Teacher Professional Development FAQs

Let us answer some of your questions!

Please don’t hesitate to call us at 780-421-1497 regarding any of the questions below, or any other questions you may have. We look forward to seeing your application!

Inside Education COVID Protocols

The overall principle guiding Inside Education’s actions and decisions are to take reasonable steps to protect the safety of program participants and staff. Using the current Public Health guidelines outlined by the Province of Alberta in the General Guidance for COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Infections, the following measures have been implemented across Inside Education’s programming areas.

  • All Inside Education staff are double vaccinated.
  • Inside Education staff participate in semi-weekly rapid antigen testing.
  • Inside Education staff completes a self-screening questionnaire the morning of the program. If a staff member answers yes to any of the questions, they will not attend.
  • Program participants – teachers participating in professional development programs and students participating in youth summits will be required to show proof of vaccination. Failure to do so will result in those teachers/students not being invited to participate. No medical exemptions are being accepted at this time.
  • Participants (parent volunteers, guest speakers, teachers, students etc.) attending an Inside Education program will be expected to complete a self-screening questionnaire on the morning of the program. If a participant answers yes to any of the questions, they will not attend.
  • Inside Education staff will wear non-medical grade masks at indoor programs.
  • Hand sanitizer will be made available to all participants.
  • The use of shared equipment and materials will be minimized.
  • Equipment and materials will be sanitized between classes.
  • When possible, programs will be held in an outdoor setting.

Do I have to be vaccinated to attend?

Teachers participating in professional development programs will be required to show proof of vaccination to an Inside Education staff at the beginning of the program. Failure to do so will result in those teachers not being invited to participate.

No medical exemptions are being accepted at this time.

How does the supply teacher subsidy work?

It’s easy! Inside Education understands that supply teachers cost money and we don’t want that to limit your ability to attend our programs, therefore on most programs we can offer a supply teacher subsidy.

You can review a copy of our standard supply teacher policy:
Supply Teacher And Travel Subsidy Policy

Is it fun?

Yes! As with all of Inside Education’s programs, we pride ourselves on our ‘fun-professional’ approach. With this, we believe that learning occurs at its best when it is enjoyable. Our teacher professional development programs often include fun education activities, recreational opportunities and chances to just sit back and relax with fellow teachers.

Who can apply?

All classroom teachers are invited to apply. The programs are designed to enhance curriculum for multiple grade levels and subject areas. Please note that some tours may specify that applicants must teach in a certain region. Also, for some programs, Inside Education also sees value in extending a limited number of positions to members of the non-formal education community (e.g., stewardship groups, interpreters, education specialists, academia) as well as pre-service teachers (i.e., student teachers).

I'm not a science teacher, can I still apply?

Of course! As teachers have shown us, there are many curriculum connections that can be made and while our programs are curriculum relevant they are typically not meant to be ‘workshops’ on one specific topic. Inside Education also believes that teachers — all teachers — should have a strong understanding and appreciation for our valuable natural resources and environment.

What can I expect?

You can expect to learn and experience more about our natural resources and environment than you can ever imagine! We believe these truly are the best ‘field trips for teachers’ out there. Traveling as a group, you will be exposed to key people, important places, and multiple perspectives that you may otherwise not have the chance to experience. You will get the ‘big picture’ and be able to share it with your students.

You can also certainly expect friendly staff, knowledgeable and excited speakers, fun activities, good food, and comfortable travel and accommodations. They are full programs with plenty to see and do, but there will also be some time to collect your thoughts, and visit with your new friends.

I'm not that familiar with this topic area, is it for me?

Definitely! Inside Education’s Teacher PD programs are designed to take teachers from a very basic knowledge level and make them ‘experts’ in their school on that given topic. Our friendly, and welcoming approach helps participants to feel at ease and lessen that uncomfortable feeling of “I’m the only one here who doesn’t know this stuff.” After all, that’s why we’re having these programs in the first place!

How do I apply?

Simply click on the Apply Online button on each tour’s webpage and fill our our simple online form. You will hear from us regarding the status of your application shortly after the application deadline.

How do you select your participants?

Applications are reviewed following the posted application deadline. Applicants are not considered on a first come basis. We put great value into hearing ‘why’ participants want to come and how they hope to make use of the experience. Also, many elements may also be considered when selecting applicants and can vary from tour to tour, but we typically aim for a balance of participants (e.g.,  geographic representation, past participation, first-time applicant, teaching situation, grade level, etc.)

Is it really all-expenses-paid? What's the catch?

There is no catch! All group accommodations, meals, travel, and tours that occur during the program are covered. (From time to time travel subsidies are also available for remote northern teachers, please contact us for more information).  Inside Education has approached a number of partners that see great value in educating teachers about the complex relationship between our natural resources, society, economy, and environment. In-kind support is also key to enriching the experience of the teachers. Together, these partners have made it possible for teachers to experience a high quality learning experience at no cost.

Do I need to attend the whole program?

Yes. These programs are designed to tell the ‘whole story’ with each presentation building on the last, so complete participation from start to finish is mandatory. Also, the group will travel as a group which makes it difficult for participants to join or leave the group during the program.

Do I need to be in top physical shape to attend?

Not necessarily. Our programs are a balance of indoor and outdoor sessions, discussions, tours and activities and are not intended to be large physical undertakings such as a 3-day hike or canoe trip. However, there are some program elements that are physical in nature (e.g., raft floats, short hikes into the forest, periods of standing, changes in terrain). Should you be accepted, prior to the program we will ask you to let us know of any mobility issues you so that you may be as comfortable as possible.

Can I apply with a colleague?

Yes, you may encourage a colleague to apply. We can’t always promise that you will both be accepted but it is helpful for us if you indicate on your online application form if someone you know is also applying.

What about the accommodations

Inside Education accommodations are typically same gender, double occupancy. If you know someone else attending the program and you would like to room with them we do our very best to make happen.

If you would like to room alone we just ask that you waive receiving the sub stipend in order to keep our costs on budget. If you do choose this option, you do need to let us know well in advance as we can only hold a certain number of rooms.

Finally we often get asked about bringing  family or friends that are not attending the program, the simple answer is no. We want to ensure you get the most out of this experience and have the time to network and reflect.

I don’t live near the program start location, can I still attend?

Of course and we hope that you do! Visiting new and exciting landscapes is an important part of the professional development experience. Teacher participants are responsible for getting to and from the program start location. Inside Education may also put teachers coming from similar places in touch to encourage carpooling.

If you are from Northeast British Columbia we can also help off set travel costs to the program start location! Teachers from school districts 57, 59, 60 and 81 are eligible for $500 subsidy that can be put towards flights, mileage or other travel costs.

Northeast BC Teachers Travel Policy

What should I bring with me?

Get our recommendations by downloading our list.

Suggested Packing List for PD Tours

How do I get in touch with Inside Education after the program has started?

You can reach the main Inside Education office at 1-888-421-1497 and they can connect you with the team that is leading the program. If it is outside of regular office hours please call or text Kathryn Wagner – 403-803-8881.