Iyanuoluwa Akinrinola headshot


Durham & York Region Occasional Teacher Local

Iyanuoluwa Akinrinola is passionate about being an educator and writer who works alongside several teachers within different Ontario school boards in the areas of curriculum planning and review, pedagogical skills development, and knowledge mobilization workshops. She facilitates program planning, program delivery, and overall operations for several enrichment programs for marginalized and racialized students

Colleen Elep headshot


Peel Teacher Local

Colleen Elep is a centrally assigned English as a Second Language/English Literacy Development (ESL/ELD) Resource Teacher and Peel Teacher Local member who has worked extensively in middle school environments. She is passionate about supporting multilingual learners, mentoring new teachers, and culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy. When she is not teaching or writing, she can be found trying new restaurants, planning her next getaway, or drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Sharon Ethier headshot


Niagara Teacher Local

I have been fortunate to be involved with ETFO throughout my entire career and have spent the past eight years as Status of Women Chair. This term, I am proud to hold the treasurer’s position on the ETFO Niagara Teachers’ Local. Currently, I work in a central role as an Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Coach supporting teachers and students striving toward an environment of acceptance and inclusion. New experiences are exciting for me, and I am always looking for new learning and challenges. Blogging is definitely one of them!

Will Gourley headshot


York Region Teacher Local

Will’s roles have included Teacher Candidate host, New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) Mentor, Global Math Project Ambassador and TED Ed Lesson Creator. Education is Will’s fifth career. It’s been a lifelong love of learning that has led him to and through many incredible experiences in real estate, radio, and entrepreneurship. In the classroom since 2009, Will has been an active member of several learning communities at the school and board level that have pushed the boundaries of education beyond the textbook and traditional approaches. Since being chosen to lead one of the first TED Ed Clubs in the world,  he has worked to empower students to share their ideas worth spreading and to encourage educators to thread narratives and stories into their instruction. This has come through mentoring TED Ed Club leaders in schools in Canada and around the world. In his spare time, he likes to work with faculty of education teacher candidates, blog, cook, and avoid working out.

Amanda Hardy Smiling with her dog in the background


Rainbow Teacher Local

Amanda Hardy is an Anishinaabe Kwe (woman) living in Northern Ontario. She has taught a range of students in various capacities throughout the past 20 years. Amanda holds degrees in Psychology and Education, an Early Childhood Education diploma and a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Health. Recently, Amanda has facilitated a mindfulness program, The Holistic Arts-Based Program with marginalized youth in her community. She continues to utilize the key components of the program to engage and support her students in developing self-awareness, self-compassion and empathy. She shares these experiences with educators across the province through various trainings, workshops, and presentations. Amanda seeks opportunities to grow and learn professionally and personally and is looking forward to sharing her insights and experiences with her readers.

Diane Kim headshot


Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local

Diane Kim is an educator in Hamilton. Over the past 20 years, she has held various teaching positions, including classroom teacher, English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, drama instructor, and teacher librarian. Currently, she holds a system capacity building role, working with staff and students in K-8 classrooms to embed ESL best practice across all subject areas. She is passionate about multilingualism, social justice, drama-based education, and special education needs. Reimagining and redefining learning spaces to include all students is a central tenet of her work. She is looking forward to exploring ideas and resources on this blog that may help create and sustain inclusive classrooms.

Arianna Lambert headshot


Elementary Teachers of Toronto Local

Arianna is a passionate elementary educator with over a dozen years of classroom experience where she specializes in developing engaging activities that spark student interest and facilitate learning in both French and English.

During her classroom teaching career, Arianna has leveraged inquiry and project-based learning to support students in making meaningful connections between the curriculum and their everyday lives. As a Google for Education Certified Innovator, Arianna has deep expertise in using technology and maker spaces to create meaningful learning opportunities for children.

She also brings her passion for mindfulness into the classroom and has developed strategies to help students reflect and thrive during stressful situations.

A seasoned workshop facilitator, Arianna enjoys working with educators in a variety of areas to support relevant and meaningful learning for students.

As a Heart and Art blogger since 2017, Arianna enjoys reflecting and sharing her learnings in education with others.

Kelly McLaughlin headshot


Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local

Hello, my name is Kelly McLaughlin and this is my ninth year blogging for “Heart and Art”. Blogging my experiences inside and outside of the classroom has become such an exciting part of my school year as I often come across many experiences I think, would benefit others. Reflecting is such an integral part of the teaching profession, and I am honoured to be able to do this on a public platform.

Being a teacher is not a career, it is a passion and I have always enjoyed the positive impact you can make within your classroom. I believe that students need to feel included and loved in order to start learning. Without an inclusive classroom community and encouragement, learning cannot take place. From a very inspiring educator, I was told that students will remember how you teach, not what you teach. I love including student voice and choice in the classroom because then students are automatically interested in what you are teaching. Student leadership opportunities are the central focus of my curriculum planning as I always look for ways to involve students in class and school-wide initiatives. This will be the main inspiration behind my posts. I look forward to sharing with you during this school year.

Brenda MacNaughton headshot


Kawartha Pine Ridge Teacher Local

Brenda MacNaughton is currently a teacher-librarian/prep coverage teacher/ Early Intervention Teacher (EIT) at Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board in traditional Michi-Saagiig territory with 30 years of experience teaching Kindergarten to grade 8. Passionate about the environment, she takes students outside to be inspired by nature, whether studying science, art or literature. Her students have grown vegetables, pollinator plants and traditional medicines working with a local First Nation. Brenda believes in the power of community to uplift one another and care for the natural world. She volunteers at community events and supports marginalized individuals and groups. Brenda is a life-long learner and recently took the Teaching English Language Learners (TELL) AQ course. She is an active member of the National Film Board Educator’s Network. Brenda loves hiking, paddling, reading, and enjoying movies with her family.