Before School Starts

Getting Past “The 5 Year Wall”

As a new elementary teacher, I believed I would really know what I was doing after 5 years of practice. After 5 years in my previous careers, I could handle just about anything. I had 8 years experience as a student in elementary school. And, yes, I had watched my elementary teachers teach. I thought, […]

Professional Reporting

Elementary Report Cards … the mere mention of report cards can send some teachers into anxious ridden days and sleepless nights. Even after 17 years of writing elementary report cards, I anticipated that my levels of anxiety would be non-existent but, no, for me, the thought of report card writing still stresses me out. I […]

Partnerships

This past week allowed me an amazing opportunity to work with a very committed and compassionate group of Early Childhood Educators. They are part of ETFO and as such are able to partake in a variety of services that are offered including workshops. The topic of this session was on poverty (Why Poverty? is the […]

Speaking of immovable objects

Here’s an open ended question for your classroom or next staff meeting. Q: What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? I love asking questions like this. They tend to force people to engage a different set of neurons to come up with the answer(s). Usually, the room gets quiet at first, but then what […]

Building Better Schools Forum

What does a healthy classroom look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like when you enter through the classroom door? I recently had the opportunity to be a part of our local ETFO’s Building Better Schools Forum in Kitchener. It is an initiative by our provincial office to engage parents, guardians […]

Emotions, Context and the Reluctant Writer

One of the biggest challenges I face is getting my students to enjoy and take risks with writing. Too often they get bogged down with the fear of not knowing what to write or nervous about experimenting with vocabulary they do not know how to spell. There are two critical approaches I take in helping […]

Balance

Have you ever been driving along and all of a sudden you hear a low chime and look down to notice your fuel gauge has lit up and you are in desperate need of a fill up? Well, I can truly tell you this last week was just that feeling. It was like I was […]

Cultivating a culture of creativity

Recently, I was asked to explain my vision on how to cultivate a culture of creativity in the classroom. After a few moments of reflection came this response. From the moment that a student enters our classroom fostering a culture of creativity requires 3 key things; fearlessness, fluidity, and failure. IMO, these 3 are inextricably linked in my […]

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