Archive of ‘Think Tank’ category

Collaborating with the Museum of Nature

For a different Think Tank tonight we headed to the Museum of Nature to check out their Arctic Voices exhibit for a Special Preview for Teachers and Educators.

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Greeting from Gilles Proulx, Project Leader for nature School Programs

We had a greeting from Gilles who let us know about the current programs they have at the museum.

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Roundtable Discussion Sessions: What are your needs?

Before I even got to the museum I was excited about this part. I love that the museum is asking teachers what we want. What a great idea for collaborating. Here are some questions they wanted answers to.

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The Think Tank crew had tons of ideas to share. I think we all got excited about all the ideas and possibilities. If you have any ideas or answers to the questions above, please share them in the comments.

Visit to the Arctic Voices Exhibit

At the end of the night we got to visit the Arctic Voices Exhibit. Here are some pictures I took.

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Real Penguin eggs was really neat to see.


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I loved these posters at the beginning of the exhibit. They really make you think about the differences between us and Arctic people.

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I double took these while I was at the exhibit but I loved that it says “Please Touch”!


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I’m short next to a polar bear.


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This was my favourite part of the exhibit by far. I loved being able to get so close to a polar bear. Absolutely amazing!

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Super Cool side note: I found out that my husband’s Great Grandfather carved the letters on the front of the Museum of Nature. Pretty Cool!

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Ottawa Educators: We are better together!

During my Christmas Holiday, I began reading “Uplifting Leadership: How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performances” by Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle and Alma Harris.

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I started reading and could not put it down. It was one of those books for me where I kept on yelling out ‘YES!’

One of the chapters in this book is “Collaboration with Competition” focuses on coming together to share ideas to create better collaboration. This is exactly why Shauna Pollock and I started Think Tank. To form an alliance between all schools in Ottawa: whether you are in public, catholic, private, christian or others. By collaborating, we will be able to learn from each other, add social value to teaching and education, encourage shared passion, and promote continuous innovation. We are all in the same business of educating students, why not learn from and support each other?

If you interested in joining us for Think Tank, please sign up below.

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Think Tank-Talking about change

Our first think tank was amazing. We talked a lot of the realities of teaching and some things we want to change. But how do you create change on such an enormous scale?
I tweeted out a summary of our first meeting (see it here) and on twitter I got some responses. Garth Nichols (@Think_teach) suggested I look into @cea_ace and @cohort21.

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I was beyond excited when I started to look into these 2 organizations. Cea stands for the Canadian Education Association and they are an organization that is committed to researching and influencing change in Canada. They are also hosting a “The Challenge to Change” symposium in Toronto on October 23rd and I would LOVE to attend. Think Tank: We might want to think ordering their magazine to share or signing up for a Non-Profit membership. They also have a document called The Challenge to Change where they ask what your dream school would look like, some things that stand in the way of that and then moving on to design for change. Might be a neat piece to try and talk about for our next meeting.

Cohort21 is a conference for independent schools where they focus on hands on professional development for learning in the 21st century. Might be neat to keep in contact with.

This seems like a great start to some big changes.

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Think Tank’s first meeting

Wow! What an amazing night! It was our first Think Tank meeting last night and we had a great turn out. We ate sushi and talked about education and some changes we want to make.

Here are some of the changes we want to see:

  1. a change in the perspective of teachers and sharing more of the unwitnessed parts of teaching (time and money)
  2. More supplies and technology to all schools and classrooms.
  3. More equally between schools funds
  4. Privileged schools fundraising and splitting the proceeds with a local needy school

We also discussed what we are really happy about in our teaching practice and shared some great resources such as Natural Curiosity and Daily 5.

What do you want to change in education?

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Think Tank

Recently I was on an Eduslam binge. Eduslam is a website that makes videos with amazing educators about awesome ideas they have. Watching their videos has definitely changed me as an educator and definitely worth a watch.
I was watching one Eduslam with Karl Lindgren-Steicher and he was talking about his creation, the Coffee Cue. A Coffee Cue or aka Brew Cue is when educators casually meet up, chat education and drink coffees or beer.

I loved this idea since it is so informal and yet it has the vibe of a smaller edcamp (which I of course love).

I finished watching the video and tweeted out that we should start a Coffee Cue in Ottawa. My friend and colleague Shauna Pollock (@misspollock) immediately tweeted me back about an idea she has been thinking about for 2 years.

So the idea of Think Tank was born. Shauna and I met in July 2014 to talk about the fine details. Please see Shauna’s blog post here.

Think Tank is a time to meet with other awesome educators, share ideas and collaborate.

Is this right for you? (taken from Shauna’s blog post)

  • Are you a passionate educator of some shape, form or role?
  • Do you live in the Ottawa area? Are you visiting the Ottawa area on a Think Tank Third Thursday?
  • Are you willing to use some of your personal evening time to meet with other passionate educators?
  • Do you have questions, dreams, ideas and plans you’d like to share?
Upcoming dates:
  • Thursday, September 18th, 2014 6 p.m.-whenever, 1000 Sushi Islands, 1696 Carling Ave., Ottawa
  • Thursday, October 16th, 2014 – location TBA
  • Thursday, November 20th, 2014 – location TBA

If you have any questions, please email me at classcollective@gmail.com, tweet me @classcollect and use the hashtag #thta.

To sign up to come to Think Tank, please visit Shauna’s blog post and enter your information into the Google form!

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