Taking Care of Us

Celebrating us

We did it. We brought another amazing decade of learning to a succesful close with passion, creativity, and purpose. For ETFO it has been 21 impactful years in the service of public education, students, and educators. It’s my 11th year as an ETFO member, and I am looking back at the past decade with some […]

Returning to Work as a New Parent

Four weeks ago, I returned to work after being on parental leave for ten months. It was my second parental leave, so this time around, I felt much more prepared: I knew I wouldn’t be as rested, energetic, or rational as usual, so I did what I could to make my return easier on me. I took […]


It has been a long, arduous journey from September to the end of June and we are just weeks away from closing the chapter on another academic year. I am going to relive the last ten months of a fictional elementary school teacher. A group of twenty plus disconnected, diverse individuals arrived in your classroom […]

When Your Best Is Not Enough

I work with some very challenging students, who at their core, are really nice people. As I get to know them as people first and learners second, what surfaces quite rapidly is that many of their needs are beyond my skill set. I am not a counsellor. I am not a psychologist. I am not […]

Adaptation and going with the flow

Teaching is a profession that typically attracts people who are caring, nurturing, creative, and curious. Skilled at thinking on their feet, teachers are also an adaptable bunch. And good thing, too, because the changes that pop up in a teacher’s life are numerous and often unpredictable. Here are a few examples of abrupt and significant […]

How do you push forward when you feel like you are failing?

So often as educators, we feel like we are just failing. It is a common feeling, especially among new teachers. The term “teacher burnout” is often used to describe the exhaustion, both physically and mentally, that comes from teaching. Teacher burnout is especially common in the first few years of teaching. Teaching in Ontario is […]

The Hardest Thing I’ve Done as a Teacher

A month ago, I had to suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly leave my teaching job to go on sick leave. Being pregnant, I knew that at some point this year I would be handing off my class to a stranger, but a big part of me was relying on having lots of notice that it was […]

Getting Sick in September

Three weeks into the school year, and it happens. One day, my throat gets a little sore and then the next day, my voice is completely gone. Laryngitis. Professional hazard. Communication chakra shut down. And what is a teacher to do without a voice? This cold was a humdinger – in my entire teaching career, […]

Personal – Professional Balance

Mike Beetham

Just a few more hours of marking. I can coach  three teams this fall. Sure, I will gladly help out with the school musical. No, sorry I can’t spend time with you this weekend I have work to do. I will just have to cancel my time at the gym again for that parent meeting. […]

Staying on Top of Your Professional Profile

Heart Picture

It’s that time of year again.  Its report card and parent-teacher interview time, but also for eligible to hire teachers without permanent contracts, long-term occasional teachers, and occasional teachers it’s about the time to re-apply to boards for hiring for the next year. It’s an important process because if we don’t do it properly and […]

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