Monthly Archives: October 2016


As a faculty, we were asked to read Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: A New Psychology of Success, over the summer. The ideas from the book and our reflections about them will be the focus of ongoing PD in our school this year.

I enjoyed the book a great deal. I found it interesting the way that the author applied her understanding to different fields - from sports to business, from relationships to learning. The key takeaway for me was the sense that if we are to be lifelong learners, we have to give ourselves permission to learn, to fail, to grow. We have be talking a lot about this as teachers and sharing it with our students and their parents. Personally, I have reflected on my own approaches to things and to ideas.

9342c09d0aee50a6685dffb639d5d230-image-300x300The book was not without its "Yeah, but..." moments for me as I read. For instance, I have some questions about how to help students (and myself!) understand mindsets, about how much a teacher can really delve into the source of those mindsets, about finding the time and place and skills one needs to have respectful conversations about them. The way we think about ourselves, our learning, and our relationships is a complex knot of strings spun from home, culture, experience, and the wiring in our brains. While we do want to pull on those strings with courage, we also want to pull with care! I am looking forward to working through some of this with my colleagues at school and with you online!


Lao Tzu - The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

I am all about the learning journey, and I have started on a big one today at Cohort21. I learned a lot, mostly about how far behind I feel with things like Diigo and Twitter. I find it interesting that I was a little ahead of the curve when Twitter first came out and I asked if I could use it to have reluctant class participants ask their questions and share their ideas electronically. It wasn't in the cards then - maybe now?

I really appreciate all the help that fellow members, coaches, and facilitators offered today and promise to give in the weeks and months to come. I am very excited to work on the art and craft of teaching - I am a believer in the idea of teaching as an art, a craft, a trade like masonry or weaving in the sense of requiring lifelong learning and refinement. I cannot wait to work on an action plan to help me to be a better teacher and to learn and grow with my colleagues and students. I really love to learn about learning and the wonderful subjects that I get to teach.

I am energized by the excitement of everyone and hope that I can share my own with you!


I am excited to be meeting everyone on the 15th and beginning to work together.

As I consider the year ahead, I am looking forward to thinking about and getting advice on how best  to introduce inquiry-based learning into the subjects that I teach. I work with science students in grades 6, 7, and 8 and with history and geography students in grade 8. I think these subjects lend themselves well to inquiry. I also think that inquiry will help inspire greater student engagement in subjects that I love to teach and learn about. One of my challenges is trying to figure out how much teaching and learning needs to take place in order to equip students to jump in and get the most out of their explorations. What needs to be in their bug out bags before they set off down different paths? Do different learners all carry the same essentials then add what their particular path requires? I am curious and looking for insights!

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c21_logo_mediumWelcome to Cohort 21. This is the first post on your new blog. This journal is an integral part of your Cohort 21 experience. Here you will reflect, share and collaborate as you move through the C21 learning cycle towards your action plan.

Cohort 21 is a unique professional development opportunity open to CIS Ontario teachers and school leaders who are seeking to explore  what it means to a teacher in the 21st century.