Challenging Topics

Remember to breathe (as you continue to inspire others)

I checked in on a few of my former student teachers today. Each of whom are shining examples of professionalism, commitment, and creativity in their classrooms. They have been on my mind alot lately, as daily news of the government sponsored attrition games occupy headlines and conversations across the province. I am sure they represent the hundreds, […]

Bursting bubbles

POP! What’s that sound? Fear and loss, dreams – on hold, watching, without a voice as opportunity is cut and cancelled. For the people, or for their bank accounts? Doubts – fill the staffroom. Murmurs – echo down the halls. Uncertainties – buzz through minds. Bubbles – bursting before they are even formed. Cuts like […]

Effective Assessment and Feedback: The Single Point Rubric

I’ve never really been focused on grades in my classroom. Some educators and parents might find it shocking to read a teacher put that in print.  However, what I mean is that I seldom talk to my students about levels and letter grades.  I focus discussion around feedback, improvement, exemplars and success criteria.  When rubrics were […]

Before you get hurt…again.

Student: (momentarily non-responsive to verbal interaction) slap, push, slap, hair grab, lunge, slap, yell, cry, run, crouch, cry, calm, apolgize Staff: (1 CYW, 2 SERT) block, block, reassure, block, supportive stance, reassure, block, redirect, clear space, block, reassure, follow, remain calm, reassure, accept The slaps(verbal/physical) are like slabs of concrete that a student piles up when […]

It’s About Relationships!

Over my 10-year career as an educator, there have been a number of times of uncertainty in education. These are the times that drive us to reflect on why we became educators: to have an impact. There have been some great posts within this platform with fantastic tips on how to thrive during these times. […]

Teaching in Uncertain Times

When I graduated teacher’s college it was the beginning of the “Harris years”.  Teachers were being declared redundant all over Ontario. I spent three years teaching outside of the province.  Since then I have been through many rounds of collective bargaining-both as a teacher and a local ETFO leader.  I have seen how Ontario’s Provincial […]

Support each other

This is a much needed time for everyone.  The sunlight is increasing. The snow is melting. The temperatures are increasing.  What a time to celebrate? During this much needed break our government has decided to make announcements of change.  This is quite the political tactic.  Distraction from what they want us to know. Politicians have […]

Back in the day was better(because now is often unbearable)

Have you ever seen or heard of students… …compromising their identity to put on someone else’s? …blasting their music through headphones so they don’t have to answer another question …not quite knowing where they are going or who to ask for directions? …taking that swig, puff, or hit to show the crowd how much they are […]

Create Success in Intermediate Math through Play….

“What are you doing in Math today?” the VP inquires of my grade 5,6,7 and 8 students. “We’re playing games.” “You’re playing games?” “Yes, we always play in math.” The assessments gathered from these classes provide me insight of where everyone is in their learning. My experience with assessments are that individual conversations to understand […]

Let’s Talk About Shame

Author Brené Brown from her book “The Gifts of Imperfection” writes that there are three things that people need to understand about shame: 1.  We all have it.  Shame is universal and one of the most primitive human emotions that we experience.  The only people who don’t experience shame lack the capacity for empathy and human […]

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