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!
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.
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!
I was so lucky to be able to attend the first Bilingual and the biggest ever GAFE Summit in Ottawa this past weekend. I got to hear the incredible George Couros deliver an emotional keynote and see him present a session about blogging as a teaching portfolio.
He talked about having a blog as a teacher to show your learning that happens day to day and to showcase your talents. In order to blog, you need to really think what you are writing about, interact with it and therefore thoroughly understand the subject. A blog as a teacher is a great way to ask questions, brainstorm, and try out new ideas.
The new trend in education is to get students to blog about their learning. I’m trying it out this year for the 1st time with my first and second graders. In order for us to get students to blog, you need to learn to do it yourself. You are their role model and you can’t ask them to do something that you aren’t willing to try out yourself. Learning to write is really important but there are so many other ways for students to demonstrate their learning. They can make videos, take pictures, or make podcasts. All of these are ways to document their learning and are so powerful when the student sees how they have improved.
Tips for Blogging as a Teaching Portfolio:
- Images are more powerful that words
- Tag your posts using your Standards of Practice
- Include your name in the post or tag it to increase SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Gather kind tweets, emails, notes… for your blog
Amy Bowker, Teacher
Did you hear the news in Ottawa today? Today a ‘suspicious’ package was put at D. Roy Kennedy’s parking lot, obviously a scary thing to happen to any school. Luckily it all turned out ok, and no one was hurt.
The only problem was that I was in the middle of an interview for that school when this occurred. Due to short turn around times, I had 3 interviews the night before and one first thing in the morning at D. Roy Kennedy. Half way through my interview questions, both the principal and vice principal got called out to deal with a ‘parking lot issue.’
After a bit of time, my interview got postponed. I decided to leave since I had to teach at my current school at 9am but the parking lot was locked down by police. We waited for the bomb squad to arrive and I was told it would be around an hour longer. I made arrangements with my school but went to Starbucks to buy something warm to drink after siting outside for a while.
Anyways, I finally got to leave after the scene was cleared and everything turned out safely in the end.
Thanks for a memorable last interview as a non-permanent employee!
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?
- 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 email@example.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!