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, […]

STEAM to Foster Innovation and Collaboration

In my heart of hearts I am a teacher of the arts.  I began integrating technology into my classroom practice a number of years ago but always from a creation perspective.  There is still a misconception that innovation is synonymous with technology.  However, some of the deepest innovative learning comes from low technology.  Keep it […]

Keeping it fresh.

As of the end of February, it is apparent to no one in Ontario that Spring is just around the corner. Judging by the blankets of snow and recent school bus cancellations, winter continues to disrupt and annoy us with the same creative sadism as a government hell-bent on destroying public education. Despite the stark […]

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh

My students with Developmental Disabilities have taught me so many things in the past year and a half. They are absolutely an incredible group of kids that are some of the most resilient, funny and committed students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching. They come to school every day pumped up for school […]

6/194 and cross-curricular life learning

6/194 and cross-curricular life learning. This blog title could also read, “Why a small fraction means so much to the future?” I am trying to make sense out of some pretty important numbers that are affecting us. By us, I mean students, their families, and educators. “Us” also means the entire fabric of society that […]

Math In Real Life – The Yard Problem

As a child, I loved Math.  Inherently, there was always something exciting about using what I knew to solve a problem. Whether through the use of a formula or by being able to apply a mathematical concept, for me the world of Mathematics was about finding answers. Now, sometimes it was a means to an […]

Novels That Spark Conversation and Empathy

This year, due to the ongoing job action, Forest of Reading looks quite different in our school. Rather than having a club where students read books at their leisure and then check in with the teacher who read the book for conversation, we’re reading some of the texts as a class.  Given a couple of […]

Making the Call to CAS

When I called the Children’s Aid Society for the first time in my teaching career, I was really nervous. I had a student disclose to me, through a writing assignment, some of the challenges they were facing at home. I was nervous about my student’s feelings after I shared this private information. I was also […]

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 […]

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