Monthly Archives: November 2015



What do you do if your nature and training says “leader” but your personality says “don’t control?” You become an Educator. You lead, encourage, exemplify, and demonstrate how to bring out the best in others, without controlling them.

Teachers don’t just make things happen, they allow people to change and grow!  Format, question, draft and resolution, names for activities, but what is going on inside, the curiousity, ambition, challenges and achievements are personal; students own them and proceed forward with each iteration, constantly refining themselves and reminding us as Educators how very essential it is to make room for the surprise responses, the non-conventional answers, the real thinking to progress.






Doable; writing to express

When we teach writing skills and encourage students to blog, we also need to encourage them to try different writing styles and at times not only read but also write simply for the “fun of it.”

And as is often mentioned teachers are encouraged to model writing “off the cuff”-

This one is titled:  DOABLE

Modern multitasking: put vegetables in the oven on slow roast –suggestions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, eggplant …turn to 375 degrees as slow roasting brings out best flavour; apply hair colour; clean bathroom while waiting for hair colour to settle= food roasting will not only provide later nourishment but lovely smells; clean washroom = spa like feel when showering to remove hair colouring and refresh, and if have in suite laundry- well, then, do that too! Total time two hours from start to finish- now enjoy the roasted vegetables and walk out the door knowing home is clean and fresh upon return.

Note: buy fresh vegetables in advance and if laundry not in- suite, then while doing laundry after shower, clear emails, post correspondence, and plan week-blogging,  banking, bills, and invoicing time too!

Super woman; could even get in a pedicure and yoga meditation while waiting for nails to dry…Multitasking works!

Extra bonus points: find the literary devices inserted

Raising Global Students

World news via the internet and food-

Simple snack- a few dried figs; flip over the package and learn “product of Turkey”- then pause for a moment to marvel that this product arrived safely in America and even on a strict budget such a treat can be had- one packed with nutrients too! Then open the internet to Global News and find out a little bit more about Turkey, the place of origin… Topical and relevant to any High School IB students actually curious about how their education as future global citizens can be transferred from events which are happening “out there” to events that could affect what is or continues to be available here- and it is this broadening of recognition of ways in which trade continues to influence not only our perceptions of when, where, and how countries do work together, but also how even relatively simple products that one might take for granted- the little package of figs sold for under three dollars Canadian and is portable, makes an instant energy snack, and has a shelf life- needs no refrigeration – yet packs a solid amount of calcium and fibre in a few bites. Additionally it may be rehydrated if used in soups or stews or compotes, adding both flavour and extra “punch” to both a vegetarian and a carnivore’s diet. So how did it make the trail from growing in a Turkish garden to the grocery aisles down the street, and in what way does our purchasing this food item make a dent in helping a country overseas? Where do trade and politics intersect?

Students are encouraged to do their own further research, coming up with a thesis focus and could even plan an interactive debate on the merits of global trade sanctions, and which parts of a community may inadvertently be “punished” when sanctions are imposed. In plain English- who might still benefit- who might get hurt?

When we as educators encourage the active constructing of project based learning and not merely encourage but also allow for student input into further directions they may wish to explore, we are offering opportunity for student leaders to emerge. And of course, one needn’t stop at “figs.”

Eliminating an us versus them attitude – for in class discussions

Have you seen the first episode of “Supergirl” where there is a frank discussion about choosing the word “girl” versus the word “woman”- and the word “girl” wins– like many a young female today in certain parts of the world where opportunity to learn and participate is encouraged instead of being denied.

From the current “play like a girl” advertisements which do feature among others Olympic level girls playing, throwing, biking, rowing…to the images of scientists, astronauts, the almost ubiquitous doctors and dentists and therapists, plus the CEO of a corporation or two, women have “come a long way” – a popular quote on another TV show –one from the 70s where the police officer “Kojak” liked to remind women they had come a long way but tacked on the term “baby” to suggest much further “equalizing” would be needed. From “baby” to “girl” then might suggest the changes which have occurred over the past forty years- a generation of hard work on the part of prominent citizens, male and female alike, who have written, spoken, marched and educated women to recognize both their rights and their privileges within a “modern” social order.

And “Superman” appears to be aging gracefully, making way for not only a new breed of female, but actually the continuity of his race- if following the story line, Superman and Supergirl are family. And Supergirl is much more egalitarian and democratic than her older cousin; Supergirl isn’t afraid to work together with her friends, to share her knowledge of her superpowers, while also striving to improve her strengths through practice. Superman had appeared to spring full strength onto the scene, Supergirl may occasionally leave a bit of a mess, as she learns how to balance “work and play.”

Watching episode #1, I had to agree with the critics, the show is a delight of insightful looks at today’s society, while offering males and females images of men and women –strong, courageous and flawed, less than perfect regardless of super powers. And continuing with a very important belief – that to “save the world” people will need to work together.