Water Is Life
Water is Life is a brand new resource focusing on land-based learning, centred on women’s teachings about, for, and from Mother Earth, with a specific focus on water and its connection to the Indigenous Peoples living on Turtle Island.
We are celebrating 100 years of the Bluenose with three new lesson plans to help your students learn about this iconic Canadian symbol. Explore the history of the racing and fishing schooner, and learn about the Bluenose II!
Read about what educators are doing across Canada!
Featured Teacher of the Month
October — David Joiner
David Joiner had been teaching at St. Andrew’s College, in Aurora, Ont., for the past 23 years and has worked his way up to become the head of Canadian and World Studies. Currently, he teaches Grade 9 and Grade 12, and helps prepare students to write the AP human geography exam. He is also involved with his school’s Reach Club, offers an after-school family history program, and is one of the school’s curling coaches. In 2018, Joiner became a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
September — Ewan Geddes
Ewan Geddes hasn’t always considered himself savvy with technology, but today, GIS technology plays a major role in his classroom. Geddes teaches Grade 9 geography and Grade 12 world issues, at York Mills Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Ont. He has also served as a consultant for geography, civics and spatial technology for the Toronto District School Board, helping out with PD workshops on incorporating geospatial technology. In addition, Geddes works with the Skills Canada Team to chair GIS competitions, and he is the current Ontario representative for Can Geo Education’s executive committee.
August — Colin O'Connor
Before Colin O’Connor was a teacher, he worked as a photojournalist. This recent school year, he witnessed an interesting body of work come together, a kind of historical document about the pandemic in Toronto from the perspective of his students. O’Connor is a communications technology and technological design teacher who teaches photography, filmmaking and bicycle maintenance and repair courses for grades 11 and 12 at several high schools in Toronto, Ont., including Humberside Collegiate Institute.
July — Adam Robb
Adam Robb has been a teacher for 15 years, and seven years ago he got involved with a unique program that takes a very hands-on learning approach. Robb teaches the Energy and Environmental Innovation program at the Career and Technology Centre, which is open to students from any high school in Calgary, Alta.
June — Gabrielle Rogers
Gabrielle Rogers isn’t afraid to step out of her teaching comfort zone and took part in a unique, new interdisciplinary program at Riverview High School, in Moncton, N.B. This year, for the first time, all Grade 9 students at Riverview participated in an interdisciplinary morning cohort, where they did science, social studies, French, technology, personal development and career planning, gym, music and art. This course lasted the whole school year.
May — All Canadian educators
For the month of May, instead of highlighting just one educator, we would like to feature all the hard work that teachers across Canada have put in while adapting to the restrictions of COVID-19. From dealing with tech issues to keeping their students motivated and engaged, teachers have had to overcome many challenges this past year.
April — Bobbie-Jo Leclair
Bobbie-Jo Leclair is an Indigenous education consultant for the Louis Riel School Division in Manitoba. She has been an educator for 18 years, specializing in Indigenous education for the past seven. Her focus is on supporting teachers in authentic teaching and learning when incorporating Indigenous history and perspectives by connecting with Indigenous voices in the community.
March — Court Rustemeyer
Court Rustemeyer is an outdoor education teacher at Vincent Massey in Calgary, Alta., for Grades 7 to 9. He’s been teaching for 13 years and is also the president of the Global, Environmental and Outdoor Education Council (GEOEC) for the Alberta Teachers’ Association, where he helps lead workshops and professional development sessions. Beyond the classroom, he runs a club with students called Outdoor Leadership, which focuses on developing leadership skills and community engagement in youth.
February — Scott Alexander
Scott Alexander teaches Grades 10 and 11 social studies and Grade 12 geography and history at Oak Bay High School in Victoria, B.C. Beyond the classroom, he guides students through work experience, career preparation, and scholarship and post-secondary applications. Alexander has worked as a collaborator with the Royal British Columbia Museum to help present the Historical Thinking Winter Institute and has spent four years as the B.C. representative for the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. He has also received a Certificate of Achievement for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence.
January — Brad Jones
Informed decision-making and open-mindedness are at the centre of Brad Jones’ teaching philosophy. Jones, who teaches Grades 11 and 12 social studies and geology at O’Donel High School in Mount Pearl, N.L., was part of the team that rewrote the provincial curriculum with the goal of equipping students with problem-solving skills for the real world. In his classroom, Jones focuses on teaching students to consider opposing views and to work together to find solutions. He is also spearheading a project to build a self-sustaining greenhouse on school property. He spoke with Canadian Geographic to share some of the strategies that have worked well in his teaching.
December — Lisa (Diz) Glithero
Diz Glithero is a national coordinator for the Canadian Ocean Literacy Coalition, a cluster of existing organizations that have come together from across Canada to better understand and advance ocean literacy in Canada. Originally a classroom teacher who taught both at the elementary and high school level, Glithero has taken part in projects such as the Canada C3 expedition and Students On Ice. In addition to her ocean literacy work, Glithero is also an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa.
November — Somphone Souannhaphanh
Somphone (Sam) Souannhaphanh takes a cross-disciplinary approach to her classroom and emphasizes the importance of collaboration between departments and other schools as a way to develop innovative teaching methods. Recently, she started teaching Grade 11 travel and tourism, as well as introduction to anthropology, sociology and psychology, and Grade 12 world issues at Merivale High School in Ottawa, Ont. Souannhaphanh previously taught Grade 9 geography at Glebe Collegiate Institute for 16 years.