Welcome to the Web River, a Teacher's Journey through an Educational Landscape
"What's a Web River," you ask? Rivers meander through landscapes, taking on the character of the lands they cross, and changing these places along the way. The Web River meanders through an educational landscape connecting ideas, resources, people, and curriculum in the community of learners and educators with which I work.
For my students: what do you want to get out of your time at school? How are you connected to the things you are learning? As a teacher, I'm excited to explore this landscape and take a run down this river with you. Please bring your paddle and lifejacket... that would be your curiousity and critical thinking skills. Snacks might be in order, too. Anything else missing in this metaphor? Do we have insurance?
For educators and others: if it's posted here that means it's here to use. Rather than recreate the interwebs, I've tried to curate a few useful bits that are relevant to BC's educational system, as well as my own content that I've developed for courses over the years. Much of this is tagged with Pacific Slope Consortium -- this is a group of educators in my learning network. for better or worse, I've been posting teaching resources that I've made since 1999, therefore some of this site contains old and outdated material that no doubt needs review and revalidation. Is there something else you want to see in a teacher website? Let me know and I'll see what can be done.
COURSE CONTENT • SKILL DEVELOPMENT • LESSONS •
USEFUL LINKS • TEACHING & LEARNING RESOURCES •
RANDOM BITS FOR BC STUDENTS, EDUCATORS, AND PARENTS
unum est quod aliquis potest facere - one must do what one can
For most of my adult life, I have taught Social Studies, Geography, and other stuff in the "Lower Great White North," as a colleague puts it. More recently I've been working in teacher education at UNBC. I'm also a husband/dad/brother/son, slactivist/theorist on nature & culture of learning, tech pundit, university instructor and PhD candidate, pro-D guy, ethnic Mennonite, Tolkien fan, Douglas Fir impersonator, part Sasquatch, and all Canadian. If that's not enough for you, check out the About page. Lots of pics of cars and beards.
2023-2024 is my eleventh year in the position of Prince George District Teachers' Association Professional Development Fund Administrator. This job involves planning Pro-D events, helping and collaborating with teachers to connect their professional learning goals with opportunities, organizing a major conference, and coordinating the use of Pro-D time and resources. More details on the PGDTA Pro-D site.
2023-2024 is my sixth year of involvement with the UNBC Teacher Education Program. I teach Curriculum and Instruction courses in the Humanities and work with students in practicum settings, among other things. I'm also working on a PhD at UNBC in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (Geography) with a focus on place-responsive education.
EDUC 390 This is the debrief and discussion course to accompany the Observational Practicum -- the teacher candidates' chance to spend time in classrooms and start transitioning to the role of teacher. Big Question: What role does the teacher play in the "aliveness of school life?" (a reference to Ted Aoki -- see the syllabus for details)
EDUC 393 Foundations of Education. This is an introductory course to history, conditions, and critical issues in education at various scales: local, provincial, national, global. Big Question: How does your work as a teacher connect to the broader aims and issues in education?
EDUC 361 Curriculum & Instruction: Secondary English Language Arts & Social Studies. Big Question: What is the purpose of your classroom and will your students concur? (alignment of intention, being, and knowing)
EDUC 391/490/491 These are the planning and instruction courses that accompany the three teaching practica in the UNBC B.Ed Program.
EDUC 421 Assessment & Motivation: This is a like a bag of holding for those of you who have played Dungeons & Dragons -- a place to store a wide variety of learning intentions around how we engage students, what we expect them to learn, how we know whether they are meeting these expectations, and what we do if they are not meeting these expectations.
SOCIAL STUDIES 8: I don't usually teach this course, at least not for along time, but I've made an outline anyways! Check out the bit on Henry Hudson. Potential big question: where do the cultural, political, and religious differences in our modern world come from?
SOCIAL STUDIES 9: Students will develop critical thinking skills and come to know how Canada has been influenced by ideas, environment, power, and identity. Students will be successful in this course when they can demonstrate their capacity to interpret evidence, assess and defend positions, conduct inquiry related to our course topics. Students completing Social Studies 9 will be able to tell a fuller, more inclusive story about Canada and have a sense of their own place in Canada’s past, present, and future. Big Question: Why Canada?
SOCIAL STUDIES 10: We'll explore the "problem" of Canadian Identity explored critically in many ways -- culture, history, geography, politics, and international context. In the middle of our course we work on the "Echo Project" -- heritage inquiry that connects students to a specific expression of this "problem." Big question: Why Bother Voting?
SOCIAL STUDIES 11 EXPLORATIONS: This is a new course that provides grad credits for Social Studies and also sets up our Grade 12 electives such as History, Law, Comparative Cultures, and Physical Geography. This course course explores themes and topics in Human Geography such as Social Justice, First Nations Studies, Economics, Urban Studies, Philosophy, and Local Place-Responsive History. Big Question: How are "history" and "place" a part of our everyday lives?
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY 12: This is a classic senior elective from the Social Studies department. We explore landscape, climate, earth structure, and environmental change through such topics as Rivers, Glaciers, Climate Change case studies and such methods as hands-on projects, field research, and photography. This will be offered again in 2018/19. Planned field trips include UNBC Geography Dep't, PG Wastewater Facility, either a stream walk or urban features walk, and possibly a trip to the Ancient Forest. Big question: What is that -- why is it there -- why should we care?