Ever won­der what tea­chers do on Ped days?

Work­shop se­ries chance to connect, learn, grow

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

BMa­king lear­ning fun

Pe­da­go­gi­cal days, or ped days as they are more com­mon­ly cal­led, can be a source of joy for stu­dents, and a source of stress for pa­rents who of­ten scramble to find ways to keep their kids oc­cu­pied, or ta­ken care of du­ring an un­sche­du­led day away from school.

ut what do tea­chers do du­ring these “days off?» For those wor­king for the Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board, and boards across the pro­vince, ped days are far from a chance to lounge around at home, or catch up on some sleep. Tea­chers use ped days to at­tend mee­tings, draft les­son plans, or at­tend any num­ber of work­shops in or­der to hone their skills, or de­ve­lop new ones.

For Jean-Claude Ma­ni­ra­ki­za, who teaches French as a se­cond lan­guage at West­wood Sr. High School in Hud­son, at­ten­ding a Feb. 7 work­shop ses­sion tit­led, “Pas­sion-Ba­sed Tea­ching and Lear­ning – One More for the Tool­box,” was “ex­tre­me­ly po­si­tive.”

More than 350 edu­ca­tors at­ten­ded the work­shop se­ries that was held at Lind­say Place High School, in Pointe-Claire.

The day in­clu­ded a pre­sen­ta­tion by key­note spea­ker Dean Sha­res­ki, an edu­ca­tio­nal tech­no­lo­gist at Dis­co­ve­ry Edu­ca­tion Canada, who spoke about the con­nec­tion bet­ween joy, tea­ching and lear­ning.

Tea­chers were al­so able to chose bet­ween 28 French and En­glish work­shops fo­cu­sing on to­pics that in­clu­ded: Lear­ning about Google tech­no­lo­gy, ro­bo­tics, en­cou­ra­ging crea­ti­vi­ty and em­po­we­ring lear­ners with iPads, and more.

Ligh­ter to­pics in­clu­ded La­tin Dance, and Clow­ning as a Se­rious Bu­si­ness.

Sha­res­ki, a Com­mu­ni­ty Ma­na­ger for Dis­co­ve­ry Edu­ca­tion Canada, as well as a lec­tu­rer at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Re­gi­na, en­cou­ra­ged tea­chers to make class time plea­sant.

“Lear­ning can and should be fun and per­so­nal,” he said, ad­ding, “En­ga­ging a student and ex­pe­ri­men­ta­tion in edu­ca­tion should be part of a tea­cher’s eve­ry­day life.”

Sha­res­ki, who hopes stu­dents – and pa­rents – see tea­chers as li­fe­long lear­ners, ur­ged the edu­ca­tors to use tech­no­lo­gy as a way to share pro­jects and dis­co­ve­ries with their co-wor­kers, as well as with stu­dents.

“Sha­ring is gi­ving so­meone else the gift of your time – and in an in­crea­sin­gly chal­len­ging job, if you don’t sur­round your­self with people – both lo­cal­ly and vir­tual­ly – I don’t know how you’ll sur­vive,” he said.

Em­bra­cing tech­no­lo­gy

A work­shop about in­te­gra­ting iPads at the grade-school le­vel, so­me­thing being done ex­ten­si­ve­ly in schools such as Ever­green and Birch­wood ele­men­ta­ry schools in Saint-La­zare, was taught by a re­pre­sen­ta­tive from Apple Canada.

Ma­thieu Majeau pre­sen­ted ideas that fo­cu­sed on using tech­no­lo­gy in the class­room context.

Au­drey MacDo­nald, a math tea­cher at John Rennie High School, was so ins­pi­red that she sha­red with her col­leagues who could not at­tend the event.

“I twee­ted to my col­leagues about some of the things Mr. Sha­res­ki said at least 15 times du­ring his speech,” she no­ted, ad­ding that “the work­shops are not on­ly great lear­ning tools, they are al­so a good way to net­work and bond.”

Other work­shops of­fe­red du­ring the day in­clu­ded: 20+ In­no­va­tive Pe­da­go­gi­cal Stra­te­gies Using Google Forms; Images, Mu­sic and Vi­deo for School Pro­jects and Beyond; The Mis­sing Link: Connec­ting As­sess­ment and Tech­no­lo­gy; In­cor­po­ra­ting En­tre­pre­neur­ship; Best-Lo­ved Li­te­ra­cy Les­sons; En­gage, Ac­ti­vate and Col­la­bo­rate – a work­shop on how to in­te­grate di­gi­tal me­dia to in­crease student en­ga­ge­ment – as well as a work­shop tit­led In­crease En­ga­ge­ment, En­cou­rage Crea­ti­vi­ty and Em­po­wer Lear­ners with the Help of the iPad.

For Ma­ni­ra­ki­za, the ped day was a chance to not on­ly learn so­me­thing new, but al­so an op­por­tu­ni­ty to ex­change thoughts and ideas with col­leagues, so­me­thing he says will make him a bet­ter tea­cher in the class­room.


Ma­ny tea­chers from re­gio­nal Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board schools at­ten­ded a ped day work­shop se­ries.

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