Challenging Topics

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 […]

Everyday Mental Health Classroom Resource

As January and the new year approaches, I start to reflect on balance and keeping true to what I believe to be most important. When in the classroom, I always thought that it was a great time to press the reset button with students and gear up for the next half of the year. Over […]

Behind the behaviour – seeing our students

I see you. I see you trying. I see you fidgeting. I see you working hard. I see you fighting the floor. I see you being a peace maker. I see you standing up to bullies. I see you waiting for snack time. I see your random acts of kindness. I see you struggling to pay attention. […]

Believing in the power of a mentor to support new educators

It’s Progress Report time in many school boards this week. Once again, ETFO colleagues have typed and tweaked their thoughts about student stemming from conversations, observations, and products onto reports that capture “the learning” thus far. This annual first rite of assessment seems to come earlier and earlier each year, but is an important opportunity to map out […]

Gaming…safely?

We have been trained to watch for concerns of a child’s well being. This didn’t include cyber information. As a responsible teacher I’m drawing the attention of students to current events. During this time of sharing, my students have become more relaxed and open about their after school activities which include gaming for many. When […]

David Suzuki’s message to us all

Today the grade seven and eights at our school were invited to attend the Eco Summit at Mohawk College. It was an exciting opportunity where we got to listen to motivated students from around Hamilton speak about the change they were making in their school community and beyond. Local poets, musicians and activists spoke as […]

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