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Teachers head back to school for Summer Academy

It's back to the classroom for around 100 teachers in the Ottawa-Carleton area for the next three days.

But the tables are turned for these teachers, who are taking part in the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario's 2014 Summer Academy.

"We have a number of courses which are being very well attended - teachers coming during the summer and giving up their time because they want to take professional development that they know is going to benefit them in the fall," said Jane Reeb, a vice present with the Ottawa-Carleton Elementary Teacher Federation.

One of the courses offered at AY Jackson Secondary School in Kanata specifically deals with teaching children with autism - many of whom nowadays are thrust into the regular classroom.

Valerie Klempa, is teaching the course and told CFRA teachers will learn different strategies to help kids with the disorder.

"A student who needs a deeper understanding of something that, [the teacher] can then pull a visual for that student to not only understand receptively through the ears, but visually through being able to see what is being said," she said.

The most popular course at Summer Academy is the one on full-day kindergarten, which is in the midst of being implemented across the province.

Fern McAllister, a kindergarten teacher at Agincourt Public School said she expected to learn a lot from the course.

"Ideas about how to schedule your day, how to incorporate the environment into your programming, how to work with an ECE [Early Childhood Educator] in a way that is encouraging for both parties, how to support the children in directing their own learning journey," she listed.

Also on tap during the voluntary Summer Academy is training for how to integrate Google Apps, iPads and Chromebooks into the classroom as well as ways to teach math.

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