Little knot here, Russ!

My ideas about my action plan

My ideas about my action plan

Here I am! To my loyal followers….sorry for the silence. This little image gives a look into my mind when it comes to my Cohort 21 action plan. I found the last F2F session so helpful and left with the Christmas lights uncurled with no knots. Here I am, about to meet again later this week and somehow it’s all knotted up again.

Probably a good idea to start at the beginning. A few years ago the Government of Ontario moved Ancient Civilizations out of the Gr. 5 Social Studies curriculum. I have never forgiven them for that! I loved that unit of study. First Nations and European Explorers replaced it and I was back to square one. This year, with the Cohort 21 wind in my sails, I was going to do right by this unit of study. My HMW question is, ” How might we decolonize students’ perspectives by teaching Indigenous studies through an Indigenous framework, with a focus on reconciliation?”. I was grateful to my Cohort colleagues and coaches for helping that question to come to fruition.

Perhaps the overwhelmed feeling I have is because now it is time for action. This week, this Social Studies unit of study begins. A number of fortunate opportunities have turned up as this week has approached. For one, I’m fortunate to be working with a faculty intern who recently discovered her own Indigenous heritage and so we have been working on developing the unit from scratch using the Medicine Wheel as our framework. Secondly, the first day back from Christmas break was a PD day that started off with a TCS alumnus, who is herself from the Moose Cree nation, presented to our whole faculty about reconciliation and the TRC calls to action. It led to a full day of meaningful discussions and brainstorming that was inspirational.

And so, I look forward to seeing everyone this Friday with the knot a bit looser and some lessons under my belt.

See you soon!



My best learning experience

Learning skill: Self-Regulation
I chose this photo to exemplify the learning skill of self-regulation. I believe that it can be best taught through honest example and modelling.

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. 

My grade two teacher, Miss Moores, had a significant impact on me as she modeled what it was to be an exemplary teacher. Though I cannot remember the finer points of the day-to-day in Grade 2, I do remember feeling like I was important and valued. She went out of her way to make a connection or to respond to our gestures of connection. She even stopped by my home when I was sick with the chicken pox, in order to drop off a get well card. Her mindset was one that valued the input and the interests of her students. She had the freedom to set up her classroom management style in her own way and the result was a room full of love and comfort. I have thought of her and her example numerous times throughout my career thus far. 

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?

I believe that self-regulation is critical for all students in this day and age. Students who can be independent in regulating their own behaviour and contributions to the class environment are more likely to be engaged with the content of lessons, projects and activities. I work toward intentionally modeling my own regulation. I will make note of moments when I might be disorganized or overwhelmed. I point the moment out to my students and then give them an opportunity to engage with me about strategies that would be more effective. I positively reinforce examples of students regulating themselves for others to see and make note of.

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)

For fun: