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The Rookie Teacher


Archive for the ‘Community Building’


Teaching from the Thinking Heart 0

Posted on November 06, 2014 by Sarah

Nothing has been more transformational to my teaching practice than my experience with a Tribes certified instructor for my year long Teacher Education/B.Ed year. Though some people come out with a mixed experience when they pursue Tribes certification, it is certainly a course that whole heartedly depends on the instructor. I was fortunate to have someone who deeply understood the Tribes philosophy, a holistic approach to teaching that nurtured individuals, fostered positive social interactions and grew community.  Moreover, I had Gail for an entire year, not just the handful of hours it takes to get the Tribes Basics training.

teaching heart

Not only did Gail have a direct impact on my teaching strategies, she encouraged me to pursue my Masters at OISE and highly recommended a course with Jack Miller, all of which has led to this post. Jack is a leader in holistic education with almost 40 years of experience in the field. In his course, which I optimistically wrote about with the Rookie Teacher here, we practiced meditation daily, participated in various visualization exercises, kept a journal of reflections, gave mini workshops practicing our holistic approaches and had an authentic Chinese tea ceremony, always sitting in a circle. Our final assignment was a reflection piece on Holistic education and our experiences with it thus far. Needless to say, mine centered around my year with Gail. A few months after the course had completed, Jack e-mailed me asking if he could publish my final paper in his next book.

Fast forward 2 years and it’s here: Teaching from the Thinking Heart – The Practice of Holistic Education. I’m obsessed with the cover art. I’m chapter 4: Tribes – A Transformative Tool for the 21st Century. The book itself is also quite innovative for its narrative content. As an academic text used predominantly in courses, it is quite rare to have something written in the first-person. This further speaks to the Holistic approach, validating teachers’ and people’s experiences for what they are, no citations required. As such, this book is very approachable for non-academic readers as it’s not bogged down in scientific or educational jargon.

The foreword by Nel Noddings (so awesome!) speaks to the recognition of our current context of standardized curricula, objectives and evaluations and the stigma surrounding the mere mention of the word ‘soul’. Teaching to the head. But throughout the book you gain confidence and insight into the practice of teaching to the body, mind and spirit. Our students are more than just heads, their humans with emotions. As educators we must find the courage to stand up for Holistic curriculum, nurture the soul and work to make each moment in our students’ lives loving and joyful.

Copies of the book can be ordered from here or by contacting me personally.

 

 

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Engage Students in the Classroom: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 11 0

Posted on December 13, 2012 by Natasha

On today’s show, Andrew and Natasha are up at their home away from home…Glen Mhor, their old #summercamp.  We were happy to have Chantal Jackson, one of the camp’s co-directors, join us today to speak about how she keeps her staff and her campers engaged during training, playing, and day-to-day life at camp.  These techniques can also be used in the classroom.  Listen in for some tips, tricks, and the value of multiple intelligences and differentiating instruction.

Many thanks to Chantal “Match” Jackson!  A true gem in summer camping.

Summer Camp

Summer Camp By Hunter-Desportes, flickrcc.net


SHOW NOTES
Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Engage Students in the Classroom

Quick Tip for Tomorrow: Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: Milling to Music
  • Natasha: Drink Water! 
  • Chantal: Strategy – WIBYT (Write It Before You Talk) <Michael Brandwein>
Nalgene Water Bottle

Nalgene {flickrcc.net, by: By Chealion}

The Rookie Resource Bank: any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.

 

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Rookie Teacher Online
We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCA, Facebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

Early apologies for the audio on this episode, it is not as clean as usual, we were working with a different mic.

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Earth Charter Chats 0

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Sarah

Have you seen the Earth Charter?

“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.”

photo by: digital_trash, via flickrcc.net

How are you discussing global citizenship in your class? The charter is available in many languages, please consider using it in literacy, science, social sciences, art. Even in math we can calculate how much waste we are making, how much populations are growing, the decline of resources. Ecology must be embedded within our teaching, we can’t wait for it to be mandated in the curriculum. We will need future generations to think creatively about upcoming problems. As mass media and globalization connect people, we still must maintain our preserve our diversity in the web of life.

Never underestimate the difference one person can make. Always be open to be surprised by the possibilities of your students.

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Bits from Books: Trans-local learning 0

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Sarah

“Suppose that there are no universal solutions to global problems — like poverty, hunger, or environmental destruction. Suppose that the kind of large-scale systems change that many of us have been yearning for emerges when local actions get connected globally — while preserving their deeply local culture, flavor and form. What if people working at the local level were able to learn from one another, practice together, and share their knowledge — freely and fluidly — with communities anywhere? This is the nature of trans-local learning, and it happens when separate, local efforts connect with each other, then grow and transform as people exchange ideas that together give rise to new systems with greater impact and influence.”

From Walk  Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now – Margaret Wheatley & Deborah Frieze

photo by: Stuck in Customs, via flickrcc.net

Each one of us in our classrooms, schools, neighbourhoods, communities, nations can make such a difference. We may not know the answers, a plan, an end goal, but we will figure it out, together. Assumptions like the experts have the answers, we mustn’t fail, there’s no time for experimenting, we need power and governments to change, have been internalized by a dominant worldview that sees people as parts of a working machine. Power in this system is unquestioned. But we need creativity, pleasure, laughter, trial and error, growth. We need to learn and relearn our responsibilities to each other and to the Earth. Walk Out Walk On explores communities from Mexico to India, from Columbus, Ohio to Johannesburg, South Africa who are inventively creating healthy and resilient communities that bring people together with love, care and play. Refreshing examples, encouraging words and a positive, inspiring book to help motivate us all. No one is coming to help, we are part of the solution.

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Scratching the Surface of Online Collaboration 2

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Natasha

Online collaboration is such a vast subject that I’m having difficulty beginning this blog post.  I supposed I should start with the social media I use most often in education: twitter & pinterest.  Here we go…

Twitter by Webdesigner Depot, via IconFinder

Twitter by Webdesigner Depot, via IconFinder

1. Twitter: Wow, what a powerful form of social media and online collaboration!

I was first introduced to twitter back in ’09 when my friend @zoic suggested it.  At the time, I had no idea just how engaging twitter would become.  I learned the lingo pretty quickly: following, follower, 140Characters, @reply, #hashtag, #FF, DM, HootSuite, TweetDeck, etc.  Then I started my year at the faculty of education where all BEd students were encouraged to sign up for Twitter (actually, it was a prerequisite for the course, thanks to @zbpipe & #brocktechies).  We started following other educators, administrators, boards of education, like minded people who believed in the same philosophies of education as we did.  I experimented with Twitter Chats and watched in on some live web presentations.

Since then I have been able to collaborate with some great educators, we share resources, articles, a friendly hello, and I still participate in some useful chats…such as #ntchat.  This past Wednesday was my first co-mod with host Lisa Dabbs (who may be familiar thanks to The Lounge Episode 9: Long Range Planning) and Remind101.com.  Here’s what Remind101 had to say about the experience: Until You Try a Twitter Chat, You Haven’t Lived.

Ilovepins by Sneh Roy, via IconFinder

Ilovepins by Sneh Roy, via IconFinder

2. Pinterest: This year I found myself checking Pinterest before Google when searching for lesson plan ideas.  There are so many creative and talented teachers who are very willing to share their ideas and support new teachers.  I was able to come across some fantastic ideas to enhance my lessons on inferencing.  There were several anchor charts and activities – and all of them extremely creative (which helps to get my creative juices flowing).

Check out my pinboards and our Rookie Teacher Collab board (where, at the time of this post we sit at 1607 followers and 294 pins).

 

What about you? What are your favourite online collaboration sites? Tools? Let us know – comment below or join the discussion on facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher and twitter.com/TheRookieTeacher.

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Long Range Planning: The Lounge Podcast: Episode 9 4

Posted on July 25, 2012 by Natasha

We’re back with another great episode of The Lounge Podcast.  We were extremely lucky to have Lisa Dabbs from Edutopia.org and Edutopia’s New Teacher Connections Group Facilitator Skype in for the show.  She was able to enrich our conversation, give us lots of great tips and web 2.0 tools, and advise us where to start when it comes to Long Range Planning.

Cursive Calendar - photo by: Your Secret Admiral

photo by: Your Secret Admiral

I think it’s safe to say that this topic is very important to think about at this time of year (and as the school year goes on…after all, we consider plans to be working documents).  We all agreed how valuable and powerful the act of collaborating with a grade/division team plays in the process of long range planning and how successful backwards design/mapping can be when creating strong plans.

Listen in to hear our conversations about long range plans, curriculum, split/combination classes, backwards design/mapping, web 2.0 tools, staying organized, Post-It Notes, Pinterest, Evernote, Twitter, Live Binder, and more!

Find Lisa on twitter, Wednesday nights at 8:00pm EST for the New Teacher Chat (#ntchat).

This is by far one of my personal favourite podcasts yet! Huge thank you again to Lisa Dabbs for joining us…it was a pleasure to have you on, and we hope you’ll come back to continue the discussion another time.  Andrew and I really appreciate all that you are doing for new teachers.

SHOW NOTES

Each episode features three segments:

  1. Topic Discussion
  2. Quick Tip for Tomorrow
  3. The Rookie Resource Bank

Topic: Long Range Planning

photo by: Pedro Vezini

photo by: Pedro Vezini

Quick Tip for Tomorrow: Something you could do the next day in class with little or no prep and is applicable to most grade levels.

  • Andrew: About Me heads
  • Natasha: SMARTboard attendance
  • Lisa: One Little Word (http://goo.gl/NbNHO)
The Rookie Resource Bank: any electronic, print, or event resource that we found helpful in our first few years of teaching.  Of course, these are all applicable to all teachers.
Quick Shout Outs
  1. We will be working this summer to develop some content – what would you like to read about? Email or send us a tweet.
  2. Please join our discussions on Facebook.com/TheRookieTeacher
  3. We are also spending time gathering some great ideas for the classroom on Pinterest (http://bit.ly/rookiepins)

Like what you’ve heard? Have more questions? Contact us:

Rookie Teacher Online

We are always looking for ideas, feedback, tips and tricks of the trade.  Find us on Twitter @RookieTeacherCAFacebook.com /TheRookieTeacher.  If you are looking to get involved with our team, please contact us!

Thanks for listening. Join us for our Summer Podcast Series. Topics included will be: More about AQs, Classroom set up, the first day of school, Applying for Jobs, Setting up your Day Book, Developing classroom routines for your first month of school.

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Development Resources for Teachers 0

Posted on July 01, 2012 by Natasha

I really enjoy getting email from our readers…recently I received an email from a reader and fellow online collaborator.  She helps out with BestCollegesOnline.com. In mid-June they published an article called 50 Excellent Online Professional Development Resources for Teachers and thought that Rookie readers might like to take a look.

We’re all about sharing resources – if you are a contributor or run a site related to teaching and education we would love to hear from you.  Please email us at info@TheRookieTeacher.ca.  Thank you Shirley for your email, and happy teaching!

Logo-BestCollegesOnline.com

www.BestCollegesOnline.com

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Being a Rookie means Being Busy 1

Posted on May 03, 2012 by Natasha

3 février 1975 ...  flickr: Môsieur J. [version 7.0.1]

"3 février 1975 ..." || flickr.com: Môsieur J.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…

When you’re a Rookie with your 1st class…you’re awfully busy!

<wait for it>

..BUT…

In my opinion – it’s a good thing.

It means you’ve done at least 3 things:

  1. You worked really hard to get a Long Term Occasional or Permanent job (university, more university, AQ courses, resume building, interview prep, volunteering, networking, etc…)
  2. You’re working really hard to engage students in rich learning tasks, foster a love of lifetime learning, build community in your classroom, motivate students to be leaders and collaborate in a variety of subject areas, and reflecting on your practices as a teacher (this lesson worked, this one could have used ____, next time I’ll probably leave out _____, etc…)
  3. You’re maintaining your reputation, building new professional learning networks, and getting involved in your school community

So, if things are a little slow around TheRookieTeacher.ca … you know why… we’re busy little beavers.

We would love to hear your stories…How do you find the new workload? How are you preparing for a new job? Let us know in the comment section below.

ps. please feel free to pass this blog post along to your friends/family members who haven’t seen you in a while (maybe they’ll better understand life as a new teacher)

<See you in The Lounge>

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Happy March Break from The Rookie Teacher Team 1

Posted on March 12, 2012 by Natasha
"The Amazing Lego Man" photo by: KTVee, Flickrcc.net

"The Amazing Lego Man" photo by: KTVee, Flickrcc.net

From all the folks at TheRookieTeacher.ca, we wish you a very happy March Break.

Rookies: remember to take some time to rest, relax, stand on your head, breathe, and prepare yourself for the coming weeks.

DISCUSSION
Are you spending the break doing something exciting?
Share your stories in the comment section below!

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What’s behind the food we eat? 2

Posted on March 08, 2012 by Sarah

Here’s an update on what we’ve been discussing in my Pedagogy of Food course at OISE. First of all, we have a severely broken food system. Do you ever think about just where did your orange come from? Was it handpicked in a developing country? Was the worker paid fairly? How old are they? Are they happy? We partook in a mindful eating experience that reflected on these questions while also slowly, mindfully experiencing one raisin at a time. This blindness is called commodity fetishism. It’s an unhealthy attention to a commodity without regarding the social relationships that brought the commodity to us. It’s a product of our economic and political systems, creating a veil so we are unable to make informed decisions as consumers. We are unaware if the

The New Fred Meyer on Interstate on Lombard by lyzadanger

photo: lyzadanger, flickrcc.net

orange was picked by a child or by a woman who was sexually harassed. These types of veils are found everywhere in systems that affect us everyday, but when a small handful of corporations control the entire food distribution of the world, it becomes quite worrisome and dangerous. A phenomenal amount of money is spent selling and buying food, eating out, transporting and storing food, yet such a public necessity stays in a fairly private light, rarely being discussed. So what can we do as educators? Help foster critical thinking! Encourage, nay, praise questions! Excite students to make a difference and challenge them to form values and stand up for what they believe in. Model what active, citizen engagement is and have conversations about food. Plus, the only way you can inform others is to inform yourself.

 

An excellent resource for more information is “The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food” by Toronto author Wayne Roberts. It’s an essential read for everyone!

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