T oday, we finished the second week of an interpersonal communications course. The students in the course are first term college students, a few fresh out of high school. As is my common practice, I end my week of instruction with reflective questions for the students:
- What was your significant learning this past week?
- What principles for everyday life can you extract from our class activities? (Note: The activities are experiential).
- What did you learn or what was reinforced about yourself?
- What can you take from the class activities to use in your life outside of class?
I asked the students to get in small groups to discuss these questions. They got in their groups and just looked at one another with baffled looks on their faces while remaining silent. I tried rewording the questions and providing examples and still got blank looks when they returned to their group discussions.
When I began this journey two years ago, I was looking for answers to a question that had become increasingly pervasive and yet frustratingly intangible in my teaching practice: how could I resolve the student I was with the students I now teach? Despite my exposure to some new ways of thinking about teaching and learning and my development of some powerful professionally collaborative relationships, there was still a disconnect. I was ready to do something about that. (more…)
The following is a story written as a reflection of my time spent in India teaching Tibetan children in exile. As a member of the International Teacher Education Module I spent 2 months teaching English in a small community called Chauntra, tucked in the foothills of the Himalayas. The students, teachers, and members of the community were very welcoming and their story has inspired me on many levels. It was this life changing and eye-opening experience that has transformed the way I view both learning and teaching. With this story I hope to give my readers a brief glimpse into the life of a Canadian student named Madison that is introduced to the world of a Tibetan student in India. Madison experiences a transformation that can only be seen in her heart and her actions.
This annotated bibliography focuses on twenty-two picture books and four articles that feature environmental awareness and promote a healthy relationship with nature. (more…)
The 2010 Winter Olympics placed a spotlight on Vancouver, our country, and our Canadian ways. In the closing ceremonies, William Shatner and Catherine O’hara joked about rocking canoes and people who are overly quick to apologize. During opening ceremonies, Shane Koyczan told the world that, “We Are More.” But what does it mean to be Canadian? What are our Canadian symbols? How do we view ourselves and what shapes our cultural beliefs?
In Nlaka’pamux (pronounced ng-khla-kap-mh) country in southcentral British Columbia, you can hear coyotes howling in the canyon at night, and glimpse them disap pearing into the woods. For the Nlaka’pamux people, coyote is a trickster, using his creativity to transform the world, while rebel ling against and disrupting established order.
I think that Jack and his family were very brave crossing the Atlantic Ocean to try to find a better life. If I could talk to him I would thank him for his courage and working hard to make a good life for all of his generations to follow.
“Marking is soul-destroying,” proclaimed a disheveled looking woman in the front row. “I’m not kidding,” she insisted, “it is actually destroying my soul.” Shouts of Amen! came from several teachers in the crowd, and the woman with the destroyed soul leaned forward, looking eager to hear whatever advice the workshop leader might offer. This was not a light-hearted affair. She needed help.
To provide more opportunities for students to practice writing, many universities instituted Writing Across the Cur riculum (WAC) programs starting in the 1980s. These programs are based on the principles that writing promotes learning, that writing is the responsibility of all content teachers, that writing should be integrated in all disciplines through out a student’s educational career, and that only by practicing authentic writing in every discipline will students learn to communicate within that discipline (The WAC Clearinghouse, 2009). These collaborative programs have filtered into K-12 secondary schools, espe ially in the last decade due to the standards movement (Brewster and Klump, 2004).