Category Archives: Experiences

A Few Thoughts on BC’s Electoral Reform Ballot

  Hey everyone! If you’re a BC resident, don’t forget to send in your ballot for the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform. This opportunity may not come along again in our life time, so don’t waste a rare chance to have a direct say in how our democracy is run. When I used to teach […]

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Curriculum must be a teacher’s ally, not a teacher’s foe.

In the spring of 1993, despite working in a temporary five month teaching contract in the lower mainland, I faced the reality that permanent, full-time teaching positions in British Columbia were scarce, so I found myself looking northward. Thus, in September, I started teaching in a small rural school two kilometres from the Alaska border. […]

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Is a teacher’s knowledge tacit or just uncomfortable?

The following is a response to a post by Carl Hendrick, an educator who writes about education theory and practice. ………………… I enjoyed another thought-provoking and thoughtful post, Carl! In terms of tacit knowledge, however, I don’t believe that most of what we know is tacit. I think, in fact, that much of what we […]

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A Review of Tom Bennett’s Teacher Proof

[D]on’t let the fashions crush you. And so many of them are so, so very bad. The thrill of innovation, the desire for simple answers, and the mistaken belief that educational research will shine a guiding light to a smarter, more efficient system, has proven the undoing of us, and will undermine us further if […]

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Windows 8 can be fixed (and made better than Windows 7) for a mere $10

In an earlier post, I discussed my initial skepticism regarding Windows 8, but I decided to reserve judgment until I had a reasonable amount of time to play with the much-maligned new operating system. So, after five months, I’ve come to this general conclusion: the “under the hood” changes are excellent, but the default user […]

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Reflections on a 21st Century School

I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at Thomas Haney Secondary School in Maple Ridge, BC. The school is known for its commitment to flexible, personalized, learn-at-your-own-pace education, and is touted by many as an exemplar of progressive pedagogy. As a teacher curious about the phenomenon of “21st century learning”, but also a little […]

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Let’s Hope High School Won’t Be Your “Glory Days”

After another day of classes, and another round of adolescent glowering and truculence, I am reminded of Springsteen’s classic, “Glory Days”. Nobody said it so well: let’s hope your years in high school won’t be your glory days. If they are, then the rest of your life will be a big disappointment! One of the most […]

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The Rip Van Winkle Effect: Back in the Classroom after Eight Years

Last September I knew I had to make a change, and so I took the plunge and moved back into the classroom after eight years in distance learning. I decided to leave DL because I really missed the classroom. I wanted to work face-to-face with students again, and embrace the challenges and rewards that come […]

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Same Coin, Two Sides: Resurrecting the Liberal Arts Ideal

There are truths on this side of the Pyranees, which are falsehoods on the other.  ~Blaise Pascal ————- Have you noticed that the same behaviour can be described in diametrically opposed ways, depending on different people’s perspectives? For example, if you were taught, “If you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything at […]

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Personalized Learning = Pre-Packaged Learning

Last year, when the notion of “personalized learning” started to become a popular topic here in British Columbia, I questioned its practicality. I asked how a secondary teacher could possibly create, supervise and assess 200 or so separate learning programs for his or her students. I concluded that teachers couldn’t possibly pull off such a […]

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