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Letters to the Editor

Professionally Speaking welcomes letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and to conform to our publication style. To be considered for publication, letters should be in response to an article or ad published in the magazine and include the writer’s daytime phone number and registration number. Address letters to: The Editor, Professionally Speaking at or 101 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 0A1.

The Power of Podcasts

"An image of an article from ""Professionally Speaking"" titled, ""The Power of Podcasts.""

I was interested to read your Tools of the Trade article, “Project Podcast,” in the December issue. There were some great ideas in the article for using technology in the classroom.

I thought your readership might be interested to learn about a teacher in Toronto, Sebastian Major, OCT, who is producing a free podcast called Our Fake History ( The premise is to explore some of the myths of history that we sometimes believe to be true, and to discover what kernel of truth may or may not be at the heart of such stories.

—Margaret Major, OCT, is currently teaching Grade 2/3 at Cameron Street Public School in Collingwood.

ADHD Strategies

"An image of an article from ""Professionally Speaking"" titled, ""ADHD Now."

What a great article about ADHD by John Hoffman in the December issue. The strategies mentioned in “ADHD Now” are practical, tangible and real. These can be used not only for ADHD students, but also for other students in your classroom.

Regardless of whether you’re a new or experienced teacher, a resource person or an administrator, the approaches outlined in this article are very helpful and written in user-friendly language. The real-school-life examples make this article very authentic. Thank you for sharing.

—Gurmeet Gill, OCT, is a vice-principal at Burnt Elm Public School in Brampton.

Making a Difference

"An image of an article from ""Professionally Speaking"" titled, ""Shifting Gears."

Like the teachers featured in John Hoffman’s article “Shifting Gears” in the December issue, I, too, became a teacher later in life. I started my career as a professional engineer, where I worked in power generation for five years. Then I pursued an MBA from the University of Chicago and became a commodity trader on Wall Street and Bay Street.

After 13 years of high finance, I wanted to pursue a career where I felt I could make a difference and share my experiences. Teaching was the calling and so I obtained a bachelor of education from OISE at age 42. After teaching for two years with the Toronto District School Board, I now work full-time in the independent school system.

—John Zufferli, OCT, is a math, business and economics teacher at The Bishop Strachan School in Toronto.

Second Calling

I started teaching at 35 years old. By the time I retire, I will have worked as a newspaper reporter for 20 years and an elementary school teacher for 20 years. I was fortunate to work at both disciplines together for 10 years.

Both my chosen professions have many similarities, and I feel my success as a teacher can be largely attributed to the skills I first learned as a journalist. Like the teachers interviewed in your article “Shifting Gears,” I believe my prior work history has helped my students as I can share several life experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise had.

—Stephanie Dancey, OCT, teaches core French to Grades 3 to 8 and integrated literacy to kindergarten students at St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School in Douro, Ont.