Being the Change #cyberPD Part 2: News

You know when sometimes you just feel at a loss? You feel like what is happening in the world doesn’t really make sense to you, and you’re not quite sure what to do about it… I’m having one of those times right now.

Lisa Corbett wrote about some things that are happening here in Ontario on her blog. I thought this might be a good opportunity to try out the “Moving Beyond Our Initial Thinking” lesson… So here I go (I focused on only one story at the moment, but the sex ed. curriculum changes are also deeply troubling!):

My News My Thinking (questions, opinions, emotions) My Identity My Ideas for Action
Ontario government cancels curriculum writing to update curriculum to include Indigenous perspectives

Angered, disappointed, worried about the future of Ontario education and the loss of an opportunity to include different perspectives directly into the curriculum

What can I do to support the work of reconciliation? How can I work with my colleagues around the province that want to include indigenous perspectives?

How will the students and community I work with react to this news?

What plan IS in place to “‘move ahead with’ the curriculum revisions related to the TRC?”

Teaching FN students

Work in FN community affected by residential schools


Ontario voter



Write a letter to my representative and the Education Minister (which I have never done before, but why not start now?)

Read more articles from various sources.

Talk to other educators and people affected by this to hear their stories.

Continue to collaborate with colleagues from across the province (and country) to work on projects like #CraftReconciliation to help students find their voice


Doing this activity was eye-opening for me – it gave me time to think and reflect on the news this week.  As I continue through this book, I look forward to doing more of the work. It gives me a much clearer sense of the struggles, tensions, and roadblocks that students may face – and I feel that if I am going to ask teachers or students to do this, then I first have to dive in myself. Having the opportunity to learn from Ahmed’s Being the Change and from others in the #CyberPD group is a great way to think about how to deal with tough conversations that I might otherwise avoid.

One thing that adds to my feelings of loss is not having a classroom next year. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing colleagues that are doing this work, but I miss designing the kind of learning opportunities Sara Amhed talks about on a regular basis. I hope that in my coaching role, I can support teachers to incorporate social comprehension!

If we value identify and honor kids’ news, then strategize with them on how to muddle through the self-exploration and collaborative dialogue the incidentally occurs with all the questions they have, we will grow a generation the honors a range of perspectives and flexibility of thought (Ahmed 77).

This is the work.


4 thoughts on “Being the Change #cyberPD Part 2: News

  1. Hi Caroline,

    One thing I am wondering about is the amount of background knowledge you have about this news story and how 1) that had a role in your the selection process and 2) much prior knowledge you needed to have in order to complete the chart. As I watched the Tweetstorm that emerged as news got out about the canceled curriculum writing teams, I noticed that many of the educators were/are upset not that the math or gender studies or other curriculum writing teams were canceled. The anger was focused on the Indigenous writing team. I am unclear if Ontario educators understand the complexity of the work in arranging for Indigenous writing teams or if they were /are upset because they want the supporting documents now.

    Looking forward to your thoughts,

    • Hi Julie,
      You have some great questions. As I was reading chapter 4, I thought about our conversation earlier in the week about this topic, so I think part of the reason I used this topic was because it has been front of mind, and in working with you and others in the past, I have some background knowledge that made me feel like there was something I had to say about it. I think the chart itself does not necessarily require much background knowledge on the story itself – I took it as a starting point for further research. However, I don’t want to underestimate the importance that background knowledge played in my selection of this topic for my chart. I think that to care enough about something that it becomes part of your “news” means that you must know something of the topic – there has to be a connection. I also think that when completing the “action” having some knowledge may help generate ideas for what to do with the news. Does that answer your question?
      I don’t want to speak for others about why they are angered by this topic. I think I need to add some thoughts to my “thinking” column because I’m not upset only because the supporting documents will not be there, but I’m upset by the way this was done – it has damaged the trust that is so necessary for building a relationship and a way forward. Trust is so hard to build and so easy to destroy. What does this mean for the possibility of reconciliation?

  2. I like this a lot! I especially like the action that comes at the end. We all have opinions but it’s a whole other thing to actually do something about them! I feel that as a coach you’ll have a broad influence in your school, helping to take this work to many classes!

    I’ll give Julie my opinion. I think most educators in Ontario are worried about the ripple effect this will have. First this one is gone, then that one is changed… we know the social studies curriculum was starting to be revised, and even had some inservice about it, but it’s weird now to have part new part old going in to a new year. But it was just so disrespectful….to have your coming week’s plans, which included time off work and travel plans, abruptly cancelled at 4pm Friday? That’s plain annoying. And to know that an entire marginalized group has now been so completely disrespected is infuriating. There were other writing teams that also had their work cancelled, but there were so many Indigenous people looking forward to having their story told. I feel, and think lots of others feel, that we’ve elected someone who mirrors the current president of the USA in his attitudes toward people who are different than him, and I think people are afraid that these few moves are the beginning of loss of respect and rights for Indigenous people, LGBTQ2 people, and anyone who struggles to make ends meet. We’ll see I guess.

  3. I can quickly see how using this chart helped you process your thinking of “your news” and provided you with options of how to deal with it — what you can actually do to make a difference, or at least try. 🙂

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