Mental Health

Distraction

It’s Spring. At least that’s what the calender and the weather are telling us. Dust has replaced the snow on the playground. Tell that to our playground grass fields still resisting the urge to grow too soon. Judging by the pale straw colour a field of green is still 6 weeks out. Somehow nature has equipped itself […]

Recognizing and Responding to Mental Health Problems Among Students

SupportingMinds An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-being Government of Ontario Draft 2013 Note that dealing with mental health problems among students is highly complex and challenging. Often students are not responsive to using mindfulness and self-regulation strategies as their significant mental health needs require the support of professionals such as doctors, […]

Teaching About the Genderbread Person in Schools

I’m taking the new ETFO AQ … Teaching LGBTQ Students Additional Qualification Course. I’m learning a great deal about stigma, discrimination, and privilege. PS I’m a LGBTQ2S Ally. Genderbread-Person-3.3-HI-RES The first day of the course, we discussed the Genderbread Person which really help me understand the diversity in  people, and especially in LGBTQ2S communities. This […]

Building Self Care and Resiliency for Educators

Road rerouted to preserve 250 year old Bronte White Oak Tree  “The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It is the one that stands in the open, where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains […]

The Downside

It’s a wonderful time of the year…ish. However, there are a few downsides. Starting with the scary winter weather commutes, bone-chilling outdoor supervision at -16C, or the daily loss of at least a half hour of instructional time while students remove their winter wear or gear up for recess. Today I was convinced that a child went […]

The detour

Wanderers, tourists, sight seers, visitors, escape artists, runners…”Hey!” this teacher asks, with a smile, “See any cool artwork today?” or maybe the exchanges are in passing such as,  “How are you? How’s your day going?” However, what rarely gets asked is, “Aren’t you supposed to be in class right now?” Have you ever observed a student or few […]

Duty to Report School Violence

As an elementary teacher, with 18 years experience, I’ve seen my share of violence in schools. In 3 lockdowns, I’ve had to keep my students quiet, calm, and safe. As a classroom teacher, I’ve had objects thrown at me (like chairs). More than once, I’ve been purposely hit and kicked so hard, bruises were left. […]

Taking care of yourself in December

Now that the hustle and bustle of progress reports is done and parent-teacher interview night is over, I am exhausted. I find this time of the year to be the longest stretch of the school year and these next four weeks to be the most demanding on me mentally and physically. Although my body and […]

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