Sensemaking After Tragedy

Our OECTA CLC team welcomes Teresa Gross, a Middle School School Teacher from New York. Teresa passionately advocates for Mental Health.  In her guest post below, Teresa shares reflections on the untimely death of her father. Teresa’s post is in response to Safe Talk – A Metamorphosis, a post I wrote with Chris Nihmey about suicide. These posts…

Safe Talk – A Metamorphosis

This blog post is raw, authentic, and emotionally stirring. The stories shared may bring up many dark feelings within you. If this is the case, please make sure you speak to a family member, a friend, or a doctor if necessary. Thérèse: On the Frontline of Suicide Prevention Thérèse did face her fear and free…

Talk To Me — Set Your Secrets Free

Erin Sets Her Secret Free The phone call from Rachel that is recounted above came during Erin’s first year as a teacher. Now, looking back at the events, Erin recalls feeling isolated and “expendable”. That the principal of the school where Erin worked was too involved in other things to care much about Erin’s crisis….

Save a Life — Choose Love Over Fear

During the 2017/2018 year, the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA), with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education, is supporting Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) projects. One CLC project receiving funds is “Hey, Are You Doing Alright? Taking Off Masks, Ending Stigmas, Moving On.” It gives voice to the struggles and hidden impact of mental…

Hey, Are You Doing Alright? Taking Off Masks, Ending Stigmas, Moving On

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA), with funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education, is supporting Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) projects during the 2017/2018 school year. The CLCs allow teachers to explore, develop and share solutions to common professional dilemmas through action research, meetings with colleagues to develop resources, or by implementing proven…

Hurdles, Not Barriers: A Letter to My Students

Holy Family School Ottawa, Ontario, Canada September 2, 2017   Dear Student, Welcome to Grade 5 and the Learning Strategies Class. Please take time to read this letter that I wrote just for you. This summer, my family and I traveled through Southern Ontario. We took in the CN Tower and Toronto waterfront. Then went…

Superman (It’s Not Easy To Be Me)

It’s unfortunate that people wear masks to hide their fear and shame. That they feel a need to do so to avoid stigma. One does not have to look very deep to see the masks people wear, the courage removing them takes, and the healing that doing so enables. We are all human. We are…

I Can Only Imagine

A memory interrupts the quiet of my summer respite. Pulls me back to the early morning hours of June 24, 2015. Past the empty parking lot, through the still hallways to the St. Bernard School gymnasium. There, fans struggle to cool the hot, humid June air. Chairs stand at attention, row after row on the…

Walking Forward Together

  As a Learning Strategies Teacher, my thoughts surround my students, all of whom are identified with a Learning Disability. They are the focus of my participation in our OECTA CLC Project: “Learning Enabled-Leveraging Technology With Exceptional Learners.” The team for our project is Leslie Cardarelli, Charlene Davidson, Sarah Faloon and I. Here are my…

We Keep This Love in a Photograph

This post is a response to a challenge issued by Teresa Gross in her blog post, Our Lives In Pictures. In her post, Teresa wrote about how her curly hair is part of her identity. It is how people recognize and remember her. She challenged other bloggers to reflect on their life in pictures. Thanks for the…

Learning Disabled- Weathering The Storm Within

On this mid-April evening, menacing clouds loom in the distance. They send forth a heavy wind that carries the smell of rain and blows dried winter debris across my yard. Its damp, still air is the calm before a storm. The calm ends when the storm’s gray veil covers the neighbourhood. Its thunder crackles and…

Teacher Wellness – We Cannot Serve From An Empty Vessel

Crisp, white-tipped waves of turquoise water, come forth from the Atlantic Ocean to lovingly caress the soft, white, sandy beach along which I walk. Above me, puffy white clouds dance with the sun in a pale blue sky. Its rays warm my back, as waves chill my feet.   Palm trees, latched beach huts, and…