The New Alberta Social Studies Curriculum has a seemingly random and illogical scope and sequence of learning, developmentally inappropriate material, overt emphasis on capitalism, and is based on a scarcity model. Those are the least of our worries.
Here are the things we should be deeply concerned about:
1. Revering systems of oppression and war.
In the New Alberta Social Studies Curriculum, we are teaching children — at the age of 6 — to honour systems of oppression and war.
In Grade 1, students learn about hereditary rulers. They must understand “societies had ruling elites who governed the rest of…
The average Canadian woman works 17.5 additional hours of unpaid work related to household tasks and childrearing than the average man each week. To be clear—that’s additional hours. Every week. That’s a s***load of work.
This unpaid work has significant implications on all aspects of women’s lives — our mental health, our career potential, our earning potential, and our overall physical wellbeing. So, in honour of next week’s International Women’s Day, I’d like to challenge you to speak to your partner about the number 17.5.
Creating a household that runs on the principles of equity and mutual respect is —…
I — like many of us — would like to leave the past year firmly behind in a drawer, never to be opened again.
However, in education, we know that the most durable learning — that is, learning that is long lasting and easily applied to new situations — is often the learning that comes with challenges.
An element of frustration is involved. It is just enough to challenge the students without overwhelming them.
2020 was a year of deep learning for many of us. Mostly out of force. For some of us, out of tragedy. …
My first year of teaching in the public school system, I was 23 years old, living in the Old Fourth Ward neighbourhood of Atlanta, GA in a one bedroom apartment. I was relatively new to a city of 4.6 million people.
I received a position as a middle school art teacher in a community that was experiencing systemic challenges such as poverty and underfunding of schools.
Instead of providing the necessary supports, the government passed the responsibility over to the public school system. In other worlds, to us, the teachers.
In my youthful naivety, I wholeheartedly immersed myself into my…
“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’… One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.” Ibram X Kendi
Following this past spring and the #BlackLivesMatter protests, marches, and vigils honouring those killed by police brutality, I’ve come to the obvious conclusion about myself and those who look like me: White folks, we have some work to do. And the work starts with ourselves.
We cannot speak about systematic racism, we cannot hold an intelligent conversation about racism, we cannot…
Let’s talk for a moment about my daughter’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. X.
No, that is not her real name, but I would like to protect her identity and “X” has a cool, mysterious sound to it. And Ms. X is very cool. She wears fun shoes and sings. During this remote learning journey, Ms. X has everything done perfectly. PERFECTLY.
She follows the Alberta Education Guidelines. She focuses on basic literacy and numeracy skills. She provides open-ended assignments that follow a clear pattern every week. She assigns a small number of assignments that are fun, hands-on, age appropriate, easily adaptable…
Last week, I was speaking with a friend on the phone. I love her dearly and would do anything for her.
She asked me for wellness advice. My response was a hard and fast, “No.”
You see, now is not the time.
I have watched with fascination as people online have reacted to the Global Pandemic in various ways.
9 Wellness Tips for Educators, Writers, Feminists, & Those Changing the World
These 9 practices have kept me on a path of mental and physical wellbeing over the years. They the are ones I return to over and over again. There is no particular order to them. I actually jotted them down in a journal while bathing my two small kids. (Because that’s how my life is right now. Let’s go with it.) Take them. Share them. Make them your own. I hope you enjoy.
This post is challenging for me to write, as I would be generally content to spend December living off of frothy coffee drinks and holiday cheese balls. Except that when I have previously attempted this ‘Eat anything! Drink anything!’ holiday mentality, my energy plummets. My immune system is shot. I feel sluggish. I can’t think clearly. It’s not the ideal way to end the year.
Which is why I remind myself over and over again, “If we want to be the best possible version of ourselves, we must put our wellness as teachers as a top priority.”
Especially in December.
November sees us wrapping up the term. Often, that means our students are slammed with multiple deadlines and tests. For some of these students, the anxiety of the end-of-term deadlines can be paralyzing.
We find ourselves telling our students to “Work on your project, it’s due soon!” or “Don’t forget to study!”
But, ask yourself, when was the last time you taught your students how to work effectively or how to study in addition to telling them to do so? And, when was the last time you told them why they are doing it?
It was not until much later…