Last week I was speaking about rights and freedoms to a high school law class. I asked the students if they could think of any laws that had changed in their life time. They knew that the alcohol limits for driving had changed. But when it came to changes that had brought about legislation against racial, gender, and other discrimination, they had to be reminded or even simply informed.
When 78-year-old Aboriginal education activist Verna Kirkness heard Harper promise legislation giving aboriginal communities full control of on-reserve education, backed with $1.9 billion in new stable funding, she choked up. "I thought I would never hear such words. That feeling that, after all these years, something could finally happen."
As much as I am passionate about what I teach, I am more passionate about the people I teach. I am more interested that they are content and happy -- that they are not under undue duress or strain; what is the point of spouting out facts and figures, as important as they might be, if the students' heart is not in it? If their belly is empty?
I've even taken to exclusively wearing my Blue Jays hat on tour. Sadly, when people see it they connect it with one person: Rob Ford. Since Mayor Ford has been stripped of virtually all of his power, I thought he may have some time to listen to a fraction of the great music that I think defines Toronto.
I recently spent one year getting myself an informal education. I travelled to twelve different countries, and in each of these countries I attempted to find ways to be helpful. I assisted a raw vegan farm in Costa Rica. I tutored English in northern Laos. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from my journey.
In Canada, organizations like the Society for Quality Education have been fighting for improvements. But Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia have resisted efforts by them and others to return to traditional methods of teaching mathematics despite the fact that Canadian students are falling behind, according to OECD global results in 65 nations.
It has become more and more urgent to -- as the proposal for a First Nations Education Act was titled -- work together for First nations students. This agreement, and the federal budget framework into which it is embedded, is an opportunity to do just that -- whatever one's skepticism and mistrust may recommend to the contrary. On the First Nation's side, the time has arrived to take both the concept and practice of self-control and self-determination to their logical conclusions. Let's call it getting our collective Indian act together.
Teach your children well -- teach them about life and love and joy and sorrow. Teach them to be honest and kind. Teach them to be thoughtful and generous. Teach your children to care for others. Let your own life be the living textbook that your children read. May it be among the most inspiring books they ever open!
After moving when I was 16, I was enrolled in a brand new school, close to our new home. My new teacher, Mr. T, was unforgettable. What I remember now as a teacher myself was his smile. His laughter. And I remember that he saw me. There are times in our service as teachers when we set aside the habitual act of doing for the sacred work of being.
Lack of degrees or certain certifications sometimes can bar very competent individuals from receiving promotions or raises, regardless of how many years of experience and industry-specific accomplishments they may have achieved. It's not about the certs or degrees, but about the experience and practical application of foundations of personal training as they're found specific to each client on a case by case basis.
Madame Justice Susan Griffin is known in the legal profession as a real straight shooter and one of B.C.'s most respected jurists, which makes the damning conclusions of her decision in the B.C. Teachers' Federation case all the more extraordinary. Judicial writing like this doesn't come along every day.
Many years later, now ensconced in the Internet software world, I have learned just how skilled young students are in the ways of mosaic plagiarism. I believe in the rule of law and the science of intellectual property law. Yet encouraging creativity in young minds should be paramount for any teacher.
I don't know if your face fell. I don't know if inside you crumbled into tiny little pieces. I don't know how many times you've heard those words before. I don't know if you even believed them. But I got the feeling that this might not have been the first time. And in the instant it took to process what just had happened, a million memories flashed through my mind.
Governor Bush was well aware that he was taking a big political risk in championing such big, bold changes, but he was willing to take this risk for the sake of the children. And, as it happened, Governor Bush's risk paid off handsomely -- both in terms of his own popularity at the polls and also in terms of student success.
The ability to digitally transmit information and, moreover sexually intimate content in particular, has lead to interesting results. This new age trend has hit our mobile units by storm, and let's be honest -- where there's digital technology, there's someone else trying to have sex with it. Because well, orgasms. Here are a few tips to making sure you have a successful #sexypic exchange.
In a busy world where families often find themselves using the TV as the third parent, it's thankfully not all bad news. According to a study from the University of Texas, "preschool children who watched a few hours a week of educational programming perform better on achievement tests over time than their peers who watch more general entertainment shows."