76 Replies Latest reply on 5-Feb-2017 6:36 PM by dianamali

    Introduce yourself & start the conversation!

    teachontario.team

      Tell us a bit about yourself and what you hope to learn in this book club...

       

      After you've introduced yourself, move on to Page Two of the course here.

        • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
          ronnockoch

          Hello!

           

          My name is Connor and I am a Teacher Candidate at Laurentian University in Sudbury. I have a degree in history and have previously used The Secret Path in a classroom to help introduce students to the horrors of residential schools.

           

          I want to learn how best to apply this graphic novel to different age groups; and different activities which can be done with it (literacy analysis; art projects, process drama).

           

          -Connor

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
              aking

              HI Connor and Diana,

              I'm a teacher-librarian in a big rural secondary school in Orangeville with the Upper Grand District School Board.  I love the arts and taught drama, media arts and English before moving into the library.  As such, I already know Jeff Lemire's artwork from his graphic novels so I really wanted to read this book anyway!  I think of my relationship with The Tragically Hip as growing up with them as Gord and the guys were touring universities when I first started university in 1990.  Now that his whole life is on display I am thrilled to see that he's still using his lyric-writing superpower for good in this book.  What better way to explore a book than with like-minded booklovers in this club.  I hope to be inspired to use this book with my secondary staff and students.

              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                dianamali

                Hi Connor, and welcome to the book club,

                 

                Your prior experience with this book will be very helpful. You'll have to let us know what the response was like when you introduced Secret Path with your students. How old were your students?

                 

                Diana

              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                leah.kearney

                Hi everyone, my name is Leah Kearney and I am an Instructional Liaison on secondment to TVO as of September 1st, 2016. Prior to that, I was a Course Director of the Early Years option at the Faculty of Education at York University. Prior to these secondments, I was an Early Years Instructional Leader for Toronto District School Board.  I am excited to be in this book club with all of you as I am a big fan of graphic novels and learned so much from Diana's course  in the fall about how we can best use them in schools to support learning. I can't think of a more important topic for us to be exploring at this time and am optimistic that this graphic novel is in schools and classrooms across the country.

                Leah

                  • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                    dianamali

                    Leah, thank you for joining us on this virtual learning journey. Your support and contributions to that comics course made it very successful, so it's great news to see you here with us again. With your background in Early Years, I'll be keen to hear how we can bring even just single panels of this comic to younger learners (or is that possible?)

                    Diana

                  • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                    gailterry

                    Hi everyone.  My name is Gail Brant-Terry and I am a Principal from Upper Canada District School Board currently on a secondment with the Ministry of Education as a Student Achievement Officer.  Today I actually got to attend a special screening of The Secret Path and heard a panel discussion that included Gord's brother , Mike and Chanie's cousin.  It was a very emotional day.   I actually have had the resource for over a month and needed to find the strength to explore the book and cd prior to the screening and the start of the book club.  Having family and friends who were residential school survivors elicits an incredible amount of sadness in me.     What I hope to get from the book club is ideas on how this resource  can be utilized in a culturally respectful and responsible manner to help all of us grow in our knowledge and understanding in supporting the TRC calls to action.  How can we use this resource in a good way?

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                        dianamali

                        Welcome to the book club, Gail. We're glad you are here.

                         

                        Attending the special screening sounds like a powerful experience. Where was it held and who was in the audience? How did exploring the story privately prior to the screening impact the public shared experience of the screening for you?

                         

                        Your hope for this book club is a huge one. I want to bold, underline and italicize the words culturally respectful and responsible. For instance, It upset me greatly in the fall when I read about a school (in Quebec, I think) that thought it was a good idea to have their teachers dress up with feather head dresses to greet their students on the first day of school. (If I find the link to the news article, I'll post it here).

                         

                        Diana

                          • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                            gailterry

                            Hi Donna,  It was held at the 519 Community Centre in Toronto and it was a cross ministry Indigenous learning offered to Ministry of Ontario staff.  It was the combination of listening to the cd multiple times, reviewing the book multiple times as I find each time I listened and reach time I read the book I found something new and engaging.  So knowing the music and book so well before I saw the video allowed me to pay close attention to the animation and reflect on how this added an additional powerful piece of the emotions of the Chanie and his family.

                             

                            What happened at the school in Quebec this past fall was so disturbing on so many levels wasn't it. 

                        • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                          cortneegoure

                          Hi Everyone,

                          My name is Cortnee Goure. I am a First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Lead in my board. I hope to be able to discuss strategies for integrating Indigenous Knowledge into classrooms and engage students in critical thinking conversations. I hope to be able to talk about how to integrate resources such as this in a respectful and appropriate way and how to make the learning long lasting. Look forward to joining in with the book club!

                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                          • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                            vchetcuti

                            Hello everyone! My name is Vicki Chetcuti. I am a secondary teacher with the Thames Valley District School Board. This book club has come at a perfect time for me. "Secret Path" is next in my pile of to be read. I wanted to be part of this to have some ideas of how to use it in my classroom. I love using graphic novels and see the importance of the information in this one. I am looking forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with all of you.

                            • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                              mrsberger

                              Hello Everyone,

                              My name is Melissa Berger and I am a Special Education Teacher at Rockford Public School in the Toronto District School Board.  This book is something that I have wanted to read.  I am looking forward to learning with all of you.

                               

                              Melissa

                              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                libraryella

                                Greetings to everyone,

                                I'm Elisabeth Lion, teacher-librarian for the York Catholic DSB and I'm at two elementary schools - one in Richmond Hill and another in Newmarket. Back in the Fall I listened to an interview on the CBC with Gord Downie and Pearl Wenjack, Charlie's sister. I was so moved by their stories that I purchased the book immediately. I'm looking forward to learning and sharing reflections on how this story translates into a graphic novel and music.

                                Here's a link to that interview What Chanie Wenjack's sister wants from Gord Downie's Secret Path - Thunder Bay - CBC News

                                Elisabeth

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                  dianamali

                                  You folks are fast!

                                   

                                  Before we begin, I wanted to start the course in a particular way ...

                                   

                                  I would like to acknowledge that the physical spaces where we will be accessing this course (home, school, etc.) are situated upon traditional territories. I also recognize the enduring presence of Aboriginal peoples on this land and in the virtual spaces in which we inhabit.

                                   

                                  Please see www.ontario.ca/aboriginal/treaties or www.williamstreatiesfirstnations.ca/maps to discover what territories your current area encompasses.

                                   

                                  Looking forward to the course,

                                  Diana

                                  • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                    noproblem

                                    Hello everyone,

                                     

                                    I'm Emile Ferlisi and I'm a Special Assignment Teacher (instructional coach) with the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School board. I've been interested in First Nations studies and concerns for quite some time and I am also a pretty big Tragically Hip fan - I was very pleased and touched to see Gord Downie using his influence in such a positive way, despite his current personal health concerns. The first time I read the MacLean's article about Chanie Wenjack (via twitter) I felt chills - and I also felt strange that I was born on the same day (though not year) that this poor boy was found (October 22nd). I have read Secret Path at least a few times and the I listen to the album frequently; music is beautiful yet haunting.

                                     

                                    I enjoy graphic novels and feel that the medium offers a lot more than many educators realize.

                                     

                                    One of the teachers I am working with is interested in using the graphic novel with her grade 7/8 class so I am hoping to find ways to support her beyond my own ideas - I have also encouraged her to join us but I am not sure that she will.

                                     

                                    I live and work on the sacred territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit and I am looking forward to learning with everyone.

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                    • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                      srosekat

                                      Hi Everyone,

                                      I'm Sandra Rosekat, a Kindergarten teacher with the Toronto District School Board.

                                      I enjoy graphic novels and this one has been on my reading list. I am interested in growing in my understanding of the important topic it discusses and look forward to the discussions with all of you.

                                        • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                          dianamali

                                          Hi Sandra,

                                           

                                          Welcome to the book club! I find that this book (Secret Path) can be a quick read but is also very compelling to read and re-read. I also pick up something new after another glance. What are your reading patterns - what's your speed like? I hope that the discussion in this online discussion forum with provide me with new insights.

                                           

                                          Diana

                                        • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                          stratis

                                          Hello,

                                          I am Janet Stratis a supply teacher with the DDSB.     I'm really looking forward to the graphic novel Secret Path and bringing it into the classroom.

                                          • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                            carolyng

                                            Hi, everyone!

                                            I am Carolyn Gallagher, manager of TVO's online math tutoring programme (Homework Help) and a retired math teacher. I am really looking forward to diving into this book and learning with the group.

                                            • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                              jennmacbrown

                                              Hi everyone,

                                               

                                              My name is Jenn Brown.  I am TL at a K to 8 English and French Immersion school in north east Brampton. 

                                               

                                              I have been working over the past couple of years on developing my own understanding of the Truth and Reconciliation Report, the long term intergenerational damage of Canada's cultural genocide against First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples and the importance of authentically embedding these issues in our everyday curriculum.  Reading all that I can from the voices of the First Nations, Metis, Inuit writers and activists has really helped me to broaden my perspective and feel more confident addressing these ideas with colleagues, kids and the community.

                                               

                                              Inspired by the wide-spread popularity of Gord and this text, our staff initiated a school wide inquiry into the aforementioned concepts and how we can bring these conversations to our students.  Recognizing that this text is a huge example of how a privileged ally can give a platform to the lived experiences of others, I am venturing to move the conversation even further and expose staff and students to the stories and perspectives of those who are members of the First Nations, Metis, Inuit communities.

                                               

                                              I would love to learn how other educators, schools and boards are supporting this important work and how this text may have inspired them as well.

                                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                tallan

                                                Hi, my name is Teresa Allan. I'm a teacher with the TDSB. I usually teach grades 5 & 6 in our gifted program. I am interested in the book as part as a larger narrative. I'm still trying to find appropriate ways to discuss this topic with junior students. Looking forward to the book club and discussions!

                                                • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                  acarling

                                                  Hello all,

                                                   

                                                  My name is Annette Carling and I'm a French immersion grade 7/8 homeroom teacher. I have the pleasure of teaching history as part of my core curriculum and every year I deepen my understanding of our Canadian history and try to enrich my program with real, reliable and relevant resources. I've always found the music that the Tragically Hip made, told many truths about our History. The poems that Gord Downie has made for this very real story is something I am excited to share with my students. As a French teacher, using a graphic story, such as this, I can use the images as a great resources for students to discover the language in the pictures.

                                                   

                                                  Looking forward to the dialogue!

                                                  Annette

                                                  • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                    sevenfold

                                                    Hello, my name is Jane Chomyc and I am an online tutor with TVO's homework help. I also regularly teach summer school and do emergency supply with UGDSB. Currently I am also helping to put math courses online at U. Waterloo.

                                                     

                                                    Like many others here, I am a huge fan of graphic novels and I look forward to discussing Secret Path with everyone!

                                                     

                                                    Diana, you mentioned the size of the book being unusual, which I agree with, and it occurred to me it seems the size of a record album(but maybe not - I don't think I have one anymore to compare with!)

                                                    • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                      cclyne

                                                      Kwey kwey. Nibi biwajigan kwe n'diznaakas. Makwa n'dodem. Kitigan Zibi, Scotland n'doonjiba. Anishinaabe kwe n'daw.  More commonly known as Colinda Clyne.  I am curriculum lead for indigenous education at Upper Grand DSB.  Looking forward to hearing how others are thinking of using The Secret Path in their classes.  It is part of a national plan to have curriculum developed using this text across the country, which will be discussed next week at the NTRC National Education Table.

                                                      I also love graphic novels, and the Hip.

                                                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                                        • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                          dianamali

                                                          Welcome Colinda!

                                                          An interesting note ... I took your first few sentences and put them into Google Translate. Guess what Google Translate said?

                                                          (In case you can't see the results, it thinks that it's English.)

                                                           

                                                          We're grateful for your knowledge and expertise here. Who will attend the NTRC National Education Table?

                                                          I think that it's fabulous (and necessary) that curriculum is developed.

                                                          Favourite graphic novel or novelist?

                                                           

                                                          Diana

                                                        • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                          daylaur

                                                          Hi everyone,

                                                           

                                                          My name is Laurie Day, I am an elementary teacher with ALCDSB, currently teaching grade 5 at a school in Kingston.  Like many of you, I am interested in how The Secret Path can be used in the classroom.  A few years ago I came across the original news story of Charlie Wenjack and shared it with my Grade 8 class when talking about residential schools.  I am interested in whether/how this book can be used to talk about the experience and impact of residential schools in Canada with a younger audience.  In addition, I also purchased a copy of the book before Christmas but have not yet read it, so I'm really looking forward to experiencing it in this way!

                                                          • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                            patrizia

                                                            Hello,

                                                            My name is Patricia. I am a Teacher Librarian and I have introduced Secret Path to my grade 8 students last week using the powerful CBC documentary on the Teach Ontario Website. We will be viewing the documentary in parts due its length. It beautifully supports the curricullum for both grade 8 and grade 6 classes.

                                                            During this book talk I hope to learn more about the ways I can utilize this novel in the classroom.

                                                              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                dianamali

                                                                Hello Patrizia, a fellow teacher-librarian! Will I see you at the Ontario Library Association's SuperConference in February?

                                                                 

                                                                Please let us know of any strategies or tips you have/use when exploring this resource with your Grade 8s. How long are the chunks for viewing? Do they take notes while they watch? Are there guiding questions they use? How do they disseminate the information?

                                                                 

                                                                Diana

                                                              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                rjerome

                                                                Hello everyone,

                                                                 

                                                                My name is Rebecca. I'm a teacher candidate at Brock University in Hamilton. I discussed The Secret Path in my first placement during a history unit on the 1950s and 1960s. We looked at the realities of indigenous child welfare inside residential schools and in the child welfare system by looking at the Sixties Scoop. We also tried to define reconciliation and what it means for Gordie Downie, and what it can mean for non-indigenous communities. My students had learned about residential schools before grade 10, which was great. A few of them had been to the Woodland Cultural Centre.

                                                                 

                                                                I'm eager to discuss the book because indigenous issues are very close to my heart as a future history teacher. Obviously I'd love to hear more innovative ways of incorporating the graphic novel beyond a discussion. I'd also like to find more ways to discuss The Secret Path beyond the horrors of residential schools and place it in a more macro context for my students.

                                                                  • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                    dianamali

                                                                    Hi Rebecca and welcome to the group!

                                                                     

                                                                    I'll be in Hamilton in mid-February at the Brock University EdTech event - will you be there?

                                                                     

                                                                    I attended the TDSB Beginning Teachers and Mentors in 2016 and the keynote was Dr. Nicole West-Burns.

                                                                    She told the audience that there are six elements of social justice curriculum design for elementary education and that we should not start with the tales of oppression first. Thankfully my friend Abhi caught a photo of the slide and tweeted it. I embedded it in this old blog post of mine, in which I also reflected on my experience with my staff going through the Blanket Exercise. Have you participated in this before?

                                                                     

                                                                    Monday Molly Musings: Teaching with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

                                                                     

                                                                    Diana

                                                                      • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                        rjerome

                                                                        Hi Diana, thank you for the warm welcome!

                                                                         

                                                                        I am potentially volunteering for that event. I'm looking forward to it! In my program we don't have a technology class, so I feel a bit unprepared. I went to a Makerspace event last Saturday and I'm very interested in becoming proficient at some of these technologies.

                                                                         

                                                                        I am attending a Blanket Exercise hosted by Teach for Canada in Toronto next month. I taught a grade 10 class so I don't know what the approach to social justice was. I'm hoping my students had a good foundation before they learned about historical traumas. I will definitely keep that in mind next time I'm teaching a class. Thank you for linking me to your blog.

                                                                         

                                                                        Rebecca

                                                                    • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                      jwall

                                                                      Hi Everyone,

                                                                       

                                                                      My name is Joanna Wall and I am a Grade 8 Teacher in the Dufferin Peel CDSB. I also teach Language, Geography and History on a rotary schedule with the Grade 7's. I have been working with Emile Ferlisi, our SAT, and we both feel that The Secret Path is such an important piece that sheds light on our "untold" History.  With Term 2 starting in February, we are planning an "Alternative History" unit that will begin with Black History and narratives of slaves, while looking at the absence of many voices in our own history books. From there we will segway into the alternative history of our indigenous communities and how their stories are also left out and left untold from our History texts. It is so important to be a part of sharing these truths with our current generation of students, especially in the year that our nation turns 150 years old. It is also a great way to share Downie's poetry and music. I have always known that Downie is a creative genius, but to be able to teach this to my class, and share these stories for a much larger purpose is something that I am so happy to be a part of.

                                                                      • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                        northern_guy

                                                                        Hi Everyone, I am Greg, I teach a split grade 6/7/8 Gifted class in York Region. The Secret Path came out at exactly the time that I needed it. My students are working on creating their own picture books. They must have a focus on a social justice issue. This was a great example. They were riveted as we examined the issues behind the story. I look forward to learning more from our 'group brain.'

                                                                        • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                          tlaiello

                                                                          Hello Everyone and Diana!!  I am Iolanda, a TL from TDSB and teach ML to 7's and 8's, Drama and Dance to the 8's and Gr. 8 Geography.  Sorry I am late with my introduction.  I really am fascinated with this entire topic and want to learn more about this graphic novel.  I really look forward to learning from my very first book club! 

                                                                           

                                                                          Wonderful to be learning with you Diana!!

                                                                          • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                            tesafiddler

                                                                            Hello everyone,

                                                                             

                                                                            My apologies for adding to the conversation so late.  I am the Indigenous Education Resource Teacher with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board.  I have been using Secret Path in intermediate classrooms.  Teachers are loving it as much as the students are.  I am looking forward to reading up on the last couple weeks of posting from everyone.  Thanks.

                                                                             

                                                                            Tesa

                                                                              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                                dianamali

                                                                                No apologies necessary, Tesa. As long as you are here prior to January 31, then technically you are on time.

                                                                                I'm so glad to hear that both your teachers and students in Thunder Bay Catholic DSB are enjoying and getting lots out of their use of Secret Path with you. (If you know Joel Facca or June Ryzinski, TLs in TBCDSB, please say hi to them for me.)

                                                                                 

                                                                                I'm going to use this reply to call attention to a section on how to use Secret Path in the classroom. (Leah, maybe you or Albert can do an image copy of the button so everyone knows what we are talking about?) There was a discussion that began on Twitter that I've obtained permission to share on Teach Ontario that is quite relevant to all of us, and it'd be useful to get as many people's views on the subject as possible.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Diana

                                                                              • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                                ruthmurray-edu

                                                                                Hi everybody. I work with the Ministry of Education in the "London Region", which encompasses 16 boards. I was a secondary principal prior to this. I fear that being "away from kids" and no longer working directly in schools is leading to becoming disconnected from the current reality, particularly technologically. How's that for true confessions? I have appreciated all your comments in introductions, and look forward to a great week. I do some work with administrators of First Nations schools in this area, which has led to me joining the Book Club. Have appreciated your book suggestions dianamali.

                                                                                • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                                  community.manager

                                                                                  Hi everybody,

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I'm Albert, TeachOntario's Community Manager.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourselves to the group. We're glad you're joining us.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Thanks also to Diana dianamali for facilitating this group.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Please remember to visit the next parts of the book club, explore and dip into the discussions.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Page two:

                                                                                  https://www.teachontario.ca/community/explore/secret-path-bookclub/pages/page-two

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Page three:

                                                                                  https://www.teachontario.ca/community/explore/secret-path-bookclub/pages/page-three

                                                                                   

                                                                                  Appreciate the opportunity to learn alongside everyone,

                                                                                  Albert

                                                                                  community.manager

                                                                                  • Re: Introduce yourself & start the conversation!
                                                                                    tam

                                                                                    Hi. I'm Tam - a French and Arts Prep teacher - a little late getting here! The book has been with me since Christmas and I am starting to pull together an integrated unit mostly focused on drama, with The Secret Path as it's inspiration. The book has created a need to share it with my students. I am concerned about developing an appropriate base of knowledge and empathy, both for myself and my students. I want to prepare as well as possible for the discussions that will be opened up.

                                                                                    Looking forward to this!

                                                                                    Tam