self reflection

Triggers and Habits in Teaching Part One

Dreaded Seating Arrangements Almost every teacher I talk to says, “I have a really difficult class this year.”  The difficulties identified are most often tied to “behaviour” issues.  In my experience effective classroom “management” can be connected to dynamic programming and developing solid relationships with students. Many of us go to things like Class Dojo […]

Daring Classrooms

I state the obvious when I say that teaching is a demanding job.  If you are reading this, you are most likely a teacher and this is not news to you.  I’d like to highlight a resource that feeds the soul of a teacher (and quite frankly a human being) while also providing some strategies […]

Seedlings, trees, and fallen leaves

It’s Fall. Ugh. As the last leaves drop, it is a good opportunity to share some recent thoughts inspired by the change of seasons beyond the sub-joyous feelings from cold, wet, and grey days. It is a season that offers a lot of natural analogies about education as well. Around my neighbourhood, as in most, […]

Breakout EDU

Breakout EDU is like an Escape Room in a box. The players use teamwork and critical thinking to solve a series of challenging puzzles in order to open a locked box. The first time I experienced Breakout EDU with my students I was not the designer of the game.  Another teacher had designed the Breakouts […]

School year start up

A new school year has begun again and I am once again teaching grade eight, in my opinion, the most exciting and enriching grade I have taught so far. The first few weeks have been incredible because of the honest conversations we had week one about how great their year can be if they make […]

Collaborative Inquiry Celebration

The other day, many teachers from across my school board gathered together to share with other educators how their year long inquiry project went. As I have mentioned in previous posts, mine was about starting our own business as a class and inspiring my students through leadership. I shared with the other educators these successful […]

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 […]

Honouring student identity: Culturally responsive teaching and assessment pedagogy for building an equitable and inclusive classroom for all

The role of culturally responsive teaching is to understand who students are as people and who they are within their community. This pedagogical approach acknowledges, responds to, and celebrates fundamental aspects of student culture while providing equitable and inclusive education for students of all backgrounds and identities. This is especially important for students who identify […]

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 […]

Taking the time to collaborate and learn how to bridge the gap

Once a month, my colleagues and I go to a highschool to look at a math sample from each of our “marker students”. There are a group of about ten of us which is made up of highschool teachers, elementary teachers and math facilitators. We take time to identify what the student knows, what they […]

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