#Brainstorm: Understanding How Our Adolescent Brains Grow

When you are in your teenage years you are consciously experiencing everything for the first time, so adolescent stories are all beginnings. There are never any endings.Aidan Chambers Ah, yes, middle school. The thought of teaching this group of truly unique learners often strikes fear into the hearts of many a talented educator. Often friends … Continue reading #Brainstorm: Understanding How Our Adolescent Brains Grow

Tribes Trail: Building Community In Our Classroom

A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living.Rudolf Steiner Three weeks into our school year and I am experiencing some of the most beautiful and memorable moments as an educator … Continue reading Tribes Trail: Building Community In Our Classroom

Clarity On What Learning Is (and Isn’t)

A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.Thomas Carruthers Thanks to a very dear colleague and passionate educator for reminding me of this wonderful representation to share with my students (especially at critical points throughout the year) as we embark on our journey to co-create our collective and individual learning experiences this week. (Hint: … Continue reading Clarity On What Learning Is (and Isn’t)

Giraffe Language: Our Giving and Receiving Nature

The life force for humankind is, perhaps, nothing more or less than the passionate energy to connect express, and communicate.Rosamund Zander A significant chunk of my professional self-reflection this summer has circled around rediscovering my giving and receiving nature as a teacher. During my reading of The Compassion Classroom: Relationship Based Teaching and Learning by … Continue reading Giraffe Language: Our Giving and Receiving Nature

COVID19, Learner Vulnerability & Our Return to In-School Learning (maybe)

Change is the end result of all true learning.Leo Buscaglia We are witnessing the massive influence that disruptions from work and employment are having on our families, friends, and neighbours. But recent global research is showing that long-term school closures due to COVID-19 are (and continue to have) a massive impact on our kids that … Continue reading COVID19, Learner Vulnerability & Our Return to In-School Learning (maybe)

Rethinking the Teaching of Tolerance In the Era of #BlackLivesMatter

Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.G.K. Chesterton Truth be told, I have always held the opinion that it is never too early to initiate formulations for the upcoming school year. Given the Black Lives Matter international movement, growing self-reflections and focus on anti-racism, and deafening call for global equity for all people … Continue reading Rethinking the Teaching of Tolerance In the Era of #BlackLivesMatter

How Learning Happens: My Summer Learning

Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly—they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.Aldous Huxley A colleague recently showed me a book that landed on her recommended list on Amazon: How Learning Happens: Seminal Works in Educational Psychology and What They Mean in Practice by Paul A. Kirschner, Emeritus Professor of … Continue reading How Learning Happens: My Summer Learning

What Really Defines Me? [A Weekend Tonic]

My once a week Friday foray into my social media feeds never continues to disappointment. As I, like so many others, enter each new and beautiful strapped into the roller coasters of despair and joy, frustration and equanimity, gratitude and blame during this time of our existence, this reminder could not have come at a … Continue reading What Really Defines Me? [A Weekend Tonic]

Paradoxical Tensions for Learning and Teaching Spaces

Not all good teachers use the same technique, but whatever technique they use, good teachers always find ways to induce this creative tension.  ~Parker J. Palmer (Re)reading Parker Palmer's deeply reflective treatise on teaching and learning has brought me many 'aha' moments this spring. One particular piece that has continued to fuel my pedagogical values … Continue reading Paradoxical Tensions for Learning and Teaching Spaces

Be (Like) Water, My Friend

All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.  ~Bruce Lee Recently, our government announced a voluntary return to in-school learning plan starting next month. As a result, I find myself overcome with moments of uncertainty and worry often tinged with a perceived lack of control … Continue reading Be (Like) Water, My Friend