Building Inclusion

School year start up

Well we are already four weeks in and hopefully it has been a great start of the school year for everyone. I am now teaching a grade eight class, teaching math, science, history/geography, language, art and drama. I was overwhelmed at first thinking about all of the subjects I would be responsible for but I […]

Building a Community

School begins by building the student community. We invite guardians into the space and include them in building the environment.  Often this is done with a newsletter or email introducing the subjects and the adults whom have contact with each child.  Any special events or classroom supplies are mentioned to assist students with a successful […]

Building Connections with Students

Be Authentic The video of a teacher giving each of his students a “just for them” handshake each morning upon entry has gone viral.  His efforts to connect with students have been applauded.  I think that this is a wonderful way to create a bond between teacher and student; for THAT guy.  I know that […]

Why Ontario Teachers Need to be Political

According to The Washington Post’s Valarie Strauss “Teachers are often expected to remain politically neutral in class, not letting their students know which candidate they support or where they stand on controversial issues” (Strauss, 2016). Parents may anticipate that teachers could “indoctrinate” students by expressing their own views in classrooms (Strauss, 2016) and as a […]

Why It’s Time to End Publicly Funded Catholic Schools in 2018

What is the purpose of publicly funded schools? According to the publication, Good Governance: A Guide for Trustees, School Boards, Directors of Education and Communities, the purpose of publicaly funded Ontario schools is to “provide universally accessible education for all students, regardless of their ethnic, racial, or cultural backgrounds; social or economic status; gender; individual exceptionality; […]

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, […]

Moving Beyond “Cultural Months”

I don’t mean to be flippant but I’m sometimes leary when we have a month to celebrate a particular racialized group. What happens to their history or their identities during the rest of the year? I recently saw this post on Twitter and it got me thinking – how do we ensure that we go […]

Kindness and Gratitude

My hope in asking for a junior division assignment was that the students would be more independent however, I also knew that in exchange, I would be likely dealing with the issues of the tumultuous “tween” years.  My expectations for this group were particularly high because I had taught nearly half of them for two […]

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