The Kids Post - - Registry of Educators - BETH ALEXAN­DER STEM TEACHER/ CUR­RICU­LUM LEADER

Good teach­ing is about good lis­ten­ing, Beth Alexan­der likes to say. “You are forced, in a good way, to con­sider the ideas and per­spec­tives of oth­ers at all times, and this means you’re con­stantly learn­ing from other peo­ple.” She was re­cently cho­sen as one of 11 teacher re­cip­i­ents of the Prime Min­is­ter's Award for Teach­ing Ex­cel­lence 2017. This award hon­ours topranked teach­ers in Canada and rec­og­nizes their in­no­va­tive use of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies to help Cana­dian stu­dents meet the chal­lenges of a 21st cen­tury so­ci­ety and econ­omy. In her class­room, when­ever pos­si­ble, she likes to link the cur­ricu­lum to real-world prob­lems. “The word prob­lems pre­sented in text­books aren't ac­tual prob­lems, and that's why kids aren't in­ter­ested in solv­ing them. So, a big part of my job is lis­ten­ing to what kids are con­cerned about.” Given time, prac­tice and sup­port, Alexan­der be­lieves that stu­dents are able to pur­sue skills to the high­est lev­els. Stu­dents should be “reg­u­larly en­cour­aged to use crit­i­cal think­ing skills, of­fered chances to reach ahead, given space to build things, en­cour­aged to de­velop their voices to speak truth to power and helped to re­cover from the in­evitable set­backs that hap­pen when you take risks and try new things.”

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