About Me

My photo
I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Monday, February 21, 2011

We Day Waterloo

Our two daughters participated in We Day this past week.  They both came home inspired after hearing messages from the Kielburger brothers, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore and others.  Check out this link:

We Day Waterloo CTV News

50 students from the Waterloo Region are being given trips, sponsored by RIM, to work in school projects overseas.  What an amazing opportunity!  I'm curious what the long-term impact of We Day events are...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Program for Cdn Teachers Overseas Cancelled

I found this announcement disheartening - CIDA is canceling funding for a program which supported Canadian teachers volunteering overseas.  It seems to me that one of the best ways to support glocal learning and understanding is for Cdn teachers to experience education in other parts of the world.  Not only do Canadian teachers learn from these experiences but they also contribute to the development of improved educational settings and systems in the countries in which they serve.  The program utilized volunteers so the costs were minimal.

Read the full story on the (click): Globe and Mail

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Last night, I read the inspiring story of Esaue Joachim (click on his name to read the story).  He was trapped in his school in last year's earthquake in Haiti.  He was eventually rescued and then had a leg amputated.  He has since become involved with an organization for the handicapped.

I read his story at 10 pm last night, just 10 hours before teaching a course on special education (physical disabilities was to be one of the topics) the next day.  I started to wonder if his story would "end" when I went to sleep and that there would be no long-term impact on my life.  After a few minutes of thought, I decided to see if my students in  the Faculty of Education would be moved by his story and an idea I had...

Today, I shared the story with them and then said that for the next 5 weeks (before they leave for teaching practicum) I would have a container in which they could put a dime.  I figured that if every student and faculty (about 150) would put a dime in the container for each of the next five weeks, we would have $75 to provide to the organization Esaue had found help in.  I told the students that I didn't want anything bigger than dimes - in other words, I didn't want them to feel the "pinch" by giving money.  I want to demonstrate that something so insignificant as a dime can add up to make a significant difference.  What could $75 do in Haiti?

It could put a child in school for a term... it could feed a family for three months ... it could provide a source of incomce (chicken, goat, small stocked fish pond) for a family .... it could provide a micro-credit loan to someone disabled in the earthquake.

So, the container was put out and I expected just a few dimes to show up today.  I was thrilled when the students took it upon themselves to pass the container around ... by the time I picked it up at the end of the class, it was full!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Digital Mentoring Project in Haiti

A number of people have asked me recently about the pilot project I am working on in Haiti.  The project combines "reciprocal mentoring" (Canadian and Haitian principals), digital technology (iPads, Blackberries, web-based resources), and leadership training.  I am excited that Conestoga College students are planning to develop a documentary film around the project!

The project has incredible potential so if you would like to find more, click below:

Haiti Digital Mentoring Project