The Grace of Motherhood: A Christmas Reminder

This Christmas, take a moment to view the Nativity scene. Consider the young mother there, her husband by her side. See her kneeling on the plank boards. Knees cushioned by a sparse layer of hay, her hands bracing a feeding trough. Her newborn Son, the object of her loving gaze.   The mother you see…

A Good Teacher- Leader, Awakener, Builder

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” (Wayne Dyer) As a virtual mentor with Patricia Briscoe’s Faculty of Education students at Niagara University, a few weeks ago I was asked: What makes a good teacher? When I started teaching in 1998, I considered three facets as the…

Educating the Heart- Small Things, Great Love

As a child, I was mesmerized by the story of the Garden of Eden. I would close my eyes. Imagine a rich garden tapestry — lush green vines, aromatic flowers, a crystal-blue pool of water, rustling leaves in the wind. I would see Adam and Eve. Two lone inhabitants, symbols of Humanity, responsible for tending…

Why I Write

Now, in my writing space, I am taken back to my early childhood. As my fingers connect with the keyboard, I am an 8-year-old girl, sitting in my father’s silver Volkswagen Beetle. We are on our weekly, Saturday car-ride to Rockland, Ontario to visit my beloved grandmother. On this October, Indian summer day, it is quite…

The Good News For Teachers – Unity is Strength

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, the Ottawa Catholic School Board community annually gathers alongside the scenic Rideau Canal at the Shaw Centre, for Christian Community Day. On that day, the board’s 4000+ educators reconnect with each other, recharge, and are spiritually uplifted by music, words and images. It is a time of personal and professional…

In the Footsteps of Our Teachers

October 5  is the United Nations, World Teachers’ Day. A day to bring awareness and appreciation to the role teachers play in education and world development. As an educator, it is a day for me to reflect upon the important influence my own teachers have had on my life. Growing up, as a young child,…

Teach the Students You Have- All of Them

Our job is to teach the student we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them. –Dr. Kevin Maxwell Who we are and whom we will become is determined by how our most basic human needs are met. Other than…

Faith Is Taking The First Step

In the early morning hours, our car traces the Trans-Canada Highway towards the ferry in Saint John, New Brunswick. As we enter the city limits of Edmundston, a dense fog envelopes our car, casting us into an impermeable cloth of invisibility. The only signs of the other motorists around us are the faint headlights that…

This School Year, Be That Teacher

There were wide eyes, excited faces, and hugs given to familiar friends and teachers. Parents snapped pictures to be posted to social media, buses were unloaded and class line-ups were formed. Last Tuesday, the excitement of the first day of school was palpable at Holy Family School. The enthusiastic bounce in the students’ steps towards…

For Some Students, Life Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair

  My pace is quick as I reach the base of the hill, walking underneath a canopy of maple, elm and birch trees. The August nights are getting dark earlier and, as I look skyward, the gray clouds are tinged with pink. My running shoes press off the pavement, and I notice that the sky…

A Letter to My Students – Swim, Don’t Just Tread Water

Holy Family School Ottawa, Ontario, Canada August 22, 2016 Dear Students,   Welcome to my class. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person. In the meantime, I hope you’ll take a moment to read this letter that I wrote just for you. As we start this school year, I challenge you to look deeply…

At 12 Years Old – One Voice For Many

The gunshot was meant to silence a small boy on a distant field, yet its echo continues to reverberate around the world today. Thanks to a Canadian boy who, at 12 years old, used his one voice for many.      I attended Sixth Grade at McMaster Catholic School in Ottawa. My classroom was on the second…