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Showing posts from September, 2015

One Positive Moment

At the heart of our jobs as teachers is our relationship with students. I would argue that fostering a positive relationship and building connections with students is the most important part of our job. If we don't have those relationships and connections then the whole teaching and learning part of our job becomes much harder.

As a teacher who works with youth who have had many negative experiences in their lives and in traditional schools, I work really hard to establish solid relationships with my students. As most teachers know, building these relationships can take time and patience but are so worth it once they're established. And when you build a relationship with a student you soon learn about their lives, their hopes and dreams, and anything else that impacts them.

Many of my students have either faced or are facing a number of barriers in their lives. Everything from poverty, racism, addictions and homelessness can impact their ability to come to school as well as th…

Teaching the Election

In the world of education, it is often thought that when teachers take on political and other controversial issues that we  portray a front of objectivity and neutrality to our students. We often celebrate the teachers whose politics are hidden from the classroom so they are able to just give their students the "facts" about their subject and refrain from pushing students to any one political side. At best, this is naive thinking of what is really happening in our classrooms.

Teachers are political and it is often impossible to keep our values and politics out of the classroom, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves that we're being "objective and neutral". Human beings are not robots without feelings, emotions, bias, faults and political leanings.....so why do we expect teachers to exhibit this behaviour? In fact, I would argue we do more harm as teachers when we don't share with our students the things that we are most passionate about in our wo…