Professionally SpeakingWhile Breanna Heels was studying in East Africa, she saw the powerful role education was playing to improve people’s lives. She wanted to be part of that change and made the decision to become a teacher. Today, this K to 12 Experiential Learning Teacher at Bluewater District School Board inspires her students to be curious about the world and how all living things on our planet are interconnected. Her goal is simply to make the world a better place for all. For her dedication and ingenuity in geographical teaching, Breanna Heels is being awarded the Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s (RCGS) highest award in teaching, its Innovation in Geography Teaching Award.

While Heels has already received both national and international awards for her teaching methods, the RCGS Innovation Award means a lot to Heels. “I am honoured and humbled to receive the Innovation in Geography Teaching Award. To be recognized by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society is one of my greatest career achievements,” says Breanna Heels. “I have been a member of Canadian Geographic Education since I started my teaching career, and it has largely shaped my pedagogy and provided me with the tools to bring the world into my classroom.”

Heels’ approach to teaching was influenced by the local geography of where she grew up: on the Bruce Peninsula, a UNESCO World Biosphere, located on Saugeen Ojibway Nation territory. Her students’ geographic education is often taught while hiking and snowshoeing along the Bruce Trail, learning to explore through geocaching activities, making quinzees or yurt camping at Bruce Peninsula National Park, where they learn about forestry, geology and Indigenous history. Inside the classroom, her students have become tech experts, doing Mystery Skypes, taking part in Google Hangouts, using National Geographic teaching resources, and exploring with Google Cardboard virtual reality. Her teaching adventures take students beyond the classroom walls and around the world through her “Global Citizen Project,” where teachers and students come together to work collaboratively towards the UN Global Goals. This video, highlights how Breanna Heels nurtures her students to become global citizens.

“Breanna brings the world of geography to her classroom by embedding and introducing a multitude of exciting resources to engage her students, including Canadian Geographic’s Classroom Energy Diet Challenge,” says Connie Wyatt Anderson, Chair of Canadian Geographic Education and Vice-President of the RCGS Board. “Breanna is a mentor to both students and new faculty with her innovative teaching methods.”

This award recognizes the recipient’s achievements with a medal and $2,500, split evenly between the recipient and a donation to support geographic education in their name. Heels plans to donate $1,250 to the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association. Heels will receive her medal at a medal ceremony on Nov. 1, preceeding the RCGS College of Fellows dinner, which will take place at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

source: media release, BWDSB


CopyRight ©2015, ©2016, ©2017 of Hub Content
is held by content creators