First Week Reflections

Something’s Old, Something’s New

I am at a new school this year and so I am once again learning new routines of the collective culture of the school community as well as the various cultures of the individual students. We have a big crop of Junior Kindergarten students and a handful of Seniors. So far, it is rolling merrily […]

The First 20 Days of School – Connecting with Students is a Great Place to Start

Teaching is always new! With a new group of students, fresh reflections on practice and the opportunity to start from scratch, as it were, the start of the school year provides teachers and students alike the opportunity to create new beginnings every year. Knowing this, what might some important considerations be to make it a great […]

This is not a drill. We are live.

It’s the first day. I’m alone in my classroom. Wow! It’s so calm in here. And why not? It is nearly 2 hours before the first bell of the new year. Why do I feel so excited? Yet, at the same time like butterflies are barfing in my stomach?  We’ve all thought about it, dreamt about it, and for many, […]

To the Outdoors!!

The students and I often have a similar struggle when we return to school in September. After a whole summer of biking, running around and enjoying the great outdoors, we come back to school and spend a large portion of 8 hours a day inside. It can make you crave the sunlight, fresh air and […]

Adjustments in September

  With all the plans we make for those first days and weeks in September, it is worth being open to making adjustments, for your benefit and the benefit of the students. Here are some examples of how I have adjusted the environment and the program in the first few weeks: I have changed the […]

The Power of Believing

Mike Beetham

It is not found in a curriculum, at an educational supply store or in a university course outline. But yet it is one of the most powerful tools that a teacher has. It is the belief in yourself to handle the varying demands of the teaching role, to have confidence in your professional expertise to […]

Let’s Get This Learning Started

This year I begin a new journey as I welcome the opportunity to teach Grade 4.  For the record, I must admit that I was a bit nervous simply because I’ve been teaching Grade 6 and above for the past five years.  However, the first week has proven that if we enjoy getting to know […]

What a Difference A Year Makes

This time last year I had just returned from a seven-year absence from the classroom.  During the seven years I was working in various centrally assigned positions, I had many opportunities to visit K-12 classrooms across the Greater Toronto Area.  You could imagine my excitement!  I observed many effective lessons and teaching strategies, classroom set-ups […]

Talking and Listening Chairs

As I look back on this past week, I realize that I spent very little time teaching curriculum and more time working on life skills. I have two choices at this point. I could think, “Oh wow, I’m really far behind!” or “I’ve made a huge investment that I hope will pay off in the […]

Keeping It All in Perspective – Teaching Really is a Far-Reaching Profession

As teachers and former students ourselves, we know the impact that we can have on students. One just has to think about “rateyourteacher.com” or think back to our impressions of our own past teachers to realize how distinct and ingrained our memories really are. As we embark on another (or perhaps the first) year in […]

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