Our names are Jonathan and Megan and we teach a grade 5/6 split class at Frontenac Public School every Friday afternoon. Our kids are very energetic and full of bright and complex ideas. Each student brings a unique perspective to this classroom. We’ve covered topics like how to address bullying and cyber bullying, healthy eating with an emphasis on the four food groups, as well as goal setting and self esteem. Additionally, some of our best classes have been on substance use, abuse and addiction and healthy decision making related to alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. During these lessons we could tell that our students were drawing from personal experiences and using their critical thinking skills well. Since many students in this class have difficulty with reading and writing, they love watching and discussing videos, applying their knowledge creatively through comic strips and posters as well as playing games like jeopardy. This week we will be covering mental health and stress management and are looking forward to jumping into a unit on body image and puberty! Working with the kids at Frontenac Public School has been an incredible experience for us. We have seen so much progress from our students in such a short amount of time and have learned so much from them in turn. We look forward to a new opportunity to grow with them each week!
Jonathan and Megan
We are Jonathan and Carolyn and we teach at Limestone School. Every week we have the chance to work with an amazing group of students in middle and high school.
Our students tend to be a bit quieter, so we try to include a mix of individual activities and small group discussions in our lessons. So far we’ve learned about healthy lifestyles, body image, values, and goal-setting. The students are witty and thoughtful; they always have new and interesting ideas to share.
During our first lesson on healthy lifestyles, we asked the students to draw pictures of typical “healthy” and “unhealthy” people to gauge the students’ understanding of healthy lifestyles. We were impressed by the students’ varied and creative drawings. One student, however, chose to leave her sheet of paper blank. She explained that it was impossible to judge whether or not a person was healthy based on their physical appearance, sparking an in-depth discussion about body image that extended into the next lesson.
Every week has a new and exciting twist to it. In our most recent lesson on values and goal-setting we ran a simulation of a sinking ship. On the sinking ship each person could take three items from the ship to the deserted island. All the items had a value assigned to them. For example, handy/ creative was assigned to the toolbox. In smaller groups we talked about why each of us chose are items. This simulation was helpful for the students to see how their choices relate back to the values they embody.
This opportunity has been a great way for the kids to open up and learn new information, while it has given us the chance to connect with the students. We have learned so much from these students and we look forward to the rest of the year.
We’re Lizzy and Rachel and we teach in the School-to-Community program at QECVI in Kingston. This group is absolutely wonderful and filled with students aged 14-19.
Our classes are filled with awesome discussions and conversations with students. We love making connections and engaging with these students in a real way that makes everyone feel more comfortable in the classroom. These students are funny and smart with tons of real life experience that brings all of our lesson content to life. They are extremely eager to learn and we have had a great time watching them grow throughout the year.
Our lessons are filled with videos and activities that help to give students different perspectives and views about various topics. In our time together, we’ve discussed healthy relationships, consent, online safety, and Snapchat safety. These lessons have been awesome and our question box is filled with great comments every week. From week to week we have had more and more questions in the question box, which has brought us joy knowing that our students are beginning to trust us and they are really absorbing the information in our lessons. Throughout the year, we have had time to learn about what type of learning strategies work for our students.
We’ve recently starting discussing sexual health and the anatomy of the body. In order to start our lessons about sexual health in a light-hearted way, we began with a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3MyLt6l5n0
This is an example of how we integrate multimedia into our lessons to improve understanding. The students seem to have great interest in this topic. It is one of our last units and we have waited until now to gain more trust and increase comfort levels in the classroom.
The students in our class teach us just as much as we teach them and every session we learn something new about the students. It is wonderful! We love our class and we can’t wait to dive deeper into contraception, STIs, substance abuse, and many other interesting health-based topics.