Tagged: teaching

Not just playing a part

I’ve been working on a new post this weekend, a reflection on my own development as a teacher and all the footprints that truly led me to where I am right now. Something for myself but which other teachers might find some truth therein. I’m...

Stories from the trenches 4

This story comes from my time teaching at Bloor and Bay, 5th floor, N.E tower – Language Connections International. I was teaching new immigrants to Canada part of the day, foreign students the other half. Small classrooms with one wall all windows facing busy Bloor...

Keeping going …..

Today, went out for a nice bike ride with “my old man”. He’s almost 70 and he kicked my butt! Truly. I’ll admit I’m not in great shape anymore but watching my dad, “power in” the last 20 k of our ride, me lagging behind...

Back To School: The art of possibility

A story. Two teachers visit the principal’s office to get their new class assignment for the school year. The principal assigns them each to a class of new students. Both teachers don’t speak a word of the student’s mother tongue. The students don’t speak even...

Stories From The Trenches 3

In the mid to late 90’s I was teaching new immigrants to Canada, downtown Toronto. It was a government program and all new immigrants with lower level language fluency would get paid for up to a year, if they regularly attended language lessons. I’ve written...

Stories From The Trenches 2

I had the luck to start teaching English at a school where I basically had free reign to teach as I saw fit.  It was just after the fall of communism in the Czech Republic (then still Czechoslovakia), a beautiful spa city, Karlovy Vary. I...

Stories from the Trenches

If you’ve been to any of my training sessions, workshops, presentations – you’ll know I often start with a story  They are a perfect way to frame conversation and get us thinking about our teaching.  We are hard wired for narrative and I think for...

Doing What Works For You

Throughout my teaching career, I’ve often found myself  in what I term, “the rut”.  Not bored of teaching nor unexcited but rather teaching without any “spice” and just going through the motions.  Settled is what I call it.  Finding myself feeling like I’ve figured it...

Teacher Training

Please see my Teacher Training page for loads of presentations I’ve created and delivered throughout my teaching career.   My new glossary is also a steadfast reference. This list and video library of Educational Thinkers has a lot of valuable learning. Please be sure to...

It’s About Relationships

There is one thing that too often gets left behind in all the post it notes stuck on the door of educational reform: Teacher – student relationships.    Not enough do we hear the message that what education really is about is what invisibly transpires...

Low Impact Teaching

Over the last 5 to 10 years, I’ve been developing new ideas about how we should be teaching in our classrooms.   These ideas have changed as the possibilities and promises of educational technology have become reality. The most fundamental of these ideas are always...

Reformation not reform

Last week I watched the “Reinvent Learning” roundtable with Howard Reingold. As I walked and ran on my treadmill (got in a good 14 k), I listened to the pronouncements of all the experts about what is happening or should happen in education right now....

Reflective Writing: Thomas Farrell

Last month I attended a weekend course on Reflective Practice led by Thomas Farrell.   This year, one of my own goals has been to attend to my own professional development instead of leading workshops, giving presentations and all that.  As the French say, “reculer...

5 Myths About Learning

I spent part of the morning rereading Frank Smith, particularly his thoughts about how we learn. Delightful, insightful, thoughtful.  Here’s an excerpt from his book: Comprehension and Learning but I also highly recommend his book about whole language, Understanding Reading. One of the things that...

Go By Playgrounds, Teachers.

A poem I wrote based on Leonard Cohen’s famous “Go by brooks, my love.” See all my poetry on my poetry blog. If interested in using poetry in the classroom, this page will be valuable.

It’s About Relationships

I’ve been spending a wonderful Christmas with family and friends in Canada over the holidays.  Lots of activity, birthdays along with parties and the regular Christmas meetings and greetings.  It got me really thinking about life and especially the glue that keeps all life together...

The #1 …. teaching prop

** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1.                           A Wig or a Hat A teacher wears many hats, so why not actually wear one? Especially for a language teacher, it...

Joking Matters

I’ve spent the weekend reading the Heidegger and a Hippo walk through those Pearly Gates, the sequel to the amazing Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. Amazing books that combine commentary with jokes. As I’m reading, I was thinking of how jokes so...

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