Misha Abarbanel
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Misha Abarbanel is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Toronto (Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development) and a high school English teacher. He aspires to open a holistic secondary school in Toronto by 2022. Misha served as an English/Literacy Curriculum Leader in the Toronto District School Board, and as President of the Ontario Student Debating Union. Follow Misha on Twitter: @MishaAbarbanel

Entries by Misha Abarbanel

22 Things New Teachers Need To Hear On Their First Day In Class

(3) Comments | Posted August 15, 2016 | 4:02 PM

American kids are back in school; Canadian kids return September 6. While the first day of a new school year is usually daunting to say the least -- Will my teachers like me? Will I like my teachers? Who's in my classes? Will people be nice to me? -- nothing...

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The Arguments Around Assisted Death

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2016 | 1:12 PM

Conscientious objection and civil disobedience have been instrumental in ending slavery and stopping wars, leading to the attainment of many human rights. When people are asked to uphold a law they find unjust or unethical, it is important for them to speak up and voice what they think is right....

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Embracing The Benefits Of Holistic Education

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 10:50 AM

"The world only spins forward," wrote Tony Kushner. Schools, on the other hand, too often only spin. Or they get stuck altogether. When they do, blame does not always lie tidily with teachers, administrators, school boards, parents, or the government, and certainly not with "kids these days." We look for...

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Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum Infringes Parents' Rights? Think Again

(82) Comments | Posted September 13, 2015 | 8:08 AM

The backlash against Ontario's new health curriculum has left many people confused. Is it radical? Whose interests does it serve? Are fundamental parental and religious rights being undermined? Where and how should children of varying ages learn about their bodies?

All parents want to protect their children, but opponents of...

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The Liberals and the NDP Are Undermining the Left

(67) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 10:20 AM

Now that we freely coin verbs, as Orwell predicted we would, by adding the prefix 'un-' to nouns (e.g. unfriend), allow me a little 21st-century lexical liberty. I submit to you a phrase with the same ring, and hopefully the same political influence, as 'unite the right'. Whether the answer...

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So Ontario Teachers Are Terrorists Now?

(62) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 8:22 AM

Apparently, we're at war.

On January 3, 2013, Ontario's Liberal government imposed a contract on its teachers under Bill 115. Teachers had been asking to participate in the process of collectively bargaining the Provincial framework for their new contract. The then-leadership said no: bargaining could only take place at...

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You Wouldn't Work Extra Hours for No Pay, Why Should Teachers?

(249) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 8:06 AM

I have a new colleague. He's in his early thirties and recently left a position in the private sector -- a position with vastly superior compensation, flexibility, and benefits -- for the classroom, a place where he can use his unique and formidable talent and sense of humour to do...

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Ontario Is Cheating Our Children

(142) Comments | Posted January 26, 2013 | 8:00 AM

The details of Bill 115, Ontario's ironically named Putting Students First Act, have not been adequately explained to the public. The missing facts about this legislation follow.

Pay Freeze
When teachers' contracts come up for collective bargaining -- usually every four years -- the salary grid is updated...

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