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 compares to walking into the classroom for the very first time. This is especially true for the new teacher.
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
Allowing people to opt out of obeying the law on religious grounds can be a slippery slope. You can't oppose anti-discrimination laws because your religion tells you, or you think your religion tells you, that women are inferior, or that LGBTIQ people are sinners. You can't commit violent acts because your religion tells you, or you think your religion tells you, that infidels should be punished.
03/07/2016 02:12 EST
"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, adminis...
01/05/2016 11:51 EST
The backlash against Ontario's new health curriculum has left many people confused. Is it radical? Are fundamental parental and religious rights being undermined? All parents want to protect their children, but opponents of sex education are inadvertently doing the opposite. Denying children accurate and inclusive information about their bodies, human relationships and sexuality is not protective; it is irresponsible. Without such information, children are unable to care for themselves and grow into healthy and responsible adults.
09/13/2015 08:08 EDT
Scandals happen to all governments at all levels, and I might speculate that the only reason the NDP hasn't been implicated in something deemed a scandal recently is that the last time they were elected Provincially was in 1990. They've never been elected federally. Jumping on other parties' scandals, as Ms. Horwath has, is a convenient way to avoid offering substantive policy alternatives and maintain the illusion of principled superiority. Scandal obsession dominates political discourse and freezes our governing institutions in wasteful bickering until the next scandal.
05/12/2014 08:19 EDT
Contrary to what a variety of columnists and MPPs would have you believe, the public sector is not the enemy. You are the public, and your servants want to serve you in exchange for appropriate compensation and benefits. So to the Government and Opposition I say this: language matters. We are not terrorists. And you're either with us or against us.
04/12/2013 08:22 EDT
Many of us feel that the only way we have left to show our displeasure is to withhold the work that we normally do for free. Are you willing to do the same amount of work for 10 per cent less pay? How about 20 per cent less, 25 per cent less, 35, 50? When would your dignity and self-respect kick in and make you say "just hang on a minute. I'm a trained professional, and I don't work for free."
03/19/2013 07:51 EDT
Our children are not being put first; they are being cheated. If we care about the public good, teachers must be respected and compensated fairly to attract the best and brightest. With the decimation of school board budgets, parents who can afford to do so may pull their kids out of the public system.
01/26/2013 09:04 EST
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