As a teacher today in this fast paced, constantly changing world, it is really hard to keep up to date with all the different teaching tools, websites, and strategies.
We created Ottawa Teachers Professional Learning Community (OTPLC) for all different kinds of teachers to come together and learn about one new topic a month and have hands on time to play with the tools and chat with other teachers.
Our first get together is on February 16th, 2017 at Oh So Good in Westboro at 6pm. This is a very casual where you can connect with other teachers, grab a coffee and make sure to bring your device.
Occasional, contract, public, and student teachers are all welcome.
To know more about this, please check out the website at https://otplc.wordpress.com/
At Edcamp Ottawa this past weekend, there was a session all about occasional teachers, the process and the struggles. I remember being an occasional teacher (OT) for the OCDSB and was so frustrated with the wait to get my own classroom.
During the session I talked about spending your time as an OT learning and getting ready for your future classroom and students.
Afterwards, I spoke to the two OT’s running the session, Jessica Davis and Courtney White. I told them I had the idea in the past of giving training sessions to OT’s who wanted to learn. We decided to put it into action.
We are sending around the below form to ask you what you want to learn about. We are hoping to put together a bunch of sessions that will help OT’s learn relevant information to help them in their future classrooms and with their future students. We are only collecting your email so we can email you when we figure out when these sessions will be.
Please fill out the form below and please share it with your OT friends!
I began gearing up for my Summer Reading plans in May and wanted to get a bunch of professional books that I could read. I have a huge list on Goodreads but wanted something special to read, so I reached out.
Pernille Ripp is an influential teacher and person to me. Her book, ‘Passionate Learners’ changed my entire viewpoint as a teacher. You can check out my blog post about her book ‘Passionate Learners’ here and her other book ‘Empowered Schools, Empowered Students’ here.
I had never heard of ‘Unshakable’ but I went online and ordered it right away.
This is what I learned from Angela Watson’s ‘Unshakeable.
- Bring your personality into your classroom. We are all unique so share with your students what you are passionate about and what you love. If you share your true self with students, you will have a better time in the classroom and create a stronger bond with your students.
- Be present. At school with your students or when you are completing your work. Don’t watch T.V. while you mark papers because you will be doing it all night long. Focus on marking and allot yourself a specific amount of time to truly focus. In the classroom don’t multitask. Listening and look at your students, be involved. The work can wait.
- Make lists of what you need to complete daily. I find this so important for me. If I don’t write it down on a list, I will forget about it. Writing my to-do’s on a list will ensure that they get done, even if I’m procrastinating completing them.
- Prepare for the morning to make it less stressful. Next year I’m going to pick out what I’m going to wear the night before. I find I get stressed by this decision and it makes me frazzled and I just grab whatever to wear. When I look better, I feel better so I will make time for that.
- Make a positive impression with parents on the first day of school or before. Call or leave a message introducing yourself, your contact information, and Meet the Teacher night info. This will start a positive relationship from day one.
- No more complaining or listening to complaining. Change the subject or walk away. This year is going to be positive.
- I need to create a personal and classroom vision statement.
- Let the students discover why you are teaching a certain lesson. Why do you need to know this now?
- Have fun! Create a classroom music playlist with your students. Dance, and be silly.
- Students and teachers both need down time throughout the day. Plan to have downtime worked into your schedule. If you are feeling drained, your students are too.
- Teach and reteach routines and procedures. It’s good for the teacher as well as the students to know exactly what to do. If there are changes to the routine, write them on the board.
Obviously from this list I learned a lot. I really encourage all teachers to buy and read this book. I will definitely look at this book for inspiration and for resources for years to come.
On July 14th, 15th, and 16th I was honoured to present “Get Connected: Professionally and in your Classroom” for ETFO’s Summer Academy. I was a 3 day course that I created, organized and presented.
Maybe you are interested in this course but could not attend so I’ve decided to share my 3 day presentation and resources I used in the course with you.
The course covers:
To get the entire course, click on the picture below
I was lucky enough to be a presenter for ETFO’s Summer Academy this summer. My workshop is called “Get Connected: In your Classroom and Professionally” and we learned about Twitter, Blogging, Skype, Global Projects and GAFE. I had 3 days to teach these teachers with varying degrees of technology experience how to create and use these tools to connect themselves and their students to the world.
While teaching these amazing teacher’s who gave up three days of the summer vacation to come spend time with me I learned some great lessons.
Learning is joyful.
After the school year, teachers are so tired and burnt out. Yet, teachers sign up for courses and read books just to be better at teaching the next year. During the course when I was explaining Google Drive, a teacher jumped out of her seat and ran to hug me in front of a whole room of teachers. The power of learning and sharing how to learn motivates us to be better and do better. Another teacher started clapping when she understood how to do something and then tweeted about it.
We are all experts at something.
After the first day of presenting “Get Connected” I went for a walk with two other teachers. One of the teachers I start walking with, Barbara Brockmann, turns out to have won a Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History and a Writer’s Award for her book of five plays that brings wartime history alive for students in Grades 5-12 in 2014. You never know who you are going to meet at these conferences so always make sure to meet some new people. We are all experts at something, what are you an expert at?
Teachers just want to share.
During our walk, Barbara begins to share many resources to teach social studies for my future Grade 6 class. When you feel passionate about a topic, it shines through and I was thrilled with all the resources she shared with me. I actually had to go back to my hotel room to grab my laptop to record them all.
Here are all the links if you are interested:
Project of Heart http://projectofheart.ca/
I’m so excited to be teaching Grade 6 next year. One thing that I want to do with my class every week is Goal Setting. I recently finished reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg.
It was an interesting read and one that really can be linked to the classroom environment. Students need to learn how to set goals so they will succeed in their later educational pursuits, work and in life. I know that in my personal life sometimes I need a reward to complete a task that I don’t want to do such as working out or doing the dishes. I created this worksheet for students to use and to practice creating their own goals. For students to be able to complete their goals, they need to be as descriptive as possible in how, when, and where they are going to complete their goals.
Click on the picture to download.
I’m sure you have some students in your class that have a routine that is less than positive. The below worksheet is to change their routine. You would meet with the student in private, when they are calm and discuss the trouble they are having.
For example: Student A sees another students take one of his crayons and he hits them to get it back. You can discuss why this happens, what are some other options they could choose and the student could suggest some rewards that they would like to get if they choose a better option rather than hitting. Please click on the picture to download.
The below image is from CharlesDuhigg.com, the author of “The Power of Habit” and also describes in detail how to change a habit.
I would highly recommend reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg.
I’m so excited to have been chosen to present and plan a 3 day course for ETFO’s Summer Academy. My course is called ‘Get Connected-Professionally and in your Classroom.’ I have never planned something this huge and need some help to make sure I’m planning it well.
I want to it be a jam packed 3 day session that provides a lot of learning but leaves you resources to learn on your own if you don’t it it all during the 3 days.
Here is my planning breakdown:
Introductions, Setting your class to connect (permission forms), Digital Citizenship, Twitter Basics, & Classroom Blogging
Twitter Con’t, Skype, Skype in the Classroom, Google Hangouts, Connected Classrooms, Mystery Skype, Mystery Number, Global Projects & Professional Blogging
Google Drive, Forms and Docs, Go Noodle and Remind
I would love some feedback.
With Summer quickly approaching I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to read over the break.
Here is my list:
Unshakeable by Angela Watson
“Reinventing Writing:The 9 tools that are changing Writing, Teaching and Learning Forever” by Vicki Davis
Going to continue to read, “The Power of Habits” by Charles Duhigg
And I’m going to re-read “Passionate Learners” by Pernille Ripp
What are you reading this summer? Let me know in the comments below or let me know if you have a suggestion.
Scott Monahan has started an amazing collaboration project. He is trying to gather all of the Ontario Curriculum on one spreadsheet/database for easy referencing. He is asking for teachers to help and choose a grade and subject to enter into the Google Form he has created.
If we all chip in and do our part, an amazing resource will be created for all Ontario educators to use. If you help out, you will also have your name on the document when it is completed. What a great idea and opportunity!
If you are interested in helping out, check out the website here.
ETFO has released it’s Summer Academy Workshop list and I’m on it! You can checkout ETFO’s whole Summer Academy list here, or you can check out my workshop here.
Come hang out with me on a resort with a beach for 3 days of amazing learning and connecting!