Why I Strike.

I am an ETFO teacher in Ontario. I strike because I am committed to equity and social justice, not just in schools, but in life. I am proud to be part of the Ontario Teacher’s Federation (ETFO)  whose mandate is to ensure that all people have access to fair, safe and quality learning and working environments. As an educator (I can’t help it) I see this as a teachable moment for the thousands of citizens – children and adults alike – that we must never stay silent to injustices. As educators, it is our job to teach our citizens to work toward a world where all people have opportunities to learn, strive, be healthy and have joy in our Continue reading Why I Strike.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sharing Away! Cross-Post and let the learning be transparent! Why Not?

I am currently teaching the Junior Additional Qualifications Course at Brock University, as I have been for the past 6 years. While the course design is always in process – I have included opportunities for the participants to explore their own strengths, passions, and pedagogies instead of just answering post after post after post… The interesting thing about this course is that the participants consist of both, very new teachers (usually working at the Secondary Level)  and very experienced teachers, often consultants, coaches or leaders in their school.   The experienced teachers are usually headed toward a formal leadership position like Vice-Principal or a “Department Head” and the new teachers are often exploring their options, potentially opening up an opportunity Continue reading Sharing Away! Cross-Post and let the learning be transparent! Why Not?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Does Formative Assessment and Descriptive Feedback work with Adult Learners?

I spent much more time giving feedback for this group of adult students then I did in any other course – EVER.   My own knowledge and comfort level using this strategy (assessment FOR and OF learning) was limited but very much supported through the Growing Success resource by the Ministry of Education, Ontario. In staying true to the nature of my course, I wanted to demonstrate a 21st century model of learning/assessment and to use a resource common to the districts most familiar to my Teacher Candidates. This strategy could be used (adapted) in a K-12 setting (and I will try). A guided, week-by-week discussion sheet (with very general questions) could certainly work and be used when teaching specific skills Continue reading Does Formative Assessment and Descriptive Feedback work with Adult Learners?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Essential Tech Tools for NEW and Experienced Educators

What am I introducing to New Teachers as Essentials? While I focus heavily on the TPACK framework during teaching, here are a few of the TECHNOLOGY TOOLS/KNOWLEDGE that my course (s)  includes: In my current role as a Pre-Service Instructor at Brock University, I have small window of opportunity to introduce (and model) to new teachers to 21st Century Education.The following sites, and resources are what I consider to be the essentials of 21st Century tools (although there are many many more). These are  my “I can’t live without” tech tools as learner and teacher.  I am listing the best time-saving, collaborative, and integrated tools around! So open up your book marking tool, your Smartpen, or your favourite note Continue reading Essential Tech Tools for NEW and Experienced Educators

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leaders – do you know your staff’s learning needs? Does it matter to you?

Over the last 10 weeks, I have had the most humbling opportunity to influence pre-service Teachers during their final year before they enter the profession. Having had a taste of instructional leadership in my grad studies, and within a school district and now in a Faculty of Education, I have noticed that the approach to adult learning differs greatly once these adult learners enter the field. Let me explain.   Just like in the classroom with children, these pre-service teachers differ greatly in their learning needs. In every one of my classes, I have some students requiring specific accommodations and/or modifications (even adults are on an IEP). I have noticed huge disparities in knowledge and understanding of tech use Continue reading Leaders – do you know your staff’s learning needs? Does it matter to you?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

New Teachers ‘…the times they are a-changin’

Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’. (Bob Dylan, 1964) There is a new group of teachers in town. For the next eight months, at Brock University in Hamilton, Ontario,  these teachers will learn and practice what it truly means to teach in the 21st Century. Nope. This doesn’t mean they will graduate as Information Technology Specialists. Nor does it mean that they will be computer programmers, or expert gamers, or trained ‘techies’. What Continue reading New Teachers ‘…the times they are a-changin’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Brock Tech Showcase

As an instructor at Brock University this year, I am quite impressed with the Faculty of Education and their efforts to engage not only the students, but the wider educational community in 21st Century technologies and multi-literacies. All P/J/I students are required to take an Technology in the Classroom  course which focuses on computer skills, web 2.0 and social networking. This year, the University started offering an optional course to the I/S students who have since become leaders in their own cohorts and schools, all of whom have blogs, twitter accounts and advocated for innovative teaching methods. REGISTER NOW!! The Brock Tech Showcase is in its third year running. The sessions, sponsors and presenters are incredible and offer something Continue reading Brock Tech Showcase

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Blogging for Real Reform -Teaching Teachers to become Global Educators – an inquiry approach

In September, my teaching assignment changed drastically – from teaching 12 year olds in a Grade Six Class (HWDSB) to teaching pre-service Teacher Candidates at Brock University,  in Hamilton, Ontario. Although the curriculum, standards and focus changed – my intent stayed the same – to develop a program that provoked my students: to think critically, to engage in discussion, to see the potential of the Internet as a hub for collaboration, and to provide a platform for them to develop their own learning communities that are authentic, safe and supportive. I wanted them to see that learning can now take place anywhere, at anytime, and by anyone and that they have choice of how they want to learn, whether Continue reading Blogging for Real Reform -Teaching Teachers to become Global Educators – an inquiry approach

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I am Wired for Change – Are You?

Are the X-Gens more adaptable to change? I am a typical Generation X – a shadow of my parents baby boomer generation. My digital metamorphosis started sometime in the 80’s. Change was something that I expected in my life. Not just change, but rapid change. Almost like yesterday, I remember the new channel called MTV. I watched Little House on the Prairie everyday after school, waiting for my mother and step-father to come home  (a true Latchey kid, in a mixed family). I loved TV. Knight Rider, Facts of Life, Growing Pains. And my favourite -I watching Star Trek “TNG” loyally every week. Of course, this led to the natural progression of video games. In middle school.  I played Continue reading I am Wired for Change – Are You?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Digital Natives are Entering the Teaching Profession – Now What?

Digital Natives who are Entering the Teaching Profession  need mentorship and guidance from the so called, ‘Digital Immigrants’. I have switched my role as an educator from teaching one end of the Digital Generation spectrum to the other. For context, I will explain. I have been teaching an Instructional Technologies course at Brock University to pre-service teachers in Ontario, Canada. This comes after spending the past 11 years as a classroom teacher for the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board teaching 12 year olds. I am still working with the “Net-generation- also called, ‘Generation Y’ , however I am teaching to the opposite bookend. One common theme that has caused me serious thought- in every one of my classes this Continue reading Digital Natives are Entering the Teaching Profession – Now What?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email