Tag Archives: classroom

First Day Back

Back to Class
Source: Jason Goodman on Unsplash

As the streetcar lurched toward George Brown College, I gazed at the familiar storefronts, churches, and coffee shops that lined the route. How could everything be the same when it felt so different? I was nervous, panicked even. After all, I hadn’t taught in-person for close to three years. I berated myself for checking off the box to teach on campus. Wasn’t it easier to stay enclosed in my basement lair? I rechecked the supplies in my backpack and pulled out the instructions sheet for the tenth time. Offices have moved here, photocopiers are now there; do this if you need to print something, do that to access the computer system. Ughh.

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Back to the Classroom: Lessons in Returning to In-Person Learning

Image taken from: Big Stock Photo

When we went back to class in March, my students appeared larger than life. More human, tangible. Lots of smiles, welcoming faces, laughter, and excitement. They had a willingness to learn and interact with each other, as well as with the teacher. 

I was curious to see how teaching would function in a “post-COVID-19” period. I was happy to see them in class. 

I developed a learn-as-you-go approach. I didn’t know who would attend on a day-to-day basis and hoped more students of various backgrounds would join. 

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Back to School

Source: bigstockphoto.com

Well, it’s happening. My colleagues and I will be back at the college campus next session, and I can’t wait! Like anything else, you do not realize the full value of something until it is taken away. The outside air hitting your face as you rush to the streetcar, the smiles and good mornings in the staff room, the student banter as they settle behind their desks. I even miss the frantic line-ups in the photocopy room because they offer what is now liquid gold;

Despite the rush of excitement, there is also trepidation. Like my students, I have found security behind the screen. How confident will I feel standing at the front of the classroom in real life? Will I remember how to use the Smart Board? Will my building keys work? Where are they, anyway? Will I remember my colleagues’ names? Will they remember mine? And finally, what will my teaching look like? Will I have strictly face-to-face classes, hybrid, HyFlex? And that last one? How will that work? There are just so many unknowns. Continue reading


Get Your Head in the Clouds!

image source: www.bigstock.com

It all started with Lynn Hainer. She’s a local councillor in St. Marys and a good friend. She’s also a bit of a techie. During her recent campaign, she asked friends to provide adjectives to describe her. I provided a few. The result was a word cloud full of positive attributes. I wondered if I could take this idea and use it in my ESL classroom. I decided to try it.

First, I asked my class to put adjectives on a white board that they could use to describe a person, both positive and negative. They came up with many. I added a few. We used them in sentences
to help define the meanings. For example, we discussed different ways to say that somebody was thin, such as slender and skinny, and that using slender was much more polite than using skinny.

Second, I gave them recipe cards. The students put their names on the top. The cards were Continue reading