Like me, you’re a teacher in one of the most dynamic, challenging, creative, invigorating educational
communities in the country. Like me, you spend many, many hours in the teaching hive – that vast 24 hour hive that teachers live in, where everything we encounter from the most mundane to the most elevated morphs into a lesson, a link to a text or a particular student. Teaching lives in our nightmares as well as our dreams. Like me, you are endlessly, pleasurably and frustratingly involved with this work you do, sometimes to the detriment of family and health. This passion and compulsion we share is lost on those for whom teachers are nothing more than always-on-vacation talking heads. But we know. Our families and friends know even if they don’t always understand.
For several years now, I’ve pined for a forum in which to mull over concerns and ideas that affect me in my teaching. I knew that this forum needed to be separate from any Ministry, Board or school affiliation. I wanted to be able to speak true about my experience without mentioning the names of students, colleagues or schools because as teachers, we are sensitive to issues of confidentiality, privacy and professionalism.
Here’s how I see this blog working (at least initially): I’m going to publish short articles on subjects that rankle me and hope you find them provocative enough to write a response. These essays will appear on separate pages. You will have the opportunity to respond on the relevant page. Should you go on to read another essay on another topic on another page of this blog, you may respond there too. I hope you will.
There are naturally, a few rudimentary pre-requisites that I would like everyone writing on the blog to uphold.
1. I want to write about ideas in my daily life as a teacher without indulging in pettiness or personal griping. I want to keep the tone exploratory.
2. There will be no naming of schools, students, staff or any people associated with our schools.
3. I will maintain to the best of my ability a standard of writing that honours truthfulness, humour, wit and English grammar.
4. I will avoid falling, by any means necessary, into the pit of edubabble. I will wrestle with words, not slogans.
5. While I am a dedicated, professional teacher, I am fully human too. There may be occasional weirdness. Hope you’re OK with that.
6. I am more interested in expressing feelings and thoughts, even honestly confused ones, about my experience teaching in Toronto than I am in discussing teaching strategies and methodologies. This may seem like a contradiction. Perhaps it is.
7. Finally, when you post a comment on an article, you will be asked for your user name and email address. You may use any code name you wish (mine is T.O. teacher) and a valid e mail address.
So, Welcome. Please try out my first two pages, “Teaching Girls in Toronto” and “Novel Wars”.