When you place your precious loved one on the bus in the morning or drop them off at our classroom doors, we want you to know, parents: we do not take this responsibility we've been given lightly. And might I add, when those dear ones are returned to you again, when those precious children arrive home at the end of the day, we won't stop caring.
As students prepare to head back to school next week, most people can imagine that they will be focused on studying and writing papers. However, today's students also face a new reality during the academic year: work. Currently, federal student loan policy actually punishes students, should they work 'too much'.
While I clean shelves and wipe down cupboards, readying things for those little bodies and minds, I ready my own mind. Clean out the cobwebs, so to speak. I need my head to be in the game, need my thoughts to be organized. Need my mind to be clear. For when all is said and done, it's not the classroom that houses the potential and possibility to make this year the best one ever for my incoming class: it's me.
Be kind to yourself -- don't hold yourself to ridiculous standards. Try not to stress about the little things that no one will remember anyway. Get more rest. Go for walks. Exercise. Recharge. And although it might be unreasonable to ask that you leave your work troubles at your desk, try not to become a slave to your work.
As a teacher, this time of the year is one where my mind drifts to 'what ifs' and 'how abouts'. Summer is the time of year when teachers are finally afforded the time in which to breathe, take stock and think about what is yet to come. So while I am not ready to cash in on summer yet, here are five wishes I have for the upcoming school year, set to start in a few short weeks.
It is important that we get it right for the generation that will shape our work force and policy decisions for decades to come. Understanding the motivations and the desired experience students seek in their post-secondary education, and how they view education as a life-long pursuit, is critical to the success of new models for education.
By now, most students planning to start college or university in the fall are beginning to think seriously about what needs to be done before their classes start. So how do we help students prepare for the coming year? A good starting point would be by taking some time now to review and discuss the following questions.
If you go to the University of Calgary you don't suffer from a lack of choice when it comes to Students Union clubs. There are options for everything from swing dancing to politics to Bronies. But the most interesting club in our view is one called Team Zeus. It's only three years old but these undergrads are building an electric racing motorcycle.
This is a generation that cares about their community and is very motivated to make a difference. By providing opportunities to positively impact their community, you will also help them feel good about themselves and their company, which will ultimately have a profound impact on relieving their stress.
"You'll never amount to anything. You'll never be much. You're a problem child." So he was told. And I had all but forgotten when she reminded me yet again, as we were talking just the other day, about the cruelty of words and how shattering they can be when ill-spoken. And he'll never forget those words.
It's no secret that the job market for youth graduating from post-secondary education is competitive and challenging, with youth unemployment rates being twice the national average in Canada. A combination of both education and experience can be the ticket to an initial interview, however, youth are often faced with the 'no experience, no work; no work, no experience' dilemma.
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?
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.
How did York University initially validate the request of a student who said for religious reasons, he couldn't interact with women? Unfortunately, perhaps it is because organizations are so afraid of being sued for failing to accommodate that they have lost the sense of what is a proper request for accommodation. Many would argue that what they have lost is their common sense.
I was concerned about Kate and I met with her in person. When she told me what was going on at her firm, it became clear that there was an element of sexual discrimination or harassment. Articling students facing such harassment have few choices. They could make a complaint to the Law Society, file a complaint under the firm's internal workplace harassment policy (assuming it exists), consult an employment lawyer or perhaps bring a human rights complaint. The power dynamics of articling make such options not particularly appealing to most students. So most would stick it out.