Research in pedagogy shows that children learn much better in smaller classrooms. Tim Hudak, if elected, has promised to increase classroom sizes and the student-teacher ratios. The Ontario elections could very well be a vote on the learning outcomes for millions of school-going children. Tim Hudak, the leader of the Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, is campaigning to increase the classroom size by two to three students and the student-teacher ratio, in addition to numerous other proposed cuts to the Ontario's education system. This may require parents to learn more about learning before they vote on June 12.
When a child's stress levels are too high various systems for thinking and metabolic recovery are compromised. The signs of when this is happening show up in the child's behaviour, or mood, or attention, or for that matter, physical well-being. Canadian children are dealing with far too much stress today.
The fact is our student populations are becoming more diverse, though that's barely mirrored in the staff make-up of most urban schools. And while there is recognition of a need to hire teachers that better reflect the student population, reaching that goal remains a long way off considering the comparably low number of teachers who self-identify as visible minorities. In the meantime, we need to foster culturally sensitive and inclusive schools where student engagement leads to higher graduation rates, the de-glamorization of gangs, and the nurturing of productive citizens of all backgrounds.
I was raised on a dairy farm in Belledune, a small community on New Brunswick's North Shore. By the time I showed up to school in the fall of 1968, the schoolhouse was bordered by a smelter on one side and a fertilizer plant on the other. I started hearing a little voice inside me saying, "Do something!"
A British couple has been fined 1,800 dollars (approximately) for taking their two kids to Greece for one week during the school year. Their vacation contravened a new British law that forbids missing school for a vacation. I have no issue with pulling your kids out of school for vacation. I think kids learn a lot more from experience than they do from sitting at a desk.
Nobody ever tells you about lice. Seriously, though, there should be a handbook that they give you when your child goes into any kind of childcare or school facility warning you of the perils you will face as a parent. Then, at least, you will be fully educated and may actually decide that the person homeschooling their child on your street may just actually have the right idea. Kids are gross.
For children and youth with learning disabilities, school is complicated and back to school can be very different. Academic performance is interrupted by any number of difficulties, and for some students, expectations of social etiquette and self-sufficiency frequently create an environment ripe for true catastrophes.
It's senior kindergarten. My son is five. We don't need calculators or binders. Heck, we don't even need pencils or paper. So why have I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I've forgotten something? And now I'm writing this post as my to-do list as we ease back into the routine in which most kids thrive and most parents rejoice. Maybe it'll help you, too.
Our son graduated from high school in June. He's grateful. Living in North America with access to public school is a luxury that we will never take for granted. As he walked across the stage, I thought about the 60 million children in our world who are not getting an education. An education is the way out of poverty and the ultimate peace weapon to end war.
Lawrence Grassi was a trailblazer. An immigrant from Italy he was a respected mountaineer and guide who built and maintained many of the original trails throughout the mountains around Canmore, Alberta. Short of stature and eschewing alpine guide stereotypes for suspenders and hobnail boots Grassi was one of the key personalities in Canmore's early history. And the school that bears his name, Lawrence Grassi middle school, has blazed a trail much in its namesake's fashion. Nothing too fancy, but a lot of hard work and common sense can go a long way.
When businesses are in financial trouble, they find ways to innovate, reduce costs, and come out more competitive than they were before the trouble started. Can we apply that thinking to Ontario's Education system? Can we be innovative, eliminate costly duplication, and create a better school system in the process?
Should students at Catholic schools who are not Catholic be allowed to exempt themselves from Catholic related courses and activities? The answer is clearly yes. I am a product of the Catholic system of education, and I do not believe it deserves to continue in Ontario any longer. In a supposedly multicultural society, it is insulting for the government to fund and prefer the teachings of one specific group. The ever-changing makeup of Canadian society means that we are no longer a "Judeo-Christian" nation if we ever were, and so, we cannot give preference to a faith simply because we have a tradition of doing so
Our daily routine was very predictable: my son would arrive home from school, he and his siblings would be given a nutritious snack, and then it would be homework time. That's when the tantrums, rage and complaints would begin. Common complaints were that I was SO mean and unfair, or "torturing" him to do his homework! Here are some tips I have used to get my son to do his homework.
As reported earlier this week, the fine folks running The Toronto District School Board have been up to a few things which have led me to conclude that they do, in fact, hate kids, or at the very least have some bad ideas on what to do with them. First on the docket was this little number. Now in the perfect world, an all gay school, or one that allows the "free expression of homosexuality" would be awesome, a big step forward as they say. But here's the problem with it. It is, for all intents and purposes, segregation. Removing a visible minority from the public high schools, and placing them in their very own school. Sounds good, but isn't that what they did in Little Rock, AK circa the late 50's. If I recall history class, there were riots and national guard deployments over that. And also note the idea of having an "inclusive society" generally implies having everyone working together, not in their own little sectors.