Those were the days: my great aunt's recollection of school in the 1920s

My Great Aunt Doris was a school teacher. She has long since left us, but she wrote a short booklet of family memories back in 1983. One of those recollections, titled, "School and Careers", always struck me as both funny and sad and I have always wanted to share the story with others. Here is […]

Mindfulness and Meditative Practice in Education

University of Manitoba professor of Education, Thomas Falkenberg is deeply involved in education for sustainable well-being. I recently read his article, "Teaching as Contemplative Professional Practice" in which he explores the benefits of mindfulness and ongoing self-awareness in the teaching profession. Training ourselves to be aware not just of our practice and strategies or our […]

Touching story of integration and an insightful teacher aide

Middle years Halloween dances are loud, energetic, and smelly. Almost every student is there, dancing and shouting conversations over the thump thump of the music. Near the back of the room a teacher aid moves in front of a severely disabled student: blind and restricted to a wheelchair. She holds the arms of the chair […]

#eduwin Changing student self image through positive talk

There is always one. Sometimes more. The challenging kids that show up with reputations and rap sheets. My strategy is to talk up a positive year, right from the start. Focus on the good, build up the image of a positive individual, delight in achievements, focus on the feeling of legitimate accomplishment. Use lots of […]

Middle School Students Advocate for Social Justice as Global Citizens

Social Justice in the Middle Years This post briefly describes and assembles some media from a social justice project we did after working with the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. The project evolved from a fundraising effort likely to raise a few hundred dollars to something much larger. The entire school was brought on board engaging […]

Cdn Aboriginal Lit. for middle years makes Residential School issue accessible

In preparation for a Middle Years Aboriginal Literature meeting, I read My Name is SEEPEETZA by Shirley Sterling. Seepeetza is an aboriginal child separated from her stable, successful, and loving family at age 12 to attend residential school. In that joyless and sterile environment, she is exposed to ridicule and abuse. She chronicles a year of her […]

"I don't want to need it someday. I need to want it now."

If school is preparation for work, and work is what we do to live, then when do we live? Viewing school as something we do to prepare for the "real world" or for some career in "the future" we lose sight of the present. Today's activities are not done solely to achieve some nebulous future goal. […]

Media Literacy Must Include Social Media

After reading only the first paragraph of Emily Gover's article, "The Importance Of Education In A Facebook World" I hit an intellectual wall I knew I had to get over if I was to be effective at helping my students navigate the murky waters of social media. She encountered a story posted by a friend that […]

Stories from the School Parking Lot

The car pulls up to the middle school entrance. A parent and her child - one of the ones that can be a challenge sometimes, one that takes that extra effort to really appreciate. He leans over, gives his mom a kiss on the cheek. She smiles and cups the back of his head with […]

Childrens' Literature Changing Settings

This post is far more academic than any of my others, so reader, be warned. (cross-posted to While studying my B. A. at the University of Manitoba in the mid to late 80's, I fell in love with Canadian Literature (CanLit). Courses with David Arnason and Dennis Cooley, encounters with Robert Kroetsch, and had […]

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