Welcoming New Teachers:

FMPSD’s Support and Orientation Programs

New teachers are the essence of innovation and creativity in education; they bring fresh perspectives and energy, and their passion for learning inspires students to discover their full potential.

The vitality and passion of new teachers can be seen in their classrooms, where they create dynamic and engaging learning experiences for their students and in their contributions to the profession at large as they bring new ideas and initiatives.

The Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) has experienced a significant influx of new students for the 2023/2024 school year; to properly support classrooms, we have welcomed 40 new teachers across our Division. These new teachers bring diverse experiences, with some having previously taught across Canada and other parts of the world. Despite the challenges of entering a new teaching environment, they have diligently prepared themselves for their new roles in various ways. To ensure that all new teachers feel prepared and confident for the beginning of the school year, FMPSD offers a comprehensive orientation program.

Greely Road School’s Grade 5/6 teacher, Mitchell Derkach, spoke about his preparedness for his current role in FMPSD after becoming familiar with upper elementary students’ interests and learning challenges during the year.


“Upon arriving in Fort McMurray, I was given the opportunity to meet with other teachers new to the school division. This experience was immensely beneficial as it allowed me to become familiar with the school division and meet others in a similar position. The staff at the Division Office were welcoming, helpful, and generous with their time, offering resources for various subjects (Clever, Mathletics, Reading Eggs, Leader in Me) that will aid me in student engagement.”

Similarly, Thickwood Heights’ Grade 4 Teacher, Cole Thomson, expressed his excitement about taking on a new challenge as an Elementary teacher.

“Walking into my newfound role as an Elementary teacher has brought about many emotions of fear, excitement and nerves! My previous experience as a Junior High educator certainly prepared me for the organizational aspects of my new role, but I am learning an incredible amount every day. The first few days were filled with joyous and imperative team-building moments that continue to assist me in preparing for what is to come. Thanks to Shannon Dube for her assistance regarding the new Math curriculum and for providing me with endless resources. I look forward to forging new memories with the Fort McMurray Public School Division and Thickwood Heights.”

FMPSD provides comprehensive support for new teachers, guaranteeing a uniform and excellent education. Director of Teaching and Learning Jen Quigley, highlights the abundant opportunities available for new teachers in the field.

“Many of our incoming teachers are new to the profession, bring a wealth of teaching experience, and have joined us from elsewhere. All new FMPSD staff spend the day at the division office before the beginning of the school year for a full day of orientation, including a technology orientation; we work hard to ensure that every new FMPSD teacher feels confident they have the tools and the skills they need to begin the school year. Beyond the start of the year, those teachers new to the profession also have the opportunity to join a learning series hosted by the education department designed to support different facets of teaching that are brand new in one’s first year. FMPSD also provides a new teacher learning series, another opportunity for new teachers to come together and connect while finding commonalities. In addition to the peer-support systems, new teachers are also given the opportunity to participate in our mentorship program, which pairs them with a more experienced teacher, who is often an additional support and  trusted colleague.”

New teachers are the backbone of our education system, bringing fresh perspectives, innovative techniques, and boundless enthusiasm to the classroom. As a result, they play a vital role in shaping the future of our society and preparing our students for success in an ever-changing world. With their unwavering dedication and commitment to their craft, they infuse learning with excitement and wonder, igniting a passion for education that will last a lifetime. Their impact extends far beyond the four walls of their classroom, inspiring and empowering generations of children to dream big and achieve their goals.

As we continue to welcome new teachers to our schools, we look forward to cultivating a culture of excellence in education that will benefit FMPSD students for years.

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