Harvesting Our Apples

It is that time of year when I am able to enjoy the labours of my endless hours of worrying, endless hours of commitment and endless hours of planning for my students. We call it our harvest time. At the beginning of every school year a new group of students come into our program with […]

School Spirit

What is it? Where do you buy it? How much do you need? Who is responsible for it? Several weeks ago I was part of a re-opening ceremony for a former school that I had taught at in the 90’s. That once old, archaic building had been transformed into an architectural state of the art […]

Homework or No Homework?

This is a question that I have asked myself over and over. At different phases of my career I have given myself different answers ranging from they must have homework because that is what good teachers do, to homework is a vehicle that creates problems and turmoil for the families of my students and thus […]

Get, Give or Pass

As part of our end of the week celebration my class convenes with our daily circle discussion. In addition to our debrief of the week’s events, we add our ‘Get, Give or Pass’ activity. Each person in the circle is asked whether they would like to give a compliment to another person, get a compliment […]

More Than Right or Wrong

“Did I get it right teacher, did I get it right?”. This I am sure you have heard over and over again when it is time for students to take up their work. I can go back to my elementary school years (way too long ago to provide a date for you) and remembering sitting […]

Sunshine Calls

When my students arrive into my alternative behaviour classroom in September, so do their parents and families. The family’s beliefs and attitudes about school have been shaping ever since their child became a part of the formal school system. For the  family of my students, that means that most communication from the school has almost […]

That Chickadee Feeling

This classroom field trip is based on a book written by Frank Glew. It is a regular part of my classroom in the winter. Each year in my attempts to keep my students winter active I use this read aloud as a focus for my students to connect to their natural world in all seasons. […]

Rebound From Your Mistakes

Perfectionism seems to be a common character trait of teachers in that they expect to be perfect at everything they do. They must have perfect lessons, they have to have perfect classroom displays, they expect perfect interviews and so on and so on. If this level of achievement has not been met they often feel […]

When Your Best Is Not Enough

I work with some very challenging students, who at their core, are really nice people. As I get to know them as people first and learners second, what surfaces quite rapidly is that many of their needs are beyond my skill set. I am not a counsellor. I am not a psychologist. I am not […]

Weekly News

I want to share with you an experiment gone really right. Over 2o years ago, a very good friend of mine and I started working with high-risk youth (Grade 6 -8) in our board in the summers. We had developed a program based around adventure-based learning. Our focus was to use the outdoors and physical […]

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