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  • Have our teaching practices fundamentally changed? Looking back.

    by Zoe Branigan-Pipe In the decade (or more) since I spoke at TedX Ontario, the landscape of education has undergone numerous changes. But this evolution prompts crucial questions that we, as educators, must continually consider. I invite you to share your thoughts, experiences, or questions in the comments. How have classrooms transformed since 2010? Since you started teaching? Since you were a student? If you've been a student during this period, have you experienced a shift towards more modern teaching methods? For educators, have you noticed a difference in the way schools are managed and led Do you observe any significant changes in leadership styles within educational institutions? Are leaders adopting more collaborative and distributive approaches, or are traditional models still prevalent? I invite you to share your thoughts, experiences, or questions in the comments. Your perspective is crucial in painting a broader picture of the state of education today. Whether you're a student, teacher, administrator, or simply an observer of educational trends, your input is greatly valued. Let's engage in a meaningful dialogue to understand how far we've come and where we might be heading. These questions are not just rhetorical; they are a call to introspect and evaluate the impact of our educational strategies. Have we moved beyond traditional paradigms, or.. ...are we merely circling back to old methods with new tools? Old methods because we don't have the tools? My thoughts (just a few for now). Inquiry and Experiential Methods - Progressed forward! Reflecting on my journey as a teacher, I recall the daunting task of defining my educational philosophy (back in early 2000). I realized that my approach was driven by inquiry - from the onset as a teacher and as a student. Unlike traditional methods focused on memorization, I thrived on questioning and exploring knowledge independently. It is probably why I, struggled so much in school subjects that required me to listen/watch and learn - rather than experience. I'd say that our system overall has EMBRACED this approach. We see this in our newest curriculum, our teacher education programs (pre-service and continuing teacher education). I've been incredibly fortunate over the years to work with leaders who are innovative and creative and willing to support approaches that diverge from traditional models. It is reassuring that we, as a profession, recognize that Inquiry and experiential learning programs as vital to student learning and development in the 21st century. Looking back a decade or so.. an inquiry / experiential approach resonated deeply with the themes at TedX Ontario on April 9, 2010. Speakers like Ray Zhab from Impossible2Possible, Lee LeFever of Commoncraft, Danika Tipping, Dr. Kathy Hibbert -and other education Pioneers - emphasized experiential learning, the importance of context, and the transformative power of inquiry, doing, participating - and emphasizing student voice and agency. I wonder if these folks feel things have moved in the right direction. TedX Ontario -was my FIRST experience sharing my classroom so widely. It feels vulnerable now because I am different and have grown so much as an educator, leader, and person. But, my pedagogies remain the same - OPEN YOUR CLASSROOM WALLS UP Get students to collaborate on a global scale. Use land-based, experiential and inquiry-based teaching methods that connect culture, history and people. Make learning meaningful (and fun) for ALL students. My experience at TedX (2010) talked about broadening my students' experiences by having them collaborate and learn from a global perspective using Skype, and online collaboration tools. *How much have we progressed since this time? Are we still being supported to collaborate in this way? What tools are we using to connect classrooms globally? (FlipGrid, Podcasting, social networking). Are your students using BLOGGING software? How is this supported in your district, school? Assessment - Progressed forward, but work to do! As a whole, we are embracing flexible and UDL approaches to assessment. Of course, we still have a ton of work to do in this area since our higher education institutions are still driven by grades, and so many governments use standardized testing scores as funding formulas or for teacher hiring. This is its blog post! There is much to discuss here. Tools and Resources in the Classroom - Positive Change/Progress? Yes and No. Unfortunately, this has not progressed in my small space in the world but has declined overall. Not because I don't want to use creative tools and technologies, nor because the PD and Learning aren't out there—but because the tools that were purchased and distributed 10 years ago are old, and many have not been replaced. Ipads that cannot be updated, computers that are clunky and slow, robotics or 3D printers that were not serviced, and smartboards sitting in storage rooms. The pandemic certainly played a role. Tools that were distributed didn't always return. Budgets were reallocated. PD was impacted. School Culture and health and wellness were impacted. Equity, Inclusion, CRRP: Positive Change/Progress? As a seasoned educator navigating the corridors of K-12 education and steering the ship of a Continuing Teacher Education Program, I'm heartened, truly, by the evolving landscape of our educational dialogue. Cast your mind back a decade or more—conversations about inclusive practices in our schools existed in pockets, but they were quiet. Now, these discussions are not just happening; they're taking center stage, and that's a reason to wear a smile. Change and Progress - something I've been advocating for my entire career. We're currently in the thick of some pretty thorny dialogues, especially when facing resistance from certain community and parent factions. It seems there's a bit of discontent, for instance, anti-LGBTQ+ groups who are raising their eyebrows at the role of such topics in our schools and curriculum. It is a complex issue and fraught with so much misunderstanding - it worries me. Fortunately, School boards and districts aren't just sitting on their hands; they're actively recruiting equity and inclusion mavens, rolling out training and professional development (PD) sessions that shine a light on Indigenous History, and embracing the path of Truth and Reconciliation. The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and the Ontario Ministry of Education aren't just nodding along; they're prioritizing Equity Policies and weaving these crucial threads into the very fabric of our curriculum. The road ahead is long – I think it is a marathon, not a sprint. There's a mountain of work to do, but I can't help but feel a buzz of excitement about our conversations about equity and the fact that the voices for inclusion are strong. This isn't just a fleeting trend; it's a fundamental shift in our educational ethos, and those who value human rights for all - will indeed prevail. We're not just teaching math and science here; we're sculpting a more understanding, compassionate and inclusive world, one lesson at a time. Yet, the big question remains: Are we truly embracing progressive educational methods that focus on equity? Are we being supported to do so? Have our teaching practices fundamentally changed? Are the resources and tools we employ today genuinely enhancing the learning experience? UDL? CRRP? Has there been a significant shift towards more distributive and collaborative methods of leadership in education? How much voice and agency do teachers have in decision making at a school or district? Are we effectively collaborating beyond the confines of traditional classrooms? The advent of digital learning tools suggests a shift towards global collaboration, but is this shift substantive or superficial? As educators, we must continually challenge ourselves to adapt to changes and drive them. The inquiry approach, emphasizing student-driven learning and problem-solving, is a testament to the potential of education to evolve. It reminds us that our role is not just to impart knowledge but to nurture each student’s unique journey of discovery and understanding. I hope to engage in more discussion.

  • How I Use GPT Chat in Education: A Comprehensive Insight

    GPT Chat in Education: A Comprehensive Insight, By Zoe Branigan-Pipe Course Instructor, Higher Education Classroom Teacher, K-12 Resources Classroom Examples Ethical Considerations: Students Using GPT Chat for Assignments Need for System Reform ChatGPT plugins 1. Higher Education: As a Course Writer and Developer In my role as a course writer for Brock University, GPT chat has been a pivotal tool in streamlining the creative process. It's not about having AI write the content but rather using it to organize and format my thoughts. I'm often brimming with ideas yet struggle with the initial organization. GPT chat helps me overcome this hurdle. For instance, when drafting this blog post, I used GPT chat to lay down my thoughts in a raw, unfiltered manner instead of fretting over constant edits and revisions. This approach saves time and allows me to enter a flow state, freeing my mind to focus on creativity rather than structure. I've been following Anna Mills and her Journey with AI in Education—sharing, learning, discussing, and posting. This is a FANTASTIC crowd-sourced document with hundreds of resources and articles! CHECK THIS OUT!: AI EduGuide (Beta): AI education assistant providing direct links to resources. By Anna Mills I feel somewhat vulnerable sharing this, but this would be an example of my flow state that I wouldn't usually allow myself to do when writing. I'm a constant stop, go back, and edit kind of writer, and I am painfully slow. Linking to pertinent resources, like the article "The Impact of Chat GPT on Education: The Good and the Bad" (Digital Learning Institute), enhances my content and provides context. Furthermore, GPT chat's ability to search for and integrate current articles into my work has been invaluable. Using this tool aids in refining content, rewording, or simplifying complex ideas, especially when integrating specific themes or concepts. An example is using quizzes in courses—not for evaluation but for stimulating thought. I input curriculum sections or policies into GPT chat, and it generates engaging and relevant questions, a highly effective tool for interactive learning. 2. As a Course Instructor The challenge of teaching online, especially when courses rely heavily on written assignments, is differentiating between students' independent work and AI-assisted output. An assignment that traditionally takes hours could be completed in minutes, raising concerns about the depth of learning. I've emphasized WAY more video responses than text-based ones to address this. While this requires more time for evaluation, it ensures a richer, more authentic learning experience. Tools like Brightspace and Microsoft Flip have been instrumental in this shift, encouraging students to engage more deeply with the content. I also discuss ChatGTP and AI tools at the very start of all my courses. I discuss it openly and ask students/participants if they plan to use it and why. I also ask them how they will use it ethically. This also holds students/participants accountable. 3. As a Classroom Teacher Integrating GPT chat in a classroom needs careful planning and consideration, especially regarding parental perceptions and safety. Holding information sessions to educate parents about the technology's role in modern learning is crucial. In my role as a special education teacher, I've found GPT chat particularly beneficial for students with executive function challenges. It helps them organize their thoughts, especially in writing. For example, students struggling to structure their ideas for a story can use GPT chat to create a comprehensive outline, guiding their writing process. This is not just an aid but an essential accommodation, aligning with Universal Design for Learning principles. Furthermore, GPT chat can facilitate language learning, create custom quizzes, and assist in preparing for standardized tests like the MCAT. My son, for instance, used it to study for his exams, inputting lecture notes for GPT chat to create tailored quizzes. Enhanced Learning through GPT Chat: A Classroom Teacher’s Perspective As a classroom teacher, incorporating GPT chat into the learning process has opened up new avenues for teaching and student engagement. Here are several examples and scenarios that illustrate its impact: Personal Anecdotes and Applications Game-Based Learning: I've used GPT chat to create chess puzzles and quiz games, making learning fun and encouraging critical thinking. For instance, generating chess scenarios for students to solve enhances their problem-solving skills. Special Education: In my role as a special education teacher, GPT chat has been instrumental. Students with high aptitude but who struggle with executive functions, like organizing thoughts for writing, benefit significantly. They jot down ideas, and GPT chat helps structure these into coherent outlines. This tool has been a crucial accommodation, facilitating a more inclusive learning environment. Study Aids and Quizzes: GPT chat is excellent for creating study aids. My son, for example, uses it to prepare for the MCAT. He inputs his lecture notes, and GPT chat generates tailored quizzes, aiding in his study routine. Language Learning: For students learning a new language, GPT chat can simulate conversation, provide vocabulary exercises, and offer grammar practice, making language learning more interactive and accessible. Encouraging Teacher Innovation: A List to Spark Ideas Creating interactive and personalized quizzes. Developing role-play scenarios for history or literature classes, or writing drama scripts based on a topic you are studying in class (I love doing this). Generating creative writing prompts. Assisting in the creation of science experiments or math problem sets. Providing simulated real-world scenarios for subjects like economics or social studies. Ethical Considerations: Students Using GPT Chat for Assignments Students' use of GPT chat to complete assignments raises important ethical questions. It's essential to distinguish between using the tool as an aid and relying on it to complete the task. Here are some examples: Research and Idea Generation: For a history assignment (or any assignment really), a student could use GPT chat to gather initial ideas or historical context but should then engage in independent research and critical analysis. Outline and Structure: It is beneficial to use GPT chat to help structure an essay in a writing assignment. However, the core content and critical insights should be the student's own work. Problem-Solving Skills: In subjects like math, students can use GPT chat to understand problem-solving methods but should apply these methods to solve problems independently. Is It Okay for Students to Use GPT Chat for Assignments? The answer lies in how it is used. If GPT chat is employed to understand, organize thoughts, or gain perspectives, it's a valuable asset. However, if it's used to substitute for a student's own critical thinking or creativity, it undermines the learning process. It's crucial to foster an environment where GPT chat is seen as a tool for enhancement, not a replacement for student effort and ingenuity. AI in Education and the Need for System Reform The integration of AI tools like GPT chat in education is not just about enhancing learning experiences but also about prompting a reevaluation of our educational system. It's not about replacing the role of teachers but augmenting it, allowing educators to focus more on skill development, critical thinking, and personalized learning. As AI continues to evolve, it's vital for education leaders and policymakers to recognize its potential and adjust educational priorities accordingly. The goal should be to create an adaptive, inclusive, and forward-thinking educational environment that prepares students not just academically but also for the challenges and opportunities of the future. This technology prompts us to reconsider our priorities in education, particularly at the K-12 and university levels. With AI's capability to handle content knowledge, educators can shift their focus to fostering skills like critical thinking, creativity, social-emotional learning, and practical applications like coding and programming. The future of education with AI integration may lead to a paradigm shift, where the role of educators evolves from content providers to facilitators of deeper, more meaningful learning experiences. This shift could redefine education, making it more adaptive, inclusive, and aligned with the evolving needs of the 21st-century learner. ChatGPT plugins Plugins extend the capabilities of the ChatGPT model, allowing for more specialized and interactive applications. Here’s a quick guide on how to leverage these tools for your teaching needs. I have used these plugins to create slide shows (Using content for my courses, or quizzes). Key Plugins for Teachers: Quiz Generator Plugin: Automatically create quizzes based on your curriculum. Just input the topic, and the plugin generates a set of questions, complete with multiple-choice options and answers. Language Translation Plugin: This plugin helps break language barriers in your classroom by translating your teaching material or student responses into various languages, making your class more inclusive for non-native speakers. Historical Events Plugin: Bring history to life! Input a date or a historical period, and this plugin provides a detailed summary, key figures, and significant outcomes, perfect for history lessons. Science Solver Plugin: Ideal for science teachers, this plugin can solve basic physics, chemistry, or biology problems, explain scientific concepts, or even generate experiment ideas. How to Use ChatGPT Plugins in Your Classroom: Select the Right Plugin: Identify the plugin that best suits your teaching needs. Whether it's creating quizzes, translating text, or providing historical insights, there's a plugin for almost every subject. Integrate with ChatGPT: Once you've chosen your plugin, integrate it with the ChatGPT interface. This process typically involves a simple activation step within the ChatGPT platform. Input Your Data: Provide the necessary information or questions to the plugin. For example, input the topic or key points you want the quiz to cover if you're using the Quiz Generator. Generate and Use Content: The plugin will process your input and generate the required content, such as quiz questions, translations, or historical summaries. You can use this content directly in your classroom, either as teaching material, assessments, or interactive activities. Feedback and Adaptation: Collect feedback from your students on the effectiveness of the material. Based on student responses and learning outcomes, you can tweak your input or try different plugins. Benefits for Teachers: Saves Time: Automated content generation means more time for interactive teaching. Enhances Engagement: Interactive and diverse content keeps students engaged. Customizable Content: Tailor the material to fit your curriculum and student needs. Accessible Learning: Translation and simplified explanations make learning accessible to all students.


    “A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” Irish Proverb Around 350 B.C., Aristotle wrote an essay, “On Sleep and Sleeplessness,” wondering just what we were doing and why. For the next 2,300 years, no one had a good answer. What we do know is that our body needs sleep to be healthy. Sleep is as necessary to our health as good nutrition and exercise.  We know that sleep impacts our emotional health and behaviour and can influence our choices. As an educator, sleep has often been a topic of discussion. When my students (or my own kids) are not getting enough of it, learning is hampered. A good night's sleep, on the other hand, can support learning, information processing, decision-making, and problem-solving. This is why I often ask, "How are you? How was your sleep?".  It is rather fun talking about dreams or sharing sleep strategies. One student shared a mindfulness technique that she uses to help her get between the first and second stages of sleep, "I'm walking on a soft pine needle covered path in a brightly lit forest. I can sense the tingling feeling of the needless on the bottoms of my feet and through my toes.  I wiggle them. I feel the cool air on my skin. I stop and look up and see the sun beaming through the leaves and can hear the trees dancing, making that shhhhhhh.....sound  in the wind....I keep walking... I do something similar and imagine myself running. I use run as a natural remedy for stress and anxiety, so this works well for me. I lace up my shoes and step out in front of my house. I think of a familiar route and start slowly. I run to the end of the street and make a right. I notice the house on the corner is still for sale and the cat in the window. I cross the street and head down the zig-zag path toward the waterfront... I usually drift off before I get to the second kilometre. While not all were used in the order you see them, these slides were useful tools for engaging students in inquiry and discussion about sleep. Where did it lead? Sleep and the impact on health Sleep and our lifespan How much sleep do we get in our lifetime? What is Melatonin, and why do we need it? What happens to us when we don't sleep? What factors contribute to a good night's sleep? Do income and demographics influence our sleep? Why? How do poverty and hunger impact sleep? Link to the SLIDE DECK: Flexible Lesson Plan: The Science of Sleep for Various Age Groups Objective: Understand the science of sleep and its impact on well-being and learning. Explore specific sleep-related topics tailored to interest and age group. Learn and apply strategies for improving sleep quality. Grade Levels: Grades 5-9 and Adult Learners Materials Needed: Age-appropriate educational resources (readings, videos) Research tools (computers, tablets) Creative materials for projects and presentations Duration: Flexible: can be adapted for a single class period or expanded into a week-long project. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Considerations: Provide content in various formats to cater to different learning styles. Offer multiple ways for students to express their understanding. Engage students with personalized topic choices and practical applications. Lesson Overview: Introduction to Sleep Science Tailor the content complexity according to the age group. Use engaging methods to introduce the basics of sleep and its importance. Selecting Topics of Interest Allow students to choose from a range of sleep-related topics, such as dreams, sleep disorders, the effect of nutrition on sleep, etc. Research and Inquiry Facilitate research activities, providing guidance and resources. Encourage older students and adults to engage in in-depth exploration. Discussion and Collaboration Depending on the setting and time available, organize group discussions or individual exploration. Adapt discussion depth and complexity to fit the audience. Developing Sleep Strategies Focus on practical strategies suitable for all ages. Encourage students to relate these strategies to their chosen topic and personal experiences. Presentation and Reflection (if time allows) Allow for creative expression in presenting findings. Include reflection on personal sleep habits and potential improvements. Assessment and Feedback Adapt assessment methods to fit the lesson's duration and depth. Provide feedback that encourages ongoing learning and application. Extension Activities (optional) Suggest activities like a sleep diary for continued engagement with the topic. Flexibility in Implementation: The lesson can be compressed into a single class period focusing on the basics, or expanded into a detailed project over several days. Adaptations can be made to suit the needs of different age groups and learning environments. This flexible lesson plan allows educators to tailor the content and duration to fit their specific classroom context, ensuring that the essential topic of sleep and its relevance to health, well-being, and learning is effectively communicated and explored.

  • Enriching Language and Literacy with "The Hill We Climb"

    Enriching Language and Literacy with "The Hill We Climb": A Blog Post by Zoe Branigan-Pipe My POETRY RESOURCES FOUND HERE -AT WAKELET In the midst of the pandemic's challenges and the long winter days, a spark of inspiration came from an unexpected source. The profound impact of Amanda Gorman's spoken word poem, "The Hill We Climb," experienced by one of my students, Julianne, set in motion a journey to integrate this powerful piece into our Writer's Craft Program. The Inspiration Julianne's emotional response to Gorman's poem was a clear indication of its potential as a tool for language and literacy development. As a special education enrichment teacher, I recognized the need to carefully tailor this content to suit my diverse group of students, each with their own Individual Education Plans. Collaborative Planning Eager to harness the educational value of "The Hill We Climb," I first sought the insight of Tom Shea, a Secondary English Teacher and musician from Hamilton. His perspective, combined with the wealth of ideas from an 'all call' on my Twitter feed, provided a rich foundation for lesson development. Lesson Focus: Vocabulary Enrichment The central focus of our lessons with "The Hill We Climb" was on vocabulary enrichment. Gorman's poem is a treasure trove of rich language, vivid imagery, and complex themes, making it an ideal resource for expanding our students' linguistic horizons. Key Elements of the Lesson: Analyzing the Poem: We began by reading the poem aloud, focusing on its rhythm and flow. Students were encouraged to highlight words or phrases that stood out to them, particularly those that were new or challenging. Vocabulary Expansion: Each student selected specific words from the poem to research and understand in depth. We explored synonyms, antonyms, and the contexts in which these words could be used. Creative Expression: Students were tasked with creating their own short poems or prose, using the vocabulary they had learned. This exercise not only reinforced their new vocabulary but also encouraged them to express their thoughts and emotions, mirroring Gorman's style. Discussion and Reflection: We held group discussions about the themes of the poem, such as resilience, hope, and unity. Students shared their interpretations and how the poem resonated with their personal experiences during these challenging times. Integrating Technology To enhance the lesson, we incorporated multimedia elements: Students watched Gorman's performance to understand the power of spoken word. They used online dictionaries and thesauruses for vocabulary research. Some students even created digital art to accompany their written pieces. Tailoring to Individual Needs Given the varied needs of our students, adaptations were made: For students with reading challenges, audio recordings of the poem were provided. Visual aids and simplified summaries helped those who needed extra support in comprehension. Advanced students were encouraged to delve deeper into poetic analysis and critique. "The Hill We Climb" became more than just a poem for our class; it was a catalyst for growth, expression, and connection. This experience reinforced the power of words and the importance of providing diverse, enriching learning opportunities, especially during times of uncertainty. As educators, our goal is to climb our own hills, continually striving to elevate our teaching methods to inspire and empower every student.

  • Embracing Indigenous Worldviews in Education: A Commitment to Continuous Integration

    Embracing Indigenous Worldviews in Education: A Commitment to Continuous Integration By Zoe Branigan-Pipe The Essence of Truth and Reconciliation in the Classroom Our approach to education is not limited to specific days or months; it's a lifelong commitment to integrating First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) perspectives into our teaching philosophy. This continuous integration is essential for the healing process of Indigenous communities and aligns with the principles of Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy (CRRP) as outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Cultural Safety It is important to create a learning environment that is respectful and that makes students feel safe and comfortable not only physically, socially, and emotionally but also in terms of their cultural heritage. A culturally safe learning environment is one in which students feel comfortable about expressing their ideas, opinions, and needs and about responding authentically to topics that may be culturally sensitive. Educators should be aware that some students may experience emotional reactions when learning about issues that have affected their own lives, their family, and/or their community, such as the legacy of the residential school system. Before addressing such topics in the classroom, teachers need to consider how to prepare and debrief students, and they need to ensure that appropriate resources are available to support students both inside and outside the classroom. Challenging Traditional Teaching with CRRP In an inclusive education system, students must see themselves reflected in the curriculum, physical surroundings, and the broader environment. This is crucial for them to feel engaged and empowered in their learning experiences. The Ontario Ministry of Education emphasizes that all students learn in ways connected to their background, language, family structure, and social or cultural identity. Educators in Ontario schools embrace CRRP, recognizing that it's imperative to understand and respond to the diverse identities in the classroom and the school. Canada's Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 2015 report highlighted the need for a deeper integration of FNMI perspectives in education. This aligns with the CRRP's goal of building positive environments and improving student responsibility and success by acknowledging each student's background and identity. Rediscovering Indigenous Approaches to Learning Indigenous education, deeply connected to inquiry, discovery, empathy, balance, and storytelling, is now returning to modern educational practices. This mirrors the CRRP's focus on understanding the multiple social and personal identities of students and the social issues where these identities intersect. 21st Century Education and Indigenous Principles We're seeing a resurgence of educational methods that reflect Indigenous principles: Inquiry-Based Learning and Holistic Approach: This method, focusing on exploration and discovery, mirrors traditional Indigenous learning and the holistic approach recommended by CRRP. Connection to Land and Community: Environmental education, community involvement, and a strong connection to the land are prioritized, aligning with both Indigenous values and CRRP principles. Implementing Principles of Inclusive Education The CRRP framework emphasizes a school climate that encourages all students to work to high levels of achievement and affirms their worth, helping them develop a positive self-image. This approach is essential for integrating Indigenous perspectives in classrooms, affirming the worth of FNMI students, and reflecting their unique cultural identities. CRRP in Action: A Classroom Example In a classroom that embodies CRRP and Indigenous perspectives, you would see: Culturally Reflective Curriculum: Learning activities and materials support a curriculum that reflects the diversity of Ontario society, including FNMI perspectives. Diverse Learning Opportunities: Teachers offer opportunities to learn about diversity and diverse perspectives, drawing attention to the contributions of historically marginalized groups, including FNMI communities. Building Community Connections Schools and educators are encouraged to engage with parents and community members, especially those of FNMI descent, to create an inclusive and welcoming environment. This involves special outreach strategies and ensuring that the school activities reflect the diversity of both the local community and the broader society. By embracing CRRP and integrating Indigenous worldviews into our educational practices, we not only adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Ontario Ministry of Education but also contribute significantly to the ongoing process of Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. Learn more about Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy.

  • Still I Rise...

    February is Black History Month - a time for us all to pause and reflect on our contribution to justice and our role in addressing systemic racism. As a teacher, I am in a position of influence and will commit to having ongoing discussions in my role during February every month and the days after. I endeavour to have the courage to speak up and respond. After analyzing and discussing some of Amanda Gorman's work last week, I set out to find other texts with which students could connect deeply. This poem by Maya Angelou provides an amazing example. We examined the author's writing style and literary devices (use of similes and rhyme, tone) and followed up by listening to Ben Harper's version. This provided a context to discuss how different types of media can influence our thinking and feelings. However, it led to an even deeper discussion about the ethics of remixing an artist's work. We started with the quote, "Still, I'll Rise," and analyzed that single word: STILL. Still what?

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