Supporting ELL Students

Some of you know that I’ve started a new role as an ELL/LST teacher this year.  One challenging part of that role is helping ELL students, many of whom are new comers to Canada and have just been introduced to English.  In my context, these ELL students are ushered into mainstream, academic courses within months […]

Moved by a Vision of Hope

One definition of “vision” according to the the Oxford Dictionary is the “…ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.” The only thing I would change about this definition is to combine both words at the end of it. Imagination and wisdom are needed to create a compelling vision for the […]

Visible Learning

Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Visible Learning Institute in Richmond, British Columbia. Here is a summary of the event if you are interested in attending in the future.  To be honest, I’m not a huge advocate of conferences as a mode of professional development but I would highly recommend this one.    […]

Celebrate What You Value

The culture of a school, family or organization is shaped by what it celebrates. Schools show that they value character traits or skills by putting them in their vision or mission statement or celebrating them in smaller ways. In classrooms, teachers give out treats for desired behaviour or an extra recess for a collective achievement. […]

Restoring What is Broken

When I think about the relationships I have with my family, friends, and co-workers I feel very blessed. There are so many people in my life that are passionate, happy, thoughtful and generally just fun to hang out with. Yet, even within this amazing group of people, there are times when a conflict emerges. The […]

Not So Simple Collaboration

The concept of collaboration seems simple but it’s not. Anyone who has actually attempted to collaborate with other teachers or team members in their community knows that great collaboration is both difficult and messy. The potential for all sorts of difficulties abound. Over-communication, under-communication, miscommunication, micro-managing, inefficient task completion, lop-sided workloads and unhealthy relationships are […]

The Power of Publishing

Over the past few years, our middle school has emphasized Project-Based Learning (PBL). PBL is a specific, inquiry-based model for teaching that has several distinct elements. One of the most powerful of Buck Institute’s Seven Essential PBL Elements is the final, “Public Product.” This pivotal, last stage of the project is where students share their […]