Oh, those execrable exams

You’re sitting at a student’s desk in a vast hall. The exam has begun and you: – don’t have a pen – studied for the wrong exam – went to the wrong exam room, or – have no clothes on. You probably have your own version of the dreaded “exam” dream. Whatever the version, though, […]

Saving the world starts with students

Remember Grade 9 geography class? Let’s see … you figured out the locations of South Africa and the East China Sea, used pencil crayons to make a pretty map of Canada with labels for all the provincial capitals, learned to read a topographic map and made neat bar graphs with extra marks for accuracy. Me, […]

Escaping the junk food jungle

When I learned my high school daughter was heading out to the local fast food joints for lunch, I panicked. A few years back, I’d stopped packing her lunch for school because half the time it came home uneaten and, besides, I liked the idea of my daughter becoming more responsible. Well, that didn’t exactly […]

Never too early to teach manners

Picture the scene: your whole family is home from work or school. You are all sitting around the kitchen table in the early evening, quietly sharing stories of the day while enjoying mac and cheese. “Over … ” “Over … ” “OVER!” Only a parent who has undergone the long process of teaching a youngster […]

Technology no substitute for good teaching

How can students resist the temptation to send tweets or post to Facebook? The short answer is they can’t. I’ve been in university level classrooms where students are playing games, updating their status or watching a movie. If adults can’t resist, why should we expect young people to do so? Many computer labs have this […]

Teaching teens by being a good example

Teach by example. It’s what parents try to do, and when that doesn’t work we hope our children find good role models elsewhere to emulate. Some children admire celebrities from afar. In my generation it was Carole King, Martin Luther King and Elvis, ‘the King’. Today it’s Angelina Jolie and Sidney Crosby. Celebrities of all […]

Long hair can mean long hours

A seemingly innocuous exchange in my household: “Honey, could you empty the dishwasher, please?” I ask. “Oh, sure, Mom,” replies my youngest. “I’ll just finish my hair.” I let out a big sigh. You would think that I would be satisfied with my youngest daughter’s reply. It sounds like she’s being reasonable. Pleasant. Even eager […]

The unpredictable high school change

If you’re lucky, they don’t turn into hoodlums or druggies. Okay, I exaggerate. But it is with some trepidation that you should anticipate the changes that happen to your sweet, young child when he or she makes the big leap from grade school to high school. Much like Dr. Frankenstein, you might be saying, “Sweet […]

Perils and perks of teens taking transit

It’s happened to you before. You’re taking the subway home one day, just beginning to zone out, gazing tiredly into middle-space, musing about what to make for dinner. And then you wake up in a great big hurry, registering HUNDREDS of teenagers pouring into your subway car. Where did they come from?! As the teens […]