Archive of ‘Leadership in Learning Communities’ category

How we should be raising our girls

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Growing up as a girl, you are constantly told “don’t get dirty,” “be kind,” “be the better person,” and “don’t cause any trouble.”

Growing up this way, I realized that I was being told to listen, not to ask questions, do as you’re told; smile, but don’t talk. Looking back now, I can see that.

The huge problem that I have with this is that we are training our girls to be treated badly.

I think we should start raising our girls to stand up for what they believe in, ask questions, to be brave and to know they can accomplish anything.

I know this movement has already begun, but daily I see a difference between the way we treat boys and girls and this gets transferred to our students and children.

We need to encourage our students to be risk taskers, to ask questions and to stand up for what they believe in, no matter what their gender is.


Focusing on Learning

During the last Ontario Edchat we were chatting about Report Cards. It was an amazing discussion that really made me start thinking. We should be focusing on our students learning, not just assessing for grades. I decided to create these learning focused worksheets that your students can use to see what they knew about the topic before the unit and what they learned after the unit is completed. In an ideal world I would use these sheets unit after unit so that the routine is automatic and the students feel confident about it. Here are the two different versions.


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The next one I thought would be neat to do more of a brainstorm on. The students can fill out what they know about a particular subject and fill in the box attached to “What I think I know” in one colour. At the end of the unit they can add what they learned about that topic but in another colour and add another colour to the box attached to “What I know now.” I decided to choose the wording “What I think I know” because it makes the students feel more comfortable to write things down and when they are writing about their learnings after the unit is complete they can cross out what they learned is not true.

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Please let me know what you think of these printables in the comments and let me know if you used them.

Week 2: Cold Thaw Collaboration Challenge

I am participating in the Cold Thaw Collaboration Challenge being put on by the wonderful Maria Verwey. For week 2 we have been asked what we are reading, what our professional goals are for this year and our one word for 2015.


Right now I’m reading ‘Making Thinking Visible’ which is my book club book. 047091551x

This upcoming Wednesday we are reading and discussing Chapter 2. Last week we discussed Chapter 1 and I was blown away by the amazing discussion we had. You can still participate and sign up here.

I’m also reading ‘What Great Teachers do Differently’ by Todd Whitaker.


Right now I have a lot of professional goals. I became a Google Educator in the summer and I’m working on becoming a Google Trainer this year.

Since it is my first year being a contract and permanent teacher, I’ve been focused on learning about how a school really works. I joined the School Learning Plan Committee (SLP), the Lead Team, and am hoping to be on our Technology Team.

I’m also focused on continuing to provide great PD opportunities. I am hoping to do that through a Summer Conference I’m hoping to help plan, my #bowkerbook club that is happening right now and maybe in the summer months, applying to present at a ETFO Summer Academy workshop and another Edcamp Ottawa next fall. I am also hoping to continue with Ontario’s Edchat (@Onedchat) and make it more popular.

In my classroom I also want to focus more on learning rather than marks and continuing to try to collaborate and do cool projects even though it seems to not be working out this year.

My One Word: 

My one word is Care. I wrote a post about it here.


My 1st time teaching teachers

As teachers, we always teach students. I have taught students from kindergarten all the way to Grade 8 during my 7 year career as a teacher. Teaching teachers is new to me though.

I began this journey since I want to become a Google trainer. I have done some training through my youtube how to videos but I thought before applying to be a Google trainer I should teach some teachers in real life.


I transferred schools and noticed that teachers in my new school only use gmail in GAFE and I wanted to share how amazing and powerful these tools are. I sent out an email containing a Google form and asked which Google apps they would be interested in learning about. After their feedback I set up a time where most people could come, and a schedule.

Last Tuesday was our first training that focused on Gmail. I noticed that teachers are just like students. They have questions, they want to try out their learning right away, and they need one on one help and guidance sometimes. I also really noticed that teachers just like students learn at their own pace and the trainer needs to follow the flow of the audience. My group started working on making labels so we didn’t get to finish my training. It was fine because they were excited about it.

Excited to train them all about Google Drive next Tuesday!

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.


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.


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.


Real Penguin eggs was really neat to see.


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



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


I’m short next to a polar bear.


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


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!



Uplifting Leadership: My Favourite Quotes

I was recommended to read “Uplifting Leadership: How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performances” by Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle and Alma Harris.  It was an incredible book that I really connected with. I found that when I was reading the book I really agreed with it and had many ‘aha’ moments. I would recommend this book to all superintendents, principals, vice-principals and all teachers. It’s time for change.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from this book that really stood out to me.

If you like these posters, you can download them for yourself here. If you download them, please leave a comment about which one spoke to you the most and why. Enjoy!


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