Monday, July 1, 2013

Canada Day - Our Ed's Okay

Today is Canada Day, and I spent a great deal of it planning - I'll be teaching Grade 3 for the month of July at summer school. The last time I taught summer school was in 2006. Believe it or not, I'm looking forward to it. It will be nice to have my own class (specialist teachers always have to "share" students) and to try out some new things. The summer school site has spent quite a bit of money to obtain solar robot kits for every single student in my class. I took one home to try out - it's going to be challenging for the kids to complete, but it is possible. This bounty made me contemplate some of the things that I'm grateful for in Ontario / Canadian education.
  • standardized tests are present but not omnipresent (yes, we have EQAO but they aren't in every single grade or multiple times during the year)
  • teaching salaries in Canada are quite healthy (one of the new teachers on my staff told me that in other countries, if a man tells his potential spouse that he is a new teacher, it means that he is not a "promising catch" economically)
  • pedagogical practices are current and the curriculum reflects it (look at the focus on inquiry and the revised social studies / history / geography document)
  • although there are inequities from board to board and school to school, there are organizations and groups that try to ensure shared resources (People for Education, the OERB, OSAPAC, OSLA, to name a few Ontario based organizations)
  • Canadian graduates are some of the best in the world (according to international tests like PISA)
This is just off the top of my head. Happy Canada Day to all Canadian educators. I'll let you know how summer school goes.

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