Thursday, February 12, 2015

Esse quam videri

Alma mater

I visited my alma mater, Esquimalt High School, today. It was wonderful to see some of my teachers (while some others are away on amazing adventures). I am proud of my roots in EHS's community of learners/leaders, and our culture of service and passion. Visiting as a student-teacher was a really amazing experience.

As I was leaving today, the word "nourish" was in my mind. I felt nourished - and not just because I ate lunch in the staff room. It was a more complete form of nourishment. Since alma means nourishing or kind in Latin, I am not the first to think this way about the nature of education!

Speaking of Latin, EHS's motto is Esse quam videri, which means "to be, rather than to seem." My teachers' authenticity has shaped who I am and how I live. They treated me as an equal, and encouraged me to go beyond what I thought I could do. They care so deeply for their students, for each other, and for the education profession. (Buzzwords and jargon aside: education relies on connection, like Rita Pierson says in her TEDTalk.) My goal is to honour them by striving to be the best teacher I can be.


Inquiry-based? Tech yeah!

Tech should not just be used for its own sake.
This morning I visited @trev_mackenzie's English 12 class. It was awesome to witness an inquiry-based classroom culture being created. Technology was being integrated from the very start. Students had access to iPads to enhance classroom activities, and they are assigned blog posts as a way to keep track of their learning. Students in this class are also given the opportunity to use Explain Everything to create presentations. The classroom was equipped with an Apple TV, which was hooked up to an LCD projector. This arrangement is great showcasing student work and facilitating discussions.

Great writing comes from passion and strong, informed opinions.   
What does really good teaching look like? The students discussed this question to get them ready for their first blog posts. This is an important question to think about, so I created this infographic with their answers. I have long admired infographics, but this is my first time making one. I used I will definitely be making more infographics. I am going to look into other ways to create them. I love quick, accessible representations of information that are easily shared on social media!

RBCM Learning Portal

At EHS, I heard about the Royal BC Museum's new Learning Portal today. I took a brief look at it, but I think it will be the source of hours of a-museum-ent. Seriously though, there is some amazing content, and it looks like it's only going to get better!

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