Message from the Dean
Dear visitors, friends and supporters,
We are collectively engaged in a call to action unlike anything in our history: a call to achieve social distancing, to allow our health care teams a fighting chance to manage unprecedented demands on their resources; a call to stay home, work from home, educate our children at home; and a call to find ways to support others in our community through these challenges.
What are we doing at the Faculty of Education?
- Our instructors have seamlessly transitioned our face-to-face classes into the virtual world. Our 20-year history of providing online education, digital learning objects and integrating 21st century learning technologies into our programs have allowed us to make this transition smoothly.
What are we doing to support students in our community?
- We have created a Learning Supports hub. We have put together free materials and organized them by grade/subject area to help families looking for resources to navigate the volume of material available on the Internet.
- We have also mobilized our teacher candidates to provide lessons/activities for families to try.
- Our Teacher Candidates will also be tutoring students. Request a Virtual Tutor by visiting TheTeacherCandidate.com/Learning-Supports. We are particularly concerned about students who may need some additional practice at home, and about helping to ensure those heading to post-secondary education next year are ready.
- Our work compliments The Government of Ontario’s “Learning at Home” website: https://www.ontario.ca/page/learn-at-home. The goal of this website is to ensure that there are learning activities available through partnering, for example with TVO, to allow children and youth to practice their skills at home.
Finally, I would like to share some thoughts as someone who has been a teacher for four decades and as the mother of young adults. It can be really challenging to be both parent and teacher. These resources are offered to you as something to engage in together, as ‘co-learners’ by:
- Bringing a spirit of inquiry and curiosity to the tasks. Think about what you are learning about and how it may have application to some of the unique challenges we all find ourselves in today, and let your inquiry guide the learning. We do not stop learning just because we are not in school. There is much that can be learned in your 1:1 or small group setting though the process of collectively reading, exploring and discussing what you are doing.
- Keeping a family journal or scrapbook to digitally or physically document what you are doing each day.
- Creating ‘games’ out of the way you communicate. For example, if you are learning new vocabulary, challenge each other to use the new word in a sentence five times that day. Write notes to each other with clues to something you learned together that is required as part of the solution to a puzzle. Use your imagination.
- Re-discovering the joy of reading aloud, sharing a story that the whole family can enjoy and discuss together. Each will bring their own level of comprehension and maturity to the ‘meaning making’ process.
We hope that this offer of support is helpful to our community. Teachers work with all ages and abilities, so they very quickly learn how to become adaptable to new challenges. Take care and stay safe.
Dr. Kathy Hibbert
Faculty of Education