Kamloops teacher awarded for excellence in Indigenous education

Jordan Smith becomes one of the 10 winners from 140 nominees across B.C.

Jordan Smith, a teacher at the Twin River Education Centre and Four Directions secondary did not expect that she was going to be one of the winners or even get nominated for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education this year.

Smith has been recently recognized as one of the best teachers in BC in the category of Indigenous education.

“She has a gift, she has a belief that all people deserve a quality of education and she brings that. She will not let any of her barriers stand in the way of any of her learners,” said Beth Dye, Vice Principal at Twin River Education Centre.

The Kamloops teacher credits her students for keeping her going and said that they are the real reason for her success.

“It’s something quite exceptional to hear students you’re so proud of say that they are proud [of you],” said Smith.

Smith’s teaching technique connects the dots between Indigenous culture and history through practical learning by involving First Nations artists. Smith also helped build the “Four Directions” program at the Twin River Education Centre.

“Four Directions is an academic program with a cultural focus,” said Smith. “We’ve moved to a sematic focus each year and that has really allowed us to create kind of a common energy and common goal for staff and students together. That learning has such a significant impact for students and it inspires me daily. They show up and they’re willing to try. They’re resilient, strong, and courageous.”

Upon winning the award, Smith has not only bagged a $3,000 bursary for herself and her research but also $2,000 for the Twin Rivers Education Centre.