I had my first ever mammogram this afternoon. Given my intensely personal relationship with breast cancer, it was a surprisingly anticlimactic experience, I must say.
One aspect of my profession that I have always enjoyed is the ability to learn from and share with colleagues in other school boards. ETFO has afforded me many opportunities to do this over the years, for example, through their Summer Academy.
As a newer teacher, I often attended workshops facilitated by my more experienced colleagues. In recent years, I have spent more time in the facilitation role, presenting and co-presenting sessions about Assessment, Combined Grades and Math for Math Phobic Teachers.
This year, I am offered the chance to facilitate three days in Sudbury. The First Twenty Days Revamped will offer Grade 1- 6 Teachers a smorgasbord of ideas from "Engaging Your Disengaged Students" to "Reconsidering Classroom Set Up and Management" to "DI and DA for REAL Teachers" to "How to Plan an Effective Math and Literacy Program and Integrate Social Justice into Your Curriculum Map" and ANYTHING ELSE PEOPLE MIGHT WANT TO ADDRESS!!!
Come to the Big Nickel for three days of sharing. At prices as low as $55 a session (including great lunches each day!), this multi-day learning opportunity is a bargain. Whether you're from Sudbury or elsewhere in the province, or somewhere else entirely, why not join us for a few days of excitement, fun and professional networking?
Come on in -- the water's warm! :-D
Keith Morrison’s retrieved definition of complexity theory as “a theory of change, evolution and adaptation, often in the interests of survival, and often through a combination of cooperation and competition” quickly captured my interest, and although the subsequent lines reminded me of the nebulous haze that pervaded my mind when I was first introduced to the concept of post-modernity some years ago at a church ministry conference, I was eager to read on.
I had been briefly introduced to the idea of Complexity Theory as a unifying theory of education a few years ago by a Tyndale colleague, but had not really had the opportunity to delve into the concept in any great detail. I liked the suggestion of an organism (in this case, presumably a student, a teacher, or even the classroom) as part of an interdependent, dynamic relationship with its environment. The idea of distributed knowledge appealed to me, as did the
Where do you get decent non-chain pizza in south Etobicoke?
For years we’ve been patronizing Mimico’s own Turkish owned and operated Il Paedre Yummy Pizza. The 'za is fairly tasty, and although the owners struggle with English, they are very friendly, and know many of their customers personally. Ever since the boys were small, Ma Yummy has been giving us a fresh carrot or pepper to feed them alongside the healthy pizza (they offer whole wheat crust, and we insist on it every time).
The advantages of Yummy’s include proximity to our home, friendly service, and tasty, relatively healthy pizza.
Unfortunately, they are so popular, delivery can take over an hour at times! And due to the ESL factor, ordering can sometimes be a crap shoot: Although the pizza is generally tasty, it isn’t always what you ordered, lol!
Recently, we discovered a new local pizza joint, FBI Pizza. We decided to check it out, ordering a gorgonzola salad, one pizza with bocconcini, cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic, and another with thin crust, gorgonzola, roasted zucchini, caramelized onions, Roasted Red Peppers. We also ordered a few drinks, and tried out their home made asagio dip.
Our order arrived in timely fashion, however, there were some definite drawbacks...
Although FBI delivers SUPER delicious pizza with gourmet toppings, and it generally arrives within reasonable time, one major downside was the price: At almost twice what we typically pay for Yummy’s, FBI is definitely a “sometimes” treat! Furthermore, because they seem to employ so few people, careless mistakes are made: The driver had to go and come back with the drinks and dip which the good people at the pizza shop had forgotten to give him. And the alleged Gorgonzola salad didn’t have any gorgonzola on it!
Overall, I think Yummy’s has the market cornered here in Mimico. FBI has potential, for sure, but with prices like theirs, the order better be spot on every time!
I am thankful. It is not the kind of thankfulness that we try to embed into our daily lives after we read some self help book or article, the kind that is more grounded in logic (I know I ought to be grateful for…) rather than unbridled passion (Wow! This is incredible, I am soooo lucky!)
Nope, I am filled with the kind of gratitude one sings about in the lyrics of the
The magic of Kindergarten is alive and well at my school. In the chaos of the school day, one of my favourite parts is when I take my students down to the library to meet with our Kindergarten reading buddies. It is always such a delight to see my “big Grade 3” students taking one or two 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds under their wing, leading or being led by them to a comfortable corner of the library and settling down with a few good books to read together. Some of them cozy up together in the reading tent, others snuggle up on the couch, a few crawl into a "cave" under a table to read, and several scatter themselves on the carpet or next to a bookcase along the perimeter of the room.
Yesterday was EQAO, so the school library was closed. Those of use who were finished early decided to go to the Kindergarten room anyway to visit our little friends.. and, oh! What magic met us there!
Butterflies in caterpiller form, beginning to spin their cocoons, were neatly labeled at a table next to a basket of small notebooks where little scientists could write their observations – as one JK student informed me, “the caterpillars are labled by letter, so that Ms. Webster knows which one we’re writing about!”
In another corner, a half-built (or half demolished?) "skyscraper" of wooden blocks poked us in the eye -- several of my students were desperate to roll up their sleeves and get in on the construction action!
A word wall included student names as well as words (such as "the Avengers" under "A") that had clearly been generated by the students over the course of the year. Things to make, count and explore were everywhere, and evidence of an evolving classroom surrounded us. The Kindergarten buddies were eager to take their Grade 3 friends on a tour of their learning lab.
Although an hour in the Kindergarten classroom confirms for me my own inability/ unwillingness to teach at that level, I am awe-inspired when I observe the enchanting world the students and their teachers have created together!
Before I discovered the wonderful world of web "design" and blogging, I used to love to scrapbook. I wasn't super good at it, but using Creative Memories and similar products, I managed to document -- some some visual appeal -- the first several years of Alex and Simon's life.
One thing I miss in the virtual world is the funky papers, stickers and other decorative bits that went into my scrapbook. But today I stumbled across another teacher's blog, which linked me to Shabby Blogs. WOW, am I ever impressed!
Probably I'll never have time to actually do anything about it, but if you are new to blogging, or ready for a visual refresh, check out the site. Very cool! A small sampling follows below:
My second year of teaching was, I believe, the second year of EQAO.
At that time, the test was considerably longer than it is now, and it was not uncommon for teachers to review the booklets a few days prior to see what was coming, and to arrange their day plans accordingly (the teacher guide included copious notes, scripts for what to say to students and when to say it, and so on, so there was a lot of prep work to be done).
Trevor and I were teaching Grade 6. It was his first year. I remember taking a
It occurred to me the other day, as I was getting ready to go to a professional learning session, that setting up for such workshops is kind of like doing a sound check for a gig – you do the sound check earlier in the day, then go have lunch or dinner before you play.
Similarly, a good presenter/facilitator sets up the learning space well before her session begins, so that she has time to grab a snack or a tea, and chat with participants as they arrive.
Everything is ready so she is not stressed about how the sound will come across in the music of her “performance”!
After writing for several teacher and multiple birth publications, including ETFO's Voice Magazine, Multiple Moments, and the Bulletwin, Vera turned her written attention to prolific blogging for some years, including BiB, "Learn to Fly with Vera!" and SMARTbansho . Homeschooling 4 was her travel blog in Argentina. She now spends more time on her Instagram (@schalgzeug_usw) than her blog (pictures are worth a thousand words?!) Contact Vera by clicking the photo above.
The views expressed on this blog are the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the perspectives of her family members or the position of her employer on the the issues she blogs about. These posts are intended to share resources, document family life, and encourage critical thought on a variety of subjects. They are not intended to cause harm to any individual or member of any group. By reading this blog and viewing this site, you agree to not hold Vera liable for any harm done by views expressed in this blog.