Blog Posts

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

Building School Culture Through the Lens of Equity, Anti-Bias and Anti-Racism

Two months into our new school year, we are well underway in intentionally making Yale a more equitable, culturally inclusive, and responsive school through the lens of equity, anti-bias, and anti-racism. As we listen to our students, one thing that they keep telling us is that they value positive relationships with Yale staff. Our students want to belong to a school community where staff know their students, and where every person’s individuality is acknowledged and respected.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

In Remembrance

Many of you will know that I am a student of the World Wars, and that over the years I have written about the profound respect I have for our veterans who have put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. As a teacher I carefully curated stories for my students about pivotal battles and Canadian heroes who helped to pave the way for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. It was always a treat to welcome veterans into my classroom, and students always came away with a greater appreciation for the courageous lives of our service men and women, as well as the horrors of war.

Friday, October 14th, 2022

Bakerview Centre for Learning’s Lets’emo:t program

When asked to reflect on a classroom, most of us will envision rows of desks facing a blackboard where a teacher stands. For decades, this image represents the learning space for millions of students and yet excludes how we learn naturally and daily in non-school environments. True knowing and understanding mean being able to transfer knowledge from one setting to another.

Friday, October 14th, 2022

Shadow a Student

As part of my personal inquiry into the student experience in our district, I have met with groups of students from each of our high schools over each of the last few years. Generally, I have asked our school leaders to ensure that the student group is diverse and represents a range in ages, gender, abilities, race and gender identities, etc. In a large high school, it is not difficult to get a diverse group, but I suspect it challenging to get a truly representative group of students who together can paint a fulsome picture of the student experience for me and the administration of their s

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Student Voice: Self-Care Mondays at WJ Mouat

In May this year, six Grade 11 WJ Mouat students participated in a Mental Health Forum hosted by the Abbotsford School District. They were tasked with reviewing the YDI (Youth Development Index) survey results for WJ Mouat and to come up with an actionable plan to help improve student well-being and mental health at their school.

Thursday, September 1st, 2022

My Hopes for This School Year

Now in my thirty-fifth year as an educator, I still look forward to the beginning of the school year with anticipation. It still feels like yesterday, but three and a half decades ago, I started my career in Peace River South School District as a grade 6/7 teacher in Devereaux Elementary School. I remember when I first saw the ad for the position, going to a map to see where the heck this place was. The principal, Mr. Evans, interviewed me over the phone and offered me the job shortly thereafter.

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

In Recognition of Our Ubuntu

This time last year, I posted a blog expressing my profound gratitude to all our staff for getting us through what was a tremendously demanding year. As I look back on this past school year, I continue to be truly grateful for how we have managed an even more challenging year than we anticipated.

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

The Launch of Our Equity Website

One of the lasting legacies of the COVID-19 pandemic will be its exposure of pre-existing societal inequities to a wider audience. While inequities have existed in society and schools since they were created, the pandemic has caused many of us to see them with greater clarity. The murder of George Floyd perhaps served as a catalyzing moment, but I suspect there were more forces at play.

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

Speaking Your Truth: Student Voices (from WJ Mouat)

The most recent stop on my student voice inquiry journey was at WJ Mouat. I continue to be fascinated by the diversity of thought about certain issues, and simultaneously the remarkable consistency around other topics. Rather than editorialize, I will Arianna (Gr. 9), Omran (Gr. 12), Jazzi (Gr. 11), Nickolas (Gr. 11), Bella (Gr. 11), Lily (Gr. 12), Nathan (Gr. 11), Jayda (Gr. 12), and Natalie (Gr. 12) speak their truth:

When you think about school, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why?