Teacher Testimonials

A chance to meet and a work with a group of motivated and inspiring teachers. A chance to renew yourself as a teacher and find inspiration to be better. A chance to learn SO much!

Allison Macrae – Upper Canada College

Cohort 21 provides an opportunity to explore a goal or a challenge in a deeply reflective way with invaluable feedback from other passionate educators.

Adam Maingot – BSS

Cohort 21 is a year long commitment to changing mindset, focusing on your passion of teaching in an incredibly positive and encouraging atmosphere.

Jill Abrams – HSC

Cohort 21 will change the way you approach challenges in your classroom. Instead of challenges you will see opportunities, you’ll feel empowered to take risks and relentlessly supported in your pursuit of making things better.

Nichola Bendle – TCS

Cohort 21 helps you voice your toughest challenges about teaching, and then allows you to crowd source ideas from a room full or 50+ passionate educators. These educators then become your cheerleaders and sounding boards as you begin to implement solutions.

Jenny Howell – UTS

Cohort21 enables you engage in personalized action research with one hundred caring arms holding you up!

Sacha Neesham – Montcrest

Cohort 21 is a triple shot of espresso that lasts for entire school year! The support you receive all the way through is incredible!

Mike Moore – HSC

The structure of Cohort 21, is a perfect combination of innovation and collaboration, and when you’re sitting in a room full of change-makers, you can’t help but feel inspired and empowered to explore new and innovative ways to refine and redesign your teaching practice. Furthermore, the opportunity to meet, learn, share and network with so many amazing CIS educators is truly amazing; and makes you quickly realize that although the programming of you school might differ quite significantly from someone else’s, everyone is facing a similar challenge, and that is ensuring that their students are future ready. Cohort 21 pushes you to be a future ready educator, who is willing to push the limits of your comfort zones, in an encouraging a supportive environment.

Nicole Blair – Rosedale Day School

Cohort 21 is the frontier of modernizing education. The participants are agents of change at their respective schools and the knowledge, experience and enthusiasm they bring to the community is invaluable.

Jason Wood – HTS

Learning to build, manage and reflect upon highly individualized professional goals, in a highly supportive community.

Jordan Small – Branksome Hall

Cohort 21 is a personalized professional development opportunity that allows you to connect with a vast network of like-minded educators who are all striving to improve some aspect of their teaching practice.

Michelle Li – Mabin School

Ideas are like a match: small and fragile, yet bright, with such potential. Cohort takes the spark, nurtures it, adds fuel, and makes the fire burn strong.

Jason Bornstein – Villanova College

Imagine yourself surrounded by 50 like minded professionals with only one idea on their head “How can we help each other to become better teachers?”

Tomas Paz Johnstone – Crestwood Prep College

Cohort21 is a great opportunity to work on a project you are personally passionate about with strangers 🙂 You are immediately connected with a network of teaching and learning professionals who are there to support, challenge and guide you. You are given the time and space to iterate and attack your Action Plan.

Christie Gordon – UCC

Cohort 21 is an inspirational space to become more innovative and comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Daphne Dunlap – Bayview Glen

High challenge with high support. This is how I will remember this experience. I can’t wait to continue in whatever role you’ll have me. Being a coach would be the natural next step in my cohort journey.

Chris Carswell – UTS

Cohort 21 is a profession-changing, life-changing experience, all wrapped up as PD. It enables and empowers educators to apply their experiences of how they can make a difference in the mindset and learning experience of their students, in ways that are meaningful to their own school (versus just what the research says we should do). Thank you, thank you, thank you for the impact that this experience has had on me as an educator and a leader in my school! I am a changed person for this experience.

Christina Schindler  – Trafalgar Castle School

It is a year long opportunity to consider and plan a course of action to work on a problem you see in your school. Then receive and provide ongoing feedback and support from others who are doing the same thing. It held me accountable to keep going with my action plan. I think that I would have abandoned my action plan when I was the most frustrated but this prompted me to persevere.

Melissa Jolicoeur -Albert College

The Cohort 21 experience has been such an exhilarating journey. The experience challenged me to take risks, energized my thinking and inspired me to make changes (even if they were small!). It has provided me with the opportunity to chat with like-minded educators, share successes and talk about failures. It was refreshing to hear from educators from other schools, as it helped give me a better outlook on what was happening outside of the HSC community. I finish the year on an extreme high, ready for more!

Kristen Solowey – Hillfield Strathallan College

Cohort21 is the quintessential PD experience. It exemplifies the growth mindset philosophy and requires teachers to experience firsthand those 21st century skills they hope to embody in their students. It is much more than just contributing to awareness of best practices and current research, Cohort21, will bring it all to their classroom. There is no expectation to be a computer wiz. Cohort21 is respectful of all abilities and creates an environment where educators feel comfortable exchanging ideas and asking for help.

Laur-Ann Camus – Hillfield Strathallan College

Cohort 21 is connection. Connection to a collaborative community that incorporates the Cohortees themselves, the global 21st century education movement, and the involved CIS Ontario community. Cohort 21 is exploration. Exploration takes many forms but tends to center around two main pillars – exploration of the self (self-reflection and critique of one’s own practice), and exploration of the big picture ideas–the ‘what ifs’ of education. Cohort 21 is meaningful. Meaningful professional development that fosters a growth mindset shift within your practice, even if you previously thought you already had that mindset figured out, and one that often spirals outward to positively impact your colleagues both within your school and the global community.”

Elissa Gelleny  – Villanova College

The Cohort 21 community will inspire you to become the kind of teacher you want to be.

Katerina Dawes – Trinity College School

Sit in a room with these teachers and TRY not to be inspired. I dare you!

Tony Antoniades – BSS

W.B. Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Cohort 21 is the match that can spark the fire, and rekindle the flame, of learning for a life time. It will remind and affirm why teaching is never a job, but a vocation.

Shelley Thomas – Ridley College

My brain hurts with all these great inspirational ideas. The support and encouragement is unparalleled. Thank you!

Marie Aragona – The York School

Over the past year, I have significantly increased my technical know-how; but the real feat of Cohort 21 is that it put me in a room full of mentors that inspire and motivate me to explore, take risks, and ultimately to be a better educator.

Allison Harding Ridley College

Cohort was an inspiring and empowering experience. I felt supported by my peers and the facilitators and coaches to try something new in my school, and the experience introduced me to the tools, techniques and frameworks to do it. The feedback I received over the course of the year was invaluable.

Laura Mustard – St. Clement’s School

This experience is like no other PD out there! Although I have attended many fabulous PD sessions, the involvement of the entire community throughout the school year is what creates the depth of Cohort 21. Being able to have consistent connection to other inspired educators is immeasurable. I have gained the confidence to implement new tools and experiment with ideas that I never would have thought were possible! It is about so much more than technology – it is about cultivating a mindset and culture of innovation to best inspire ourselves, our colleagues and our students.

Jessica Lindsay-Sonkin – Albert College

Cohort 21, in the most supportive way, kept me at the top of my game all year. It was the perfect balance of encouragement and support to push me out of my comfort zone and look critically at my teaching in the context of 21 century learning.

Andrew Ruston  – The Bishop Strachan School

I would describe my experience at Cohort 21 as a three part adventure: one part social networking with colleagues from different schools; one part learning about innovative tech tools that support teaching and learning; and one part having the opportunity to dive deeper into a topic of personal interest/passion.

Danny Neville  – Bayview Glen

My main goal of applying to participate in Cohort 21 was to get back on the bandwagon of advancing technologies. Over the past few years, I’d felt like there was an overwhelming number of new tools available to me and didn’t really know where to begin. This experience was exactly what I needed to push me in the right direction. My comfort level with a number of tools has improved (Twitter, Socrative, Edpuzzle, blogging, Google+, Google Docs, Infographics) and most importantly I am more confident to try and play and I explore new tools and not be overwhelmed. The Action Plan approach pushed me to examine a small part of my teaching and make changes. All in all, it was a positive, enriching and motivating experience!

Melissa Rathier –  Lakefield College School

The Cohort 21 experience was eye-opening and very rewarding. I learned a lot about myself as an educator and how I could help improve the learning environment of my students. This program got me excited about learning and trying new tools in the classroom. This excitement transferred over to my students :). Cohort21 kept me accountable and pushed me to be the best educator possible. This was and is an experience I will share often with my colleagues. I would love to come back next year and continue working on my action plan. So much more to learn!

Amanda Lupo –  Pickering College

Cohort 21 explores innovative ways of teaching to meet the needs of the 21st century in a way that involves critical thinking but not negativity; the focus is always on the positive: what can be learned, what can be improved, what new avenues of innovation can be explored? While it assumes, or encourages, the use of a wide range of digital technologies, it’s not about the technologies themselves but the pedagogy behind their use.

Patti Kleeb –  St Mildred’s Lightbourn

Whether you are an EdTech Guru or still use a flip phone and paper notebook, you have something to contribute, and something to learn. Be open, be bold.

Ed Hitchcock  – Bayview Glen

The experience was one full of support, collaboration and new ideas. I think you begin cohort 21 eager to change and improve my teaching and now I leave cohort 21 a risk taker, and one who is more driven to inspire students and foster student engagement. I want to help bring out the potential in other teachers at my school and relate to them in a format that involves sharing technology and its integration.

Kyle Cardinale  – Havergal College

C21 is like being plugged in to pure energy and inspiration around teaching and learning.

Derek Doucet – Lakefield College School

An opportunity to be a learner with the support of those who are also eager to learn and those who have experience with experimentation in the classroom.

Beth Nichols –  Royal St George’s College

Whether you’ve been teaching for one month or two decades, Cohort 21 can make you a better educator.

Emily Cunningham –  The York School

Cohort 21 provided the focused time and support that we as educators desperately need to research, learn and create. Guidance was provided during the entire process, from the incubation stage to the implementation stage. As peers we challenged and supported each others ideas. We all had a vested interest in our success.

Ryan Archer  – UCC

Cohort 21 changed my mindset and gave me many amazing frameworks on which to shape my current and future teaching. Not only for those looking to integrate technology in meaningful ways – this is a think tank, a summit for committed and passionate educators who ask the big questions, who seek excellence, and who want to be inspired.

Tia Chambers –  The Mabin School

Best PD I’ve done. No question. Great programmes; great facilitators; wonderful people all around.

Alan MacInnis – Trafalgar Castle School

It’s a build your own PD – you have a general focus (21st century learning) and a task (create an action plan, and execute it if possible), but other than that, you are free to design professional development, research, and projects that suit our own unique classroom needs. The constant collaboration, from Twitter chats, to Hangouts, to Project Tuning Protocols, to fellow “Cohorters” attending your PD sessions, there is a network of encouragement and support throughout.  Seeing what others are doing is invigorating! It really encouraged me to continue in my plan and to use the work of others to help me reflect on my own.

Ashley Bailey Davis  – TMS School

An amazing opportunity to work with other teachers who are willing to explore 21st Century learning tools and their link to best practices and teaching. Not all teachers have a high level of technology skill, but all have a high level of motivation. They want to attend, and they want to learn. 

Jennifer Wright – Ashbury College

It’s a shot of adrenaline straight into the heart of the teacher. The drive to read, to share, and to improve is palpable in the room and you leave each time wishing you could talk more, read more, think more – and it does! It is a truly immersive experience that gives teachers the opportunity, the tools, and the know-how to keep the conversations – and the learning – going. It’s reading, it’s blogging, it’s tweeting, it’s talking, it’s sharing, it’s learning… it’s a perfect model for teacher improvement.

Aaron Vigar – Rosseau Lake College

This is a thought-provoking, inspiring, motivating professional development network. The educators are passionate professionals looking to improve the student learning experience at their schools and in their classrooms, and it was a privilege to work with everyone over the course of this year.

Ruth Eichholtz – The York School

I loved this experience! The knowledge and passion that Garth and Justin brought to each event was fantastic! I was always engaged, excited to participate and learn more! Well done, gentlemen! Well done.

Danielle Ganley – Holy Trinity School

Cohort 21 is an amazing learning experience that will push you out of your comfort zone or build on what you already know. For me, it’s been very transformative in how I use and value technology in my classroom, and also, how I reflect on my own pedagogy and course design. I strongly recommend Cohort 21 to anyone with a growth mindset.

Tim Rollwagen – Lakefield College

Being exposed to new opportunities for genuine and authentic integration of technology into the classroom. The opportunity is available to enter into the Cohort at your own level and make it work for you. There is a wealth of knowledge available within this group from facilitators and colleagues which can be taken, transferred and applied to your context. Every aspect of the face to face meetings can be applicable into your classroom space and the blogs are a wealth of information. 

Bart van Veghel – The Bishop Strachan School

Inspired and encouraged to be surrounded by like minded teachers who wish to keep evolving, keep learning, and keep improving the learning of their students. Great to be exposed to leading edge ed tech and its successful application. Access to a great community of teachers and lifelong learners – priceless!

Louis Sulek – Albert College

An amazing opportunity to push your thinking about 21st century skills and how to engage and motivate students and colleagues to integrate technology in meaningful ways.

Erin O’Rourke – Branksome Hall

The premier PD opportunity to deeply understand personalized learning in the 21st century. This is the most effective way to gain first-hand experience with blended, personalized learning in a collaborative network of professionals. This is an active, challenging, and highly worthwhile learning experience; your investment of time, energy, and resources will come back to you tenfold. 

Miss Celeste Faye Kirsh – The Bishop Strachan School

Cohort 21 provided a forum to explore my own areas of professional inquiry within a supportive community. The results were contextual to our own schools and yet as we shared out, there was much that we all found relevant. The discussions were supportive, reflective and empowering. I’m thankful that the on-line community will continue. 

Catherine McCauley – St. Mildred’s Lightbourn

Cohort 21 is a really positive experience for anyone who is passionate about teaching and wants to learn something new. The format is highly personalized and the relationships you create during the face-to-face sessions continue through the online engagement. We made so many connections this year among similar teachers across different schools, and I am looking forward to continuing in involvement in the community. 

Adam Caplan – St. Clement’s School

The Cohort 21 is a magical conveyor belt of ideas and technologies that can be manipulated by those participating to go forward, backwards, left, right, up and down, so that people can be exposed to many ways of re-thinking about education.

Jesse Denison – Bayview Glen

Because the Cohort 21 experience lasted throughout the whole school year and will continue into the future, I am far more invested in what I and others put into it than if it had been a one-time, one-dimensional conference. The personalized approach to PD worked really well for me, and Garth and Justin provided just the right amount of push and encouragement to make this a very meaningful experience.

Jennifer Bibby – RSGC

The greatest take away of this experience is widening your network of educators, and learning innovative tools that enrich how you communicate with staff, parents, and introduce new technology to your students. Also, it has been very “21st century” to push myself and problem solve many challenges that have come up in terms of student learning, access, finding time, and bringing this huge brave new world to an elementary teaching setting!!!

Jillian Green – The Mabin School

There was an exposure to outstanding tools available and the development of a community with which to explore these tools. I REALLY appreciated the autonomy in coming up with an action plan which fit my specific goals.  I am happy to put in time and effort for anything that I believe matters. From conversations with my colleagues, this is a common feeling. The F2F sessions were so valuable as a check in and as a form of accountability.

We all start the school year with that thing we’re going to focus on but then the year happens, with all that it brings. Suddenly we find ourselves in April saying “where did I really get with that goal?” Cohort21 allowed us to set a specific goal that mattered to our own teaching and then provided a support network and scheduled accountability. Although I have not “completed” my action plan, I am certainly proud of the strides I have made and I know the answer to “where did I get with that goal?”

Melody Russell – Ridley College

Being a part of the inaugural group of educators involved with Cohort21 has been a very positive experience for me. I have been able to learn about a number of technology tools that can be implemented in my classroom right away and some progressive and exciting tools to look forward to in the future. I highly recommend educators in CIS Ontario schools consider being a part of a future cohort. You will not regret the decision, I assure you. No matter what your level of expertise, no matter how sophisticated or not your school is in terms of technology integration, the professional learning and networking alone is priceless. The facilitators recognize and acknowledge the range of experience in the Cohort and each person is able to focus on an area of personal learning that suits the individual. 21st century learning at its best! Fantastic ! 

Domenica Michela – Villanova College 

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