Building professional capacity through teacher collaboration

Internationally, professional educational bodies and teacher federations in the United States, Britain, and Canada, for example, advocate for learning communities and the teacher collaboration that supports it (American Federation of Teachers, 2011; Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, 2011; General Teaching Council for England, 2003; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 2004; Ontario College of Teachers, […]

Class Size Matters: Then and Now

As I look back on my 1973/1974 grade 5 classroom of 29 students, there are significant differences in how we were taught. Teacher Qualifications: Our teacher did not have a university degree and only one year of teachers’ training. (I looked her up). Today’s teachers must complete a 4 year university degree and two years […]

Seniority Matters

Seniority in teaching matters because there is much documented research showing that teachers must practice up to eight years before they develop efficacy in their practice. In the British VITAE study of 300 teachers in 100 schools, authors Day, Sammons, Stobart, Kingston, and Gu (2007) showed that teachers’ levels of confidence and self-efficacy continue to […]

What is the purpose of a bulletin board?

When you walk into a classroom what is the first thing you see? Decorated bulletin boards? Looking at bulletin boards often reflect what is happening in a classroom. Bulletin boards often show teachers’ focus on particular curriculum and what students are doing in the classroom. But what do bulletin boards say about teachers’ practices or […]

Empowering Readers and the Right to Read

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)  (October 2019). Recent Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) test scores show over 25% of Grade 3 students and 53% of Grade 3 students with special education needs did not meet provincial standards. The OHRC cites that students who cannot read struggle with many aspects of school and are […]

Math on Ontario’s Education Funding in 2019/20

In 2019/20, Ontario has experienced changes in the funding its public education system. Ontario’s Grants for Students Needs (GSN) increased slightly from $24.5 billion to $24.66 billion dollars but with significant changes in funding allocation. Public Foundation Grant In the Grants for Students Needs (GSN) budget, the biggest loses have been in the Public Foundation […]

Being Allergy Aware

In dealing with allergies in schools, it is important to be aware of potential allergens. Introducing allergens into schools can put people at risk, including students, office staff, teaching assistants, custodial staff, administrators, non-teaching professionals, teachers, and even trades people. Allergens are not just something that can bother people, allergens can be life threatening. There […]

What’s up with the increase of students with IEPs in Ontario classrooms?

From People for Education, 2019, p. 15 An Individual Education Plan … is a working document that is developed and maintained for a student who is deemed exceptional by an Identification, Placement, and Review Committee (IPRC) must be developed with input from the parent(s)/guardian(s) and from the student if he or she is 16 years of […]

Did you get your flu shot yet?

Did you get your flu shot yet? It’s a good question to ask teachers as the nature of their professional exposes them to hundreds of people each working day – this includes children who get sick on a regular basis as they are still in the process of strengthening their immune system. Unlike medical workers, […]

Class Size and Composition Matters

Class Size and Composition Matters As a teacher of 19 years, I’ve seen many changes to classroom composition. When I first started teaching, students with behaviour needs where either supported through Educational Assistants (EAs) or in separate contained classes. In addition, students with significant special education needs had additional supports and/or placement options for contained […]

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