Classroom Management

Don’t Judge a Teacher By The Bulletin Board

I remember going to the Reading for the Love of It Conference in Toronto for the first time as a fairly new teacher.  I heard Mary Bigler  speak in a motivational keynote address.  She told a story that has stuck through me through the years.  It was about a brand new teacher who was full of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Non Fiction vs. Fiction?

The majority of what I read and write daily is non fiction.  If I were to attach a statistic to it, I would hazard to say that 95% of what I read and write on a daily basis is non fiction.  I like to write poetry and narratives too but I seldom have the time […]

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 […]

Robotics and Coding in Action

Reflections and Observations from Robotics/Coding classes… While currently working for several days on coding plus Lego robotics in three math classes: two grade 5/6s and one grade 7/8 class, I had the most interesting experience on a recent Friday. An assumption, as the technology leader and I were planning out the lessons and build, was that many […]

Snow Suit Stress

Can we talk about snow suits for a minute? I absolutely love teaching our youngest learners but with them comes a few months of winter clothing nightmares. I didn’t mind this so much while teaching Kindergarten, because I saw the [endless hours of] time spent getting dressed as a teaching opportunity and an important part […]

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