Kent Homes helps NB High School Teachers build a Tiny Home for Oromocto First Nation

July 26, 2017

Kent Homes and Kent Building Supplies are proud to support New Brunswick High School Teachers in a Professional Learning Opportunity. This month, Kent Homes worked with New Brunswick High School Teachers in a hands-on project to identify the skills to teach Grade 9-12 students how to build their own Tiny Home. Kent Building Supplies also supported the build of the Tiny Home by donating the building materials. 


"During this build 18 teachers are learning how all the trades come together to complete a finished product - everything from framing and carpentry to finishing work. They are also learning how to build tiny. It's a growing movement in Canada. For Kent Homes this project is a win-win-win for students and teachers, the First Nation community and our company," said Sam Forestell, Kent Homes Project Engineer on the Tiny Home.

There are three main focus areas for this type of learning initiative: 
1. The professional learning of New Brunswick High School teachers
2. Growing the future workforce of skilled builders in New Brunswick
3. The community benefit of the finished product – the Tiny Home - that will be donated to the Oromocto First Nation. 

"The tiny home will be used as temporary residence while homes are under construction , as well as an educational tool for students. What we're trying to do in the Office of First Nation Education is align our goals in education with the needs and goals of First Nations communities and people. Housing is identified [as a need], as a lot of communities are in a housing crisis," said Sacha DeWolfe, Director of the Office of First Nation Education.

NBCC Moncton was the site of the teacher build, with finishing touches being completed on Saturday, July 15th at Kent Homes in Bouctouche. The home will be transferred to Oromocto First Nation to be finished with the local high school students who are interested in skilled trades. The purpose of this Tiny Home in Oromocto First Nation is to allow for families to temporarily move out of their current homes while undergoing refurbishments then move back in once their permanent home is complete. 

“The long term goal is to engage teachers and students in teaching strategies that will encourage students into courses like Science, Math, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and trades. Students need see where future opportunities are and what will be required. We have a situation currently where students graduate, go to post-secondary then leave New Brunswick. We need a strategy to grow the NB workforce capacity,” said Brian Gray, Department of Education (Education & Early Child Hood Development), Learning Specialist in Trades & Technology.

The learning session was open to supply teachers as well as full-time teachers. The 18 teachers were on-site volunteering their help and learning skills to pass on to students in September. The purpose of the session is to give the teachers of Construction, Science and Mathematics the skills they need to teach a class of Grade 9-12 students how to build a Tiny Home. 

“We’ve been building a Kent Home's Tiny Home with a goal of getting teachers across the province to bring the Tiny Home project into schools. You need to keep students motivated in school. That can only be passed on by the teachers having the skills. Once the teachers are motivated it’s amazing how it rubs off on the students,” said Timothy Nichol, St. Malachy’s School, Skilled Trades Teacher and Lead Teacher on the Tiny Home project.

It started as a STEM project (Science, Technology, Environment, Mathematics) and has evolved into STE-A-M; adding in Art and Design, which will be considered in future builds with students to make this an applicable, cross-curricular learning strategy inspiring students to pursue skilled trades. The skills that the students learn can be applied in larger scale projects in their future.

J.D. Irving, Limited is hiring skilled workers. Check out the wide-range of careers and apply on careers.jdirving.com.