…And Still We Rise

I can remember the first time I went to …And Still We Rise. Imagine, if you will, a room filled with women who are working to empower each other, further their learning, tell their stories, and be mentors for others. I was in awe! I attended workshops and sat in amazement of the educators and the guest speakers. Listening to their experiences and views of the world, I was so inspired to think differently about women and our places as part of society as educators, co-conspirators, and disruptors. Whose voices should we uplift and whose stories should we amplify?

As every year, this one was filled with amazing women at the podium, including Funke Alexandra, who shared her research focussing on the history of Black Canadian women in education. There was Deb St Amant, the Elder-in-Residence at Queen’s University, and whom I remember being a strong advocate and leader in her time with ETFO. ETFO President Karen Brown, whose voice and presence was empowering and inspiring. We also got a chance to hear the story of the Toronto Women’s Bookstore through the eyes of Anjula Gogia. Though I was only in attendance for part of the conference, there were beautiful sentiments of solidarity and wonderful opportunities for learning. It was incredibly empowering to be part of it all.

What I love about …And Still We Rise is the space for women to come together. In life, I wear many different hats and it is hard to carve out time and space in my day to think about myself. I am busy with work, with parenting, with family and at times it feels like every spare moment is allocated to something. A women’s conference like … And Still We Rise is a place where coming together with other women who have similar experiences where we can learn from one another provides a few moments of breath.

There is time to think and connect with one another. There’s actually time to sit and eat a meal together, sharing ideas and conversation with new friends and in community with those who are already a part of our lives.

When I first started my journey with ETFO, everyone told me that going to …And Still We Rise was a must-do experience. I wholeheartedly agree! It’s the space for all women to be heard on issues that they think are important. It’s a place where women can tell women’s history and experiences that are often erased or unvoiced in history books. It’s a time to consider how women can advance social justice, build solidarity between struggles, and contribute to the broader women’s movement. If you have the opportunity to attend …And Still We Rise, I encourage you to take the time to learn, connect, and grow!

… And Still We Rise is ETFO’s signature women’s conference that runs annually in February each year.

Women In Action

In November, I had the opportunity to shadow some wonderful facilitators at a Women In Action workshop. I was so impressed with their ability to connect and uplift the women to see themselves as leaders. While I had already attended Women In Action Part I many years ago as a participant, being a facilitator was a completely new and inspiring experience.

When you attend Women In Action, it is the chance to be part of something special. You get the opportunity to connect with other women in a safe space. Some may be part of your local and some may not be. You will get the chance to really think about the skills and traits that you bring as a leader and recognize the strengths that you already have within you.

Women in Action is designed to inspire attendees to think more broadly about their roles as activists and unionists. Learning and setting goals for yourself is an important part of the time you spend together. As facilitators, we really worked hard to encourage the women to reflect on social justice issues and unionism as they pertained to them and consider themselves as powerful individuals capable of changing the world.

While the food, facilities, and workshop was amazing, I think what I really enjoyed most was the bonding. Hearing the voices of women laughing and chatting and building relationships with one another is a sound unlike any other. I missed that sound over the past three years! Having the space and time together without distraction to focus on professional growth and begin the journey with peers who become friends is unparalleled.

If you have already had the opportunity to attend a Women in Action Part I session, there is also a Part II and a newly developed Part III. Each part provides space to learn more about yourself and to forge relationships that will last a lifetime. In fact, I am still friends with some of the women that I met all those years ago and we are so fortunate to connect annually at Annual Meeting together in Toronto. It’s such a pivotal experience in my work at ETFO that it still influences the way I think about myself today.

If you are able to attend a Women in Action workshop, you will not be disappointed. You will learn a lot about yourself, about issues pertaining to women, and about how to overcome them. You will be reminded of your inner power and your own strength. And you will be changed for the better. This program is organized through your ETFO local and members who identify as women can connect with their local to inquire about the chance to be part of the program.

Learning Experiences

The words ‘learning gaps’ and ‘gap filling’ always give me a sense of urgency and dread. The word ‘gap’ seems so impossible – I get a visual of the Grand Canyon in my mind and think of how long it would take for me to fill it. It brings memories of rote worksheets and intensive pull out programs which seemed scary to me as a student and overwhelming as an adult. However, most recently in a conversation with a colleague, she gave me an alternative way of thinking about how to connect with student needs. The words “missed experiences” suddenly seemed like something I could do.

Think about the math learning continuum, for example. If students are working with multiplication and are relying solely on skip counting when multiplying, they have missed a few experiences along the way; perhaps they were away due to Covid, perhaps virtual learning was a challenge. Whatever the reason, they have missed a mathematical experience that they need to build their understanding. It might mean working physically with array models or the experience of sharing mental math strategies with peers. It could even be building and scaffolding questions that help to frame their thinking. Whatever the experience looks like, it should be meaningful for everyone.

A missed experience isn’t a deficit in learning. It is a circumstance that can be changed. If I got lost while driving to a new destination, I had strategies to use; I could consult Google Maps, I could stop and ask for directions. I knew how to navigate through the challenge and not just think I had to give up and go home or be stuck there until someone came to get me.

Changing my language from learning gaps to identifying missed experiences was empowering. It meant that I could provide intentional lessons and tasks that helped to meet their needs. It meant that I knew what my actions should be and that I could focus on what the students COULD do and build from there. Keeping an asset based mindset gave me a hopeful feeling and I felt that I could use the tools and knowledge I already had to provide experiences for all students to learn with and from one another.

Is there a space and time for intensive instruction? Of course there is! But that doesn’t begin and end in one session and teachers are a powerful force when it comes to helping students within the classroom, too. We have a great wealth of knowledge, strategies, and expertise. Providing meaningful experiences for students to learn and feel confident is what we all do best.

Anti-Black Racism to Change Pedagogy and Practice

In the fall, I was fortunate enough to take the Additional Qualifications course Anti-Black Racism to Change Pedagogy and Practice, Part 1. In one of our reflections, we were asked to think about a six word teaching philosophy. Mine was: All bring knowledge. All can learn.

I based those words on what I believed to be recognizing all students and their ways of knowing and being. I always felt that I wanted to acknowledge who students are, their learning styles, the things they liked/disliked that helped to make up their identities. My goal was to know each student personally, especially to help them feel like a part of the classroom community.

Now through the lens of dismantling anti-Black racism, I consider the biases that I have brought to the classroom and the learning community. I acknowledged colour and racial identities; probably a much easier task as a racialized woman myself. However, I also think about how I considered representing racial identities in the classroom. Often, I considered teaching and learning around racial identities as a way to acknowledge injustices happening to equity deserving identities and the systems of oppression that surrounded them.

Teaching to dismantle anti-Black racism requires learning about Black identity and the understanding that Black identity is vast and varied. Black identity was erased so intentionally throughout history, including the loss of language, traditions, and even families. Black children deserve autonomy over their identities and that my role is in creating space that affirms their identities (even when fluidly evolving) and sustains their identities (even in the face of oppressive forces).

Thinking back to the factors that influence affirming spaces, I am reminded of the importance of acceptance and genuine care. To create a space that is Black affirming, we need to acknowledge and accept different identities with unconditional love and joy. In schools, this can sometimes be complicated for Black students as often educators are seen as the symbol of a larger system of oppression. However, educators can always offer radical and unconditional love to students by continuing to be present, honour student voices, and student experiences and by creating conditions allowing them to explore, share, and develop their own identities. Our own work, as educators, comes with building our own understanding of the systems of oppression that influence each of us and also engage in dismantling our own actions and belief systems that uphold them.

Revisiting my original teaching philosophy “All bring knowledge. All can learn.” I realize that I want to revise my words into actions as a reminder to myself to be an intentional anti-racist educator. Including verbs to create a call to action while centering students and understanding that they bring a myriad of experiences and perspectives, I revised my philosophy to: Know students. Affirm students. Sustain students.

This spring, ETFO will be offering part one of the three part series Addressing Anti-Black Racism to Change Pedagogy and Practice. For educators who are wishing to build and extend their knowledge of how to dismantle discrimination and encourage transformational change, I highly recommend this course offering. You will have opportunity to learn about intersectional Black identities, historical constructions of Black identity, and the space to reflect on how our actions as educators can create culturally sustaining educational spaces.

Book Tastings

Remember that saying, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover?” Well, up until a few years ago, I actually still did that in bookstores. It is overwhelming to enter a place that has so many possibilities and to have limited time to choose something that I used the easiest and most accessible strategy I had!

Just shortly after Covid restrictions were lifted and we were able to go physically to the local library, I felt like I had much more time to think and explore different types of books and genres that I might be interested in reading. Our library is such a cozy and child friendly place that my kids could go to their section and I could wander the stacks. I would use my phone to read reviews, read the first page or so, maybe think about the synopsis, the author, and really think about the books I was choosing to read. Sometimes I would even consider my state of mind – did I just come out of a heavy story? Did I need something lighter? What was I in the mood for?

As school started this year, I really wondered how much time I had spent teaching these reflective strategies to students. I know I taught strategies for choosing a ‘good fit’ book in primary (I can read the words, just right vocabulary, interesting), but I didn’t really pull apart strategies for junior and intermediate grades. I know I didn’t give them enough opportunity to think reflectively about their relationship with reading and their identities as readers.

Enter book tastings. This fun and engaging way to introduce new books to students allows them to try out some strategies for book selections and reflect on themselves as readers.

A book tasting is an activity that allows students to ‘get a taste’ of different texts. There are a few different strategies for setting up a book tasting and here I am going to outline my own thinking around the activity. Remember though, like any good meal, if you choose to try it in your classroom, add your own ‘flavour!’

Set the table first. Some educators really work to create an atmosphere, including tablecloths and place settings, but the essentials are a ‘menu’, a pencil, and a high interest selection of books that best suit the readers. You might want to find out prior to the book tasting what types of books they are interested in reading (e.g., graphic novels, non-fiction, dystopian, fantasy, etc.) or perhaps a topic they are interested in learning about (human rights, climate change, famous people, etc). It’s great to have this take place in the library where they can check the books out right away or to use books that you plan to have students engage with for activities like literature circles in the classroom. The ‘menu’ would have the list of books to be sampled and space for writing notes or rating their preferences in order, depending on your purpose for hosting the book tasting.

There are lots of ways to ‘taste’ the books. The whole activity should take about one period or less to keep the time moving quickly for the students. It should be enjoyable and honour that it can be a long time for some students to sit still and focus. Plan on students spending about five minutes exploring each book.

The actual ‘tasting’ can be done in different ways, depending on your purpose.  If you want to have students freely engage with a variety of books then set each table with a few books and students get the opportunity to sample them at their own leisure.  Explicitly explaining some strategies would be helpful, for example, look at the cover, read the synopsis, read the first few pages, think about your current mood, is this an author you enjoy, etc. If you want to try a more guided approach, have the same books at each table and lead some conversational dialogue.  Ask students what they think of the cover and what type of book they think this would be.  Take a moment to read the first few pages together. If possible, look up the author’s website for information about who is writing this text and what is their message or intention for greater depth.  

The specifics of hosting a book tasting might look different, depending on the educator’s style; however, the purpose of hosting a book tasting is most important.  A book tasting is a fun vehicle to have students reflect upon and practice their strategies when choosing a book to read.  It’s promoting conversation about reading, to think about ourselves as readers, and to build a reading community together. 


The Teacher Down the Hall

During these longer nights and shorter days, I often find time to reflect on my own journey as an educator. Coming up on 25 years very soon (gulp!), I can honestly say that I am not the same educator I was at the beginning of my career or even the same as I was five years ago.

Earlier this year I wrote a post about professional learning and realize as I reflect on my career that I also need to acknowledge the teachers down the hall. These educators have influenced and shaped my vision about students and teaching in so many ways through their mentorship, their permission to be human, and their examples as leaders. I want to dedicate this post to the teachers down the hall whose influence and teaching extended beyond students and to colleagues.

One of my favourite educators would always remind me, “You are human.” Teaching can be overwhelming and is often described as the job that never ends. I know there are times when I felt I could literally work 24 hours and still not have “finished”. However, we also need to understand that we are human. We need to give ourselves some grace for the weight of the work we do and know that we need time to recharge. Setting boundaries for work doesn’t make us bad teachers, it means we are humans who deserve the time for necessary self-care.

An intermediate colleague I worked with once asked me, “If you’re not having fun, how do you think the students feel?” In the light of all the curriculum expectations and data collection, it’s hard to remember to ensure that the class community enjoys their time together. Whether it’s engaging in community building, sharing funny stories, or a cool science experiment, having fun makes the learning environment a comfortable and safe place to be. It helps to build relationships between students and educators. One teacher I worked with always greeted his primary class with a morning joke and that was always brought up by students years later at every grade eight graduation. Those small moments where we have fun are sometimes the small moments that have a big impact.

Another mentor teacher would always tell me, “We teach children, not just curriculum.” It is so important to know each child that we share space with during the day. To recognize that they hold different identities and experiences, acknowledging that those factors influence how they feel seen at school. As teachers we all want students to feel welcome and that school is a place they belong. Getting to know and accept students’ full identities, such as cultural heritage and neurodiversity and everything in-between is necessary to create that feeling of belonging.

Working with another colleague, I learned “Be passionate about your own learning!” Teaching is a practice and one that we strive to get better at doing each year. Learning more about teaching strategies, resources, and new pedagogical research are all ways we can fuel our own professional learning. Trying new strategies helps to deepen our understanding of subject matter and to stay excited about teaching.

I reflect on those conversations and am so grateful to those teachers who gave me a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. When I think back on the last two decades, it seems like no time has passed since my very first class. I feel like that same new teacher on the inside, though I have been shaped by different experiences and growth – much of that due to conversations and mentorship from those teachers just down the hall.

Thinking Beyond the Exit Card

One of my favourite ways to gather assessment is through thinking prompts. I love it because it gives me a quick snapshot of a child’s thinking at that moment. At the beginning of my teaching career, I used to use exit cards to determine whether or not students could understand a concept. Asking them to answer a question or to complete a parallel task were the common types of exit cards I used. As I started to reflect on my teaching practice and student learning, I felt this type of assessment had a certain finality to it. I was trying to find out what the students retained from lessons, but this didn’t leave a lot of room for student voice and reflection. These types of questions seemed content focused. As I became more interested in having students think reflectively about their own learning, I began to change the questions I used and while it took some time and a lot of modelling, these prompts became an important part of assessment that informed my own practice.

Reflecting on Learning Styles

Some thinking prompts help to elicit responses about students’ learning styles. They can be a great tool to arm students with the vocabulary and knowledge to advocate for their identities as learners. I always found this strategy most helpful in meeting student needs, honouring their voices, and being able to help make learning accessible for them. At the beginning of each year, I would begin by sharing about my own learning style with students. For example, I am a slow thinker so I need process time. I am a visual learner and like to learn by seeing things in math. If music with lyrics is playing, I get distracted easily. Sharing these examples empowers students with the knowledge that not everyone learns the same way and it’s okay to need different spaces or accommodations when we are learning something new. Prompts that help students to consider their own learning styles may include, “I could focus or learn better when….” or “I find it was easier to (use ……. strategy) because…..”

A few years ago in a grade four class, we were working on exploring sound. After designing and building musical instruments, I asked the students to finish the sentence, “I could focus on building my instrument better when…” The answers ranged from students who liked frequent check-ins with me through their progress, to those who worked better when they could talk with their friends, to others who liked being able to draw out their design before building. It was interesting for me, as the educator, to be able to see the variety of conditions the students wanted to do their best work. I used the information gathered from those exit cards to prepare for our next experiment and organized spaces in the classroom where students could choose to work based on their reflections.

A Change In Thinking

Sometimes I choose certain sentence starters when I want to encourage reflective thought. It allows me to see where the students’ thinking started and also asks them to reflect on their learning. In my classes, it usually takes some practice and modelling to use these prompts effectively. I would model my own thinking out loud for students during large group discussion. While reading aloud, I would often pause and explain how something changed my mind about a character or prediction and emphasize that when we have new information, our ideas may change. My favourite thinking prompts that encourage this type of response include, “At first I (thought)…. Now I (think)….because…” or “My thinking shifted when….”

I have found this opportunity for reflection gives students a chance to really engage reflectively in their learning and also provides valuable information for me. One year, we had worked with different representations of fractions and I had asked students to think about the prompt, “At first I thought…. Now I think… because….” One of the students shared the idea, “At first I thought fractions looked like pizza, now I think fractions look like linking cubes because the cubes are the same size and pizza slices are not always the same size.” This was far more interesting to me. In the past, I might have asked students to draw a representation of a few different fractions and looked at which representation they might use. With this response, I could see which manipulative was most influential to shift their thinking. I could also see they understood that fractions should be equal parts of a whole. As feedback for me, I could see the representation that helped to build their understanding and I could use that to inform future lessons.

When I think back to being a student, I wonder how I would have responded if I had been asked those reflective questions as a student myself. Would it have still taken me until university before I knew more about my learning style? Would it have changed my relationship with teachers to know that they really cared about what I thought and how I learned? What I love about these thinking prompts are that there is no definitive right or wrong answer; all the answers encourage students to know that I care about their learning, their thinking, and their ideas and that getting the right answer isn’t the most important thing to me. And maybe that’s the real lesson I want them to learn.

Centering Joy

Many teachers I work with recognize the importance of representation. The difference it can make for students to see their cultures and identities reflected in curriculum and educational spaces they occupy each day is undeniable. They feel welcome and they recognize school as a space they belong. A student’s relationship with education can be positively influenced once they know that this is a place where they are seen and celebrated.

Lately, however, I am consciously reflecting a little more intentionally about the types of representation I am including in the classroom. What guides your decision making? What are some of the considerations you have when choosing a text to analyze or share with the class?

Many typical titles I see in classes are books like The Breadwinner (Deborah Ellis, 2000) or Thirst (Varsha Bajaj, 2022). These types of books always centre identities from “far away places” that often face hardships and oppression. When we only share texts that centre stories of oppression, poverty, or underprivileged experiences, we run the risk of confirming stereotypes and biases students may already have about others. Chimamanda Adiche reminds us, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story” (Adiche,Ted Talk, 2009).

For me, I’ve decided to start with centering joy. Finding texts that celebrate the joy of identity is necessary. Intentionally using texts in the classroom that centre around people and communities that are living their lives proudly and joyfully can help to debunk certain stereotypes. As a person with Filipino heritage, oftentimes my childhood classmates only knew the stories that came from the media; a country that is poverty stricken, no running water, oppressive or corrupted government systems, etc. As an adult, I imagine what I would have wanted them to know; the smells and flavours of our food, big extended family parties and get-togethers, traditional dances, wardrobes, and ways of being. Yes, parts of the Philippines may not have access to running water and electricity and some people there do live in poverty, but that is not all there is to my identity and that is not all there is to my culture.

Of course, it is important to recognize that there are societal structures and systems of oppression that are in place and strongly affect many different identities. I’m not suggesting that we ignore or gloss over injustices, but I am considering how to humanize stories so that students will be able to respectfully appreciate cultures and identities of their own and others. I don’t want any child to think that the only time their identities will be explored in school is when it is centered in oppression. Instead, let the message be that their culture and communities are valued, that I respect and recognize that there is no one single way of being and no single ‘right’ way to experience joy.

Looking for some ideas of texts that centre joy? Preview a few of these titles that might be used to frame the joy in identity:

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho
In My Mosque by M.O. Yuksel
Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass
Black Boy Joy by Kwame Mbalia
Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian

International Pronouns Day

International Pronouns Day is celebrated on the third Wednesday of October. This year it will be recognized on October 19th. According to the website pronounsday.org, “International Pronouns Day seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace.” The use of pronouns represents a deeply felt sense of identity for people and using the pronouns people choose is a demonstration of respect and human dignity. Transgender and non-binary people can be especially affected by misgendering or misuse of pronouns which can be detrimental to their comfort and safety. Normalizing the sharing and educating about personal pronouns takes away any assumptions one may have about others’ identities and helps support their right to human dignity.

Most people are familiar with the pronouns he/him, she/her, they/them However, there are over 76 pronouns in usage today. You may hear of other neopronouns, such as zie/zim/zir and vi/ver/vers. The use of neopronouns or gender neutral pronouns allow for greater selection of words that people feel comfortable using to refer to themselves. Typically, you would not refer to someone with neopronouns or gender neutral pronouns unless they request you use them. However, it is acceptable to use they/them as singular gender neutral pronouns for someone who has not yet shared their pronouns with you. Good practice, in the name of allyship, is to introduce yourself and your pronouns when meeting someone for the first time. Asking in a respectful manner, such as, “If you’re comfortable sharing, I would like to be able to use your personal pronouns” would be an invitation that lets others know you are striving to create a safe and inclusive space. However, everyone needs to be aware that pronouns may change as a person learns more about their own identity or feels comfortable giving you consent to call them by pronouns that best match their lived identity.

As an educator our positionality can truly set the tone of the learning space. Egale’s Report “Every Class in Every School” found that “When all identity-related grounds for feeling unsafe are taken into account, including ethnicity and religion, more than three quarters (78%) of trans students indicated feeling unsafe in some way at school.” Those numbers are reflective of schools in Canada; the very environments in which we work. There is a lot of learning and understanding needed to make schools safer, and surely only sharing and using correct pronouns is not enough, but it is a small step toward building equity and understanding.

This year, when contemplating my own allyship in anti-Transphobia and anti-Trans Violence I am choosing to be intentional in being a visible ally. A Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) that I support is choosing to make pronoun buttons that the students choose to best represent their identities. They are also planning to invite teachers to create and wear pronoun buttons at school and emphasizing that International Pronoun Day is only the start of wearing pronoun buttons all year long. I am conscious about not making assumptions about people’s pronouns and am offering my own when I first meet new people. I am also reminding myself that it is my obligation to demonstrate respect by using everyone’s correct pronouns and it is my own responsibility to monitor my own behaviour and speech.

Understanding and accepting that people have the ability and right to choose the words that best reflect their identities is an integral part of anti-transphobic work. This October, I am encouraging you to consider how you will show up to support International Pronouns Day and how you will carry that work forward throughout the rest of the year.

Professional Learning

Educators are such a hard working and dedicated lot. We spend time preparing for work and often seek opportunities to improve our learning and thinking outside of the school day. In my work as a local executive member, I am commonly asked to recommend some great professional learning that is both practical and reflective. If this is what you are looking for, then look no further than ETFO professional learning programs.

ETFO offers a variety of Additional Qualifications (AQ) courses online and even a few onsite. Throughout the year you will find that there are many opportunities to enroll in each session and the courses are taught by teachers for teachers. I have taken many AQ courses with ETFO and have always been impressed by the instructors’ knowledge and dedication to enriching the program experience. In fact, when I took Inclusive Classrooms online our instructor also had drop in Zoom meetings scheduled for us to connect with one another virtually and to help build the learning community. The instructors always connected theoretical course content to the practicality of the classroom. I had the opportunity to engage with teachers across the province and share ideas, strategies, and learning together.

If you aren’t looking for the time commitment of an Additional Qualification course, keep your eyes peeled for Professional Learning and Events run at ETFO’s Provincial Office. You will find a number of different events open for registration through the portal from single day conferences to multi-session programs. These wonderful learning spaces provide opportunities to meet in person with other like-minded individuals to learn and discuss important issues happening in education. There are specific programs for women, Indigenous Peoples, anti-Black racism, and so much more that are intentional about amplifying voices and providing safe spaces. The annual …And Still We Rise conference is a fabulous women’s conference connecting women across the province in a variety of workshops with inspirational guest speakers and opportunities to reflect and empower one another.

At times, there may be limited enrollment for provincial events, so connecting with your ETFO Local can also give you access to many opportunities right in your own geographical area. Your ETFO Local can offer a wide variety of PL workshops to service the members’ interests. Some of those workshops are provided by ETFO Provincial to locals, including Women in Action, Presenters on the Road, Summer Academy and more. In our own local, we have had local members sharing resources or engaging in conversations with members. At times, we have even had guest speakers from the community speaking to the membership about health, politics, or other pertinent topics. Getting involved and being connected with your local’s activities will give you the opportunity to lend your voice to your local team.

If you are looking to really get involved with your local executive, try volunteering for a committee, such as Professional Learning, Equity, or Status of Women. While you will be likely helping out with some events, you will also have the opportunity to attend learning sessions and have conversations together. When I first started with my ETFO Local, I was a volunteer for the PL committee. Each session was amazing, but the experience of learning how to provide an inclusive environment and the considerations that go into running an event was also invaluable. On that committee, we really got a chance to hear the topics members wanted to learn more about and it really helped me to frame some of my thinking about what was important to teachers. I learned so much from how municipal politics could directly affect education to hands-on activities to use when teaching dramatic arts. A lot of learning can come from being part of a local executive team, just from being present and involved.

As you move through this year of education and whatever it may bring, I hope that you consider participating in some of the great learning ETFO has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!