Friday, November 25, 2016

Teachers must respect student's names

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: How Canadians can be more inclusive of diverse names

Teachers must respect student's names.
This is an excellent CBC radio program that gives some information of import to teachers with diverse school populations.
I recall trying to convince a student from China to use his given name. He preferred to use 'Kevin' instead. I tried.
 In a society as diverse as our own is today, it's just a matter of respect to become familiar with so-called unfamiliar names, especially at a time when racial divisions seem to be surfacing in the wake of the U.S. election. Because mispronouncing names is one of the everyday ways that people from diverse backgrounds may feel excluded.Actor and writer Shekhar Paleja (Pron: SHAY-kher Pel-LAY-jah) moved to Canada when he was eight years old and says he dealt with a healthy amount of racism in Alberta in the 80s.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Stand up against bullying

Friday, November 18, 2016

Kids and cell phones: advice for parents

Sometimes education is necessary for the parents, who can then educate their children.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection strongly suggests that parents consider the following when trusting their child with a personal mobile device:
  • Having conversations about the risks associated to complying with requests from other users and communicating with other users online whom the youth does not know offline;
  • Reviewing and utilizing any apps prior to allowing their child to download it on their personal device;
  • Ensuring that any apps being used by their child is age-appropriate;
  • Reinforcing and encouraging their child to bring forward any concerns that they encounter;
  • Stressing that they are always there to help their child through any difficult situation they may encounter both online and offline.
For more information on the risks youth face when utilizing live streaming applications, please see our brochure titled Keeping Teens Safe from Online Sexual Exploitation online and safety sheets on the topics of apps and online extortion.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Thank your teachers!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

New math or old math?

It really depends upon the learner and the teacher. Kids need arithmetic skills, then a basket of strategies to problem solve. They do need to understand many concepts, but if they cannot add, subtract, multiply or divide and depend upon a calculator, they will get bogged down. We used to recite times table while bouncing a basketball. It was a fun challenge! They encouraged one another.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Why are Canadian taxpayers subsidizing private school tuition?

To quote a friend, "This has always made me crazy."

We were hard-pressed to take the kids refused attendance at private or religious school.
Well religion has another aspect here. What I was able to find is an elite private Catholic school here, Vancouver College, issues a charitable donation tax receipt for approximately 80% of the total cost of tuition. 
Canada Revenue Agency offers a child care expense deduction for a variety of child care services. But in one of the clauses they permit a deduction for educational institutions — for the part of the fees that relate to child care services. "
Sending your child to a private school in Canada can have many perks. But recently, Vancouver writer Sandy Garossino discovered some of those perks are tax breaks from the Canada Revenue Agency, and now she's calling for the rules to be…

Monday, May 16, 2016

A private Chinese school should lose Ontario accreditation

The Premier's trade mission to China, where Kathleen Wynne met with CIA executive director Jennifer Xue.

A private school in Shanghai that was recently touted as a shining example of the international partnership between China and the Ontario government is in danger of losing its authority to grant Ontario high school credits following an investigation into allegations of corruption.

It is not a surprise. There are many reasons why Ontario's Ministry of Education should have been much more vigilant. It is the culture, in China, to use bribery for profit, and to ensure students look good. What is more criminal is that Ontario wasn't talking to Canadian teachers, and inspecting more often. Yes, it'll cost money, but our international reputation is at stake.

It is allegedly a pay-for-access scam to allow students into Ontario Universities, after seemingly possessing high school credits. The course hours were too low, violating a ministry mandate, there weren't enough qualified teachers, students who were unable to speak English, paid a fee to retake exams to have a passing grade. When I see trade delegations traveling to other countries, I wonder the price Canadians pay for this? The Canadian teachers overseas were fired, and kicked out of the country. It is shameful. 

When I was teaching over 25 years, I would often have a student in Canada, living with an extended family relative in order to learn English, graduate with an Ontario diploma, and enable them to go to University here.  Heads should roll. These schools need to be closed.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

How Finland is fighting inequality with education, and winning

How they’re fighting inequality with education, and winning

The small, modern, glass-and-concrete building resembles many urban Canadian primary schools, but its classrooms are more intense, each with several teachers and assistants minding circles of kids of highly varied educational and linguistic abilities: There are virtually no special or remedial classes. A lot of non-academic activities fill the day, and the combination of the school’s collaborative structure and the teachers’ detailed devotion to keeping each child on track sometimes gives the place the urgent mood of a hospital emergency ward.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Ontario Ministry of Education Releases Kindergarten Documents

The Ministry of Education has released Growing Success: The Kindergarten Addendum; Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario
 including the Kindergarten Communication of Learning templates
and the program policy document for The Kindergarten Program, 2016 (Interim Version).

Components of the The Kindergarten Program, 2016 (Interim Version), have been posted on the Ministry of Education website (the expectations). The full document, including the front matter along with the expectations will be posted in June, 2016.

Mandatory Implementation of these documents begins in September 2016. Regional Training sessions for district school board teams will be starting in April.   

ICT Conference for Women

This is fun! Such amazing technology. I presented at this conference in May, 2006. I really enjoyed it. There is so much to learn.

Presenting technology 2005

ETFO's ICT Conference for Women: Technology for Teachers will take place at the ETFO Office and OISE/UT TORONTO on June 17-18, 2016.

The program includes presentations of technology projects from across the province; and workshops on learning with iPads, Google Drive, Minecraft, Twitter, blogging and various online resources.

Participation is limited and participants will be selected by a random draw with preference going to first time attendees. Successful applicants will be notified by email prior to May 13, 2016.

To register and to view the conference schedule, visit the ETFO Events Management System.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Networking opportunity to collaborate with other First Nation, Métis and Inuit members

The ETFO FNMI Member Sharing Circle

ETFO invites up to seven First Nation, Métis and Inuit members toparticipate in a one-day gathering on Saturday, April 30th to discuss common issues identified in the 2010 Canadian Teachers' Federation study entitled A Study of Aboriginal Teachers' Professional Knowledge and Experience in Canadian Schools.

Participants will be asked to provide input on how ETFO can support them in their role in education and in their union. The gathering will take place at the ETFO provincial office in Toronto. The deadline to register is March 28, 2016. For more information, please see this flyer: PDF | Word. Register online at
FNMI Member Training: Workshop & Facilitation Skills

ETFO is looking for ten First Nation, Métis and Inuit members to participate in a one and half day professional learning opportunity that includes hands-on training on developing effective workshop and facilitation skills, an overview of ETFO programs, and a networking opportunity to collaborate with other First Nation, Métis and Inuit members.

The training will be held on April 8 and 9 at the Provincial Office in Toronto. The deadline to register is March 17, 2016. For more information please see this flyer: PDF | Word. Register online at

Sunday, February 28, 2016

What is the future of higher education?

What caused me to quit my online M.A. in Counseling Psychology, was a male who was increasingly hostile, and showed signs of misogyny and used harassment to attack fellow students afraid to speak out. Then there were online profs, most from the US, who failed to appreciate Canadian values. Add overburdened profs who posted assignments, then delegated all actions to undergrad assistants. Then they demanded we all work in groups creating a presentation a week, requiring little of the profs.

This should, of course, read university students. We know how much young children depend upon hands-on learning. There are many distractions online: "You've got mail",  chat rooms, instagram, twitter notices...
Disruption has hit the university lecture hall - that is, if teaching is done in a lecture hall at all. Our series on the state of higher education continues with a discussion of the pleasures and pitfalls of the move away from traditional teaching methods toward screens, virtual classrooms and MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses.
Three educators join Michael to talk about taking advantage of digital technology, while avoiding its distractions.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

People for Education news

 This is an oranization well-worth following.

Reading our way into well-being

The National Reading Campaign is hosting a policy symposium, Making Change in Schools and Society: Reading our way into well-being, on February 5. The symposium will bring together policy makers, educators, researchers, library specialists and community advocates to explore the ways in which reading for pleasure can be enhanced in Canadian schools. How can we ensure that students have the opportunity to experience the joy of reading?
To read more, click here.

Government consultations focus on skills/job preparation

As part of the government's overall focus on jobs and the economy, the Premier has appointed an expert panel to develop a strategy for ensuring that Ontario has the highly-skilled workforce it needs to be competitive in today's economy.
The Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel and a provincial consultation onexperiential learning in Kindergarten to Grade 12, will focus on the skills and competencies that will prepare young people for future jobs.
  • Do you think K–12 and post-secondary students are being prepared appropriately to work in a knowledge-based economy? Contact the panel
  • Do you have ideas about how to provide more experiential learning for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12? Click here to read more.
  • Do you think the province should articulate broader goals for kindergarten to grade 12 education that include skills for work and the competencies and conditions that prepare students to live happy, healthy, economically secure, civically engaged lives? Find out more at Measuring What Matters.
May, 2016 is the deadline for feedback.

What's new on the website

Have you visited People for Education's website lately? It is a great place to start if you are looking for education information, including:
Don't forget to visit our Measuring What Matters micro-site to get the latest updates on the project and add your comments.

Social media this week

What people are talking about...

As US schools falter, Trump rises. Coincidence? Column says People for Education's Measuring What Matters initiative vital.
How to be a better parent. 4 secrets backed by research.
School hockey program in Northern Ontario helps keep kids in class / out of trouble.
Top 10 skills for jobs are all life skills, according to World Economic Forum.
Trent U is offering a new Indigenous Bachelor of Education degree program.
Column says schools cannot, on their own, compensate for uneven educational playing field caused by child poverty
15-country research initiative (including People for Education) looks for effective ways to measure broad areas of student learning.
When students took to social media to complain about the lack of a 'snow day', school boards were quick (and funny!) in their responses.
To keep up to date on all the latest social media news, check out our Facebookpage or follow us on twitter: @peoplefored, @anniekidder, @jacquistrachan.

Feb 6 –

The Thames Valley Parent Involvement Committee is hosting a symposium for parents. This year's theme is "Building Parent Engagement Together". 

Feb 17 – Toronto

Join Les Tablettistes, a bilingual forum for discussion and the exchange of ideas, for an exploration of the challenges and opportunities for the future in a digital world.

Feb 18-19 – Toronto

Reading for the Love of It is an annual language arts and literacy conference held in Toronto. In 2016 the organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Feb 26 – Toronto

The Canadian Safe Schools Network is hosting its 19th Annual Safe Schools conference, with workshops on fostering and promoting student wellness. 

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