What a great first face to face session with #cohort21. The room was filled passionate teachers with one common goal; bettering the education world to help educate the youth of our future. I left the room filled with ideas and hope for a great school year ahead. But, with those ideas came the tough task ahead, which was what did I want my project to be?

For a while I struggled and I think the toughest part was coming up with the right questions to ask my students/colleagues. I knew I was going to try to interview at least 3 teachers and at least 3-5 students. I decided to start a brainstorming session one evening and wrote all the main ideas I was thinking of. I ended up having to finish my brainstorming session a bit early, but this was to be continued. Later in the week I ended up attending the Ontario Physical Literacy conference held at Hillfield Strathallan College in Hamilton. Listening to the keynote speaker it almost came to me like a “spark”. As he talked about physical literacy in our youth he discussed a book called “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John Ratey”. My brain started to think of all the possible ideas I could create out of this for my Cohort 21 project. I immediately went to the book store and bought a copy of the book. Although I am not a super quick reader I immediately started reading to come up with some ideas. A couple chapters in and I had another good base for a possible project.

I continued my brainstorming session and ended up adding in some of these ideas as possible projects. From there I was able to generate some big concepts and created questions surrounding these ideas. I have begun interviewing my students and colleagues and have been getting some interesting responses. As these responses and interviews continue my “wheels keep on turning”. I want the answers from my students to guide my project more so than the ideas I had going into this with.



c21_logo_mediumWelcome to you Cohort 21 Blog. This journal is an integral part of your Cohort 21 experience. Here you will reflect, share , collaborate  and converse as you move through the C21 Action Plan process. 

This is your first post and an opportunity to share a little bit about yourself as a learner and leader. Please respond the to the following prompts below:

1) Reflect on your own personal learning journey and K-12 education. Identify one learning experience that you can point to as having made a significant impact on some element of your own growth and development. It could be that teacher and subject that really sparked significant growth or a trip that opened your eyes to a whole new world or way of thinking or a non-catastrophic failure that you learned so much from.  Briefly describe the learning experience and identify the various supports, structures, mindsets and relational ingredients that were put in place by the teacher or facilitator that directly contributed to your growth and success. 

The most impactful learning experience wouldn't be defined by one moment but rather over the course of a semester with one teacher in particular. This teacher was my grade 12 Law course teacher. She was kind, caring, compassionate and wanted nothing but the best in her students. She sought every opportunity to not only help me be the best me, but everyone else as well. Whenever I needed extra help or had any questions or concerns she was always there for me. At the time I took the course my life goal was to eventually become a lawyer. Furthermore, it being grade 12 I knew I was going to use this course as my top 6 for my average applying for university. This course taught be the importance of hard work and dedication to a goal and the importance of having solid support systems in place.

The key ingredients to this successful story were:

  1. Positive mindset - Both the teacher and myself had a positive growth mindset. She allowed me opportunities to constantly grow and learn from my mistakes.
  2. Positive relationship- I trusted her immensely and knew even if she let me fail it was for the positive growth that would come from it.

From the experiences I learnt in this course and through this inspirational teacher I have tried at every opportunity to bring these values into my own everyday teaching.

2) What is the one Learning skill (MOE) or Approach to Learning (IB ATL) that you feel is MOST important in this day and age? How do you intentionally build it into your curriculum and develop it in your students throughout the year?

Social Skills- Collaboration

I feel that collaboration is an essential skill that our students need to have to be successful in this day of age. With increasing use of social media and gaming I feel our students are losing some of the essential skills necessary. Although it could be argued that collaboration is happening in social media or gaming sites it is essential our students learn the importance of how collaboration can be done in many different ways. No matter what field our students decide to enter into with their chosen career paths collaboration will always be an essential and necessary skill.

Collaboration is embedded very easily in an health and physical education setting as sports is a natural place where team work is evident and necessary. I extend this however by purposefully putting students in situations where they might need to collaborate with students they normally either don't hang out with or might not get along with great. The purpose of this is to have students understand and appreciate each others strengths and weaknesses.  Through this students will understand that if you work together towards a common goal by collaborating it makes the task much easier and more effective.

3) Insert an image below that best captures the essence of that Learning Skill or ATL. (Click on the "Helpful WordPress Video Tutorials" link in the left hand sidebar to learn how to insert it)