ILLUSTRATION: Marella Albanese/Anna Goodson
Last year, I conducted a survey to gather anonymous insight from my class. Asking students to consider what they want and need from the classroom not only helps me support their success, but also promotes their critical thinking and growth. One key takeaway was that my students were looking for a hand with time management. To support this, I helped them create daily and weekly agendas. To lead by example, I posted a detailed agenda using Google Classroom every Sunday afternoon. The agendas included assemblies, important dates related to assignments, extracurriculars, and information about course assessments.
Students were very receptive. They used this template to add to their calendars and shared any overlapping assessments with me. Often, I needed to alter the agenda throughout the week, and doing this showed students that it is important to be adaptable, flexible, and most of all, positive.
Sandeep Virk, OCT, teaches high school at an International Baccalaureate World School in Markham, Ont.
by Stefan Dubowski
Residential schools are a dark and long-suppressed part of Canada's history. The Legacy Schools Toolkit is designed to support reconciliation through awareness, education and action, and contains free materials to help Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and teachers understand what they can do to move Canada and First Nations forward, together.
Developed by the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF), the tool kit includes copies of Secret Path, a graphic novel by Gord Downie — the Canadian songwriter and frontman for the band The Tragically Hip until his death in 2017 — and comic artist Jeff Lemire. The novel tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Anishinaabe boy who in October 1966 ran away from a residential school to find his family and then succumbed to starvation and exposure.
With the Legacy Schools Toolkit, DWF aims to build on the call to acknowledge the devastating reality of this past and to pave the way for a better future. To support this, the tool kit also comes with a copy of the ReconciliACTION Guidebook, offering uplifting examples of students and teachers across Canada undertaking reconciliation projects.
Part of DWF's Legacy Schools program, the tool kit aims to enhance Canadian students' and teachers' awareness of the rights and perspectives of Indigenous peoples. By joining the program, schools have access to virtual and in-person resources including interviews with artists, musicians and others working toward reconciliation. Participating schools are also deemed "Legacy Schools" and are encouraged to start reconciliation projects and take part in Secret Path Week (October 17 to 22, the dates Downie and Wenjack died, respectively).
Visit LegacySchools.ca for details.