World Teachers’ Day – Oct 5 2021

Every year at this time I like to write a blog post to acknowledge our teachers — both past and present — for the incredibly important work that they do in our schools for students and their families.

Teaching to a Captive Audience

We all remember our own time in school. For me, and for many others, what made school great were the teachers who showed up every day to be with us. Sure, sometimes the subject matter content was fun, but more importantly it was the teacher at the front of the room who made the difference.

I have many fond memories of my teachers — most of them were amazing — truly caring individuals who wanted what was best for me. Today, I want to talk about Mr. Polukoshko. I mentioned him briefly in my post back in 2017, but for some reason, I feel the need to express my thanks about him again today.

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Gender Differences in Learning

I remember my post from a couple of years ago where I placed a disclaimer at the beginning asking for people to NOT email me with ‘the exception that disproves the rule’. The post was published in Dec 2019 (Teenager Emotions – Some Intriguing Research) and talked about how teenagers processed their emotions differently than younger children and most adults. Yes, we could always find an exception to the general findings — people are complex like that — but, that does not mean that a general relationship or trend isn’t evident.

I feel like I should probably start out this blog post with the same request.

I’m going to be talking about some research suggesting there are differences between how boys and girls learn. So, to qualify things before I receive comments or concerns, I am not saying that EVERY child will fall into this binary description. Children are diverse like the rest of our population and do not automatically fit into stereotyped boxes of ‘boys’ or ‘girls’. Even suggesting that there is this binary world of only two genders does not fully acknowledge the spectrum of gender identity in our world.

The messages I want to share with you today are meant to provoke thought about how CHILDREN learn differently. Feel free to even take the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ away and think about them as ‘differences amongst children’.

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A New Year Begins – Along With Some Anxiety

Autumn in Victoria, BC

September is such a magical time of the year.

Autumn is the season of cooler weather, crisp leaves on the ground and corn on the cob — all worth looking forward to for sure. But, for me and others in public education, September is also our New Year. It’s a time of starting again, the excitement of seeing the kids back in classrooms, maybe some fun new equipment in the school and the optimism of tackling new challenges with some energy in one’s personal tank.

It’s really a great time of year.

As I enter my 34th year in public education that excitement is still there — freshly polished floors, big ideas on our learning agenda and a bunch of exciting new projects to tackle.

Yet, similar to last fall there is still a feeling of anxiety amongst many in our community. COVID continues to provide a significant distraction for many and a challenge for us as we focus on teaching and learning.

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