today, with such devices as iPads and interactive boards.
Principal Wendell MacCormack is jubilant about the award, saying it's all the more impressive considering Graham was considering retirement at age 60 four years ago, due in part to uncertainty about new technology.
"She was going to retire because for her it was, 'I can't even turn a computer on.' Now the Prime Minister's Award is in the area of technology because she's a true leader in technology," he said.
MacCormack said teachers from schools around the Lower Mainland are paying Sacred Heart a visit to see how the school successfully integrates the latest technologies into the classroom.
Graham said even her young students are extraordinarily tech savvy.
"I think it's the children that have helped me move ahead," she said.
This year, awards were given to 94 teachers/educators from across Canada.