Category Archives: MT Events

A Visit From the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada

by Susan
Master of Teaching


Students in the MT program are no strangers to 21st century competencies.

This October, the MT program is fortunate enough to have presenters from the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada (AKFC) to deliver workshops for teaching Global Citizenship in the classroom. AKFC presenters Genevieve and Afroza were experienced and eager in leading the workshop on how to teach Global Citizenship in the classroom and provided ready-to-use teaching aids.

If you are a prospective teacher, consider ways you can incorporate culture, equity, and sustainability into your class!

AKFC Global Citizenship Workshop, Oct 2017

A shocking statistic that I’m walking away today is the “Average Person” you would encounter in the world (compiled by National Geographic in 2011).

Age: 28

Gender: Male

Ethnic group: Han Chinese

Handedness: Right-handed

Average income: $12,000 US

Bank account: No

Cell-phone: Yes




Back-to-school, back-to-OISE


by Susan
Master of Teaching


With big goals, comes big responsibilities…

I’ve been away form the keyboard for a while, but I’m back to update you on everything that has happened since April. I will kickoff the first post of the school year in Question and Answer format. Continue reading for some exciting news! 😊

How was summer?

As you may know, the summer between Year 1 and Year 2 MT, consists of two sessions with two courses in each session. This summer for the Intermediate/Senior stream, I had:

  • Anti-discrimination Education
  • Authentic Assessments
  • Issues II in Secondary Schools
  • Integrating Technology into the Classroom

Towards the end of my undergrad, interdisciplinary education started getting a lot of attention from different faculties, however I wasn’t around long enough to get a sense of what that looked like in post-secondary

What’s going through my head currently?

I am getting those back-to-school jitters again, but not the same as last year

What new plans do you have for this year?


I’m eager to get my research paper started and recruiting participants.


I took on an executive role on the Master of Teaching Student Association (MTSA) as the VP of Professional Development. Sometimes I treat this like a full-time job because my team and I have so much planned for this coming year. We are introducing everything from professional headshots to MT clothing to an MT formal.

What hasn’t changed?

Same cohort as before! These people are my rock, I can’t imagine going into my final year without them!


What to expect the summer between year 1 and year 2 of MT

by Susan
Master of Teaching


Many of you are probably wondering “how can I keep up with work, social life, extra-curriculars…” while the MT program runs during the summer as well. Well I am here to tell you that there will be plenty of time to soak up the sun!

Here is an approximate schedule of year 1 sessions in the MT program:

Fall term (Year 1): Mid-September to Mid-December (Mon-Thru)

Winter term (Year 1): Early January to Mid-April (Mon-Thru)

Spring “Intersession” term: Mid-May to June (Tues, Thur)

Summer term: July to Mid-August (Tues, Thur)

As you can see there will be opportunities to balance work, travel and a social life during this time. Not to mention, classes during the spring and summer run two days a week. Just like during the regular academic year, you will be taking courses with everyone in your cohort. You will be automatically enrolled in these spring/summer courses which can be any of the mandatory degree requirement courses. There are courses such as Research, electives, and practicum that will not be taken over the spring and summer.

My plans this spring/summer?

I will be taking a two-week leadership program at another university before the spring intercession, produce and direct a music video for the MT program, working as a leadership instructor for engineering camps and preparing for an executive role in the Master of Teaching Student Association! I gotta say, I can’t wait!

First Welcome to new MT’s at the March Meet and Greet

by Susan
Master of Teaching


Hi everyone!

This post is a quick check-in about my thoughts on the MT Meet and Greet in March 2017. This event was hosted by the MT program – Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and the Office of the Registrar and Student Services. It was a night for prospective students who have been given offers (final and conditional) to get to know more about the programs. This session focused on the cohort-model at OISE, unique off-site learning opportunities, practicum and course details.

I took part in meeting and talking to prospective students in the Intermediate/Senior breakout session and the library information session. Let me just say, the level of enthusiasm and energy in the room felt like the warm feeling of family that my cohort has brought me!  (OISE never fails to select a great bunch of teacher candidates haha).

Finally, my highlight of the night in addition to all the eager questions I received, was hearing that students were reading my blogs and found them helpful and reassuring. I am so happy if my own experience helped or will help you decide whether OISE is the right place for you 🙂

Teaching Democracy – Demystifying the Electoral Process

by Susan
Master of Teaching


Let me begin by saying, this was one of the most informative and eye-opening workshops I have ever attended. The reason I am making such a big claim is that teaching democracy isn’t an issue teachers and teacher candidates frequently talk about. While students are taught specific subject content in preparation for graduation and post-secondary education, how future Canadians can contribute to the governance of their country has been pushed to the sidelines.

The workshop was structured as roundtables with guest speakers rotating among the discussants. Here’s a recap of the November 29th workshop.

So why teach democracy?

The electoral process is typically taught in the Civics course in gr 10 and keynote June Creelman (Elections Canada) urges for educating young future voters to overcome the challenge that many people (particularly young people) don’t vote. And as teachers, educators have the ability to impact future voters.

Keynote Ali Nason, who teaches history and civics focuses on student contribution to their communities. Her mantra is to start with something closer to home and create the world they want to live in through civic action. Consider multiple perspectives by describing their innate political stance.

A third keynote given by middle school Maria Vamvalis reminds teachers the number of years they spend with students in their formative years, have the ability to nurture the future society their students create. To move away from the “banking model of education” teachers must increase critical thinking.

My impression

Wow this session was informative and new to me. I never took Civics in high school and I find the electoral process complicated to the point I get headaches. I often hear kids expressing their opinions on the US elections more so than CAN elections. Just this past practicum, I walked into my office the morning after Trump’s win and I could hear the conversations in the hallway and arguments coming from classrooms. If only we got that kind of reaction for Canadian elections…

Teachers are not and do not have the ability to be the only source of knowledge…as I have learned from my practicum and a review of literature. However, teachers should be able to pose questions that have ongoing answers to scaffold learning.

Have questions about the MT program? Feel free to leave a comment!

Educating for Peace and Justice Conference: Part 3

Here is Uthish wrapping up part 3 of the Educating for Peace and Justice Conference student reflections.

“At the Educating for Peace and Justice Conference (EPJ) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), I attended the “A Literacy Approach to Anti-Bullying” workshop. The presenter, Larry Swartz, explained how to generate awareness about bullying in the classroom and presented strategies to help educators have a greater understanding about bullying. Although I am in the Intermediate/ Senior stream, the resources provided, which included young-adults, drama-based guides, and poems can be used throughout all learning levels. One of the activities Swartz used in the workshop, to have participants understand the complexities of bullying, was having the participants use abstract drawing. The abstract exercise required the workshop attendees to draw a circle, square, and triangle on a sheet of paper and offer the role of the bully, bullied, and by-stander to one of the shapes. The activity allowed us to reflect on the relational power dynamics in bullying scenarios. As the role-relationships changed, we took factors of readiness, home-related issues, and methods of outreach. The EPJ allowed my colleagues and I to interact with working methods to reduce bullying in schools, which influenced and will continue to influence our own practices as we take on the role of the educator.” -Uthish


Uthish Ganesh

MT I/S English and History


Educating for Peace and Justice Conference: Part 2

Here is part 2 of 3 with Michelle DeFilippis.

“On January 21st, I had the opportunity to attend three very informative and wonderfully executed workshops as part of the Educating for Peace and Justice Conference at OISE. Choosing from the list of workshops was nearly impossible; each and every one had an intriguing title and I found myself trying to cover as many areas as possible in my choices. One of the workshops I attended was called Developing Strategies to Optimize Learning: Connecting with the Stillness Within. I chose it because it sounded like this workshop would focus on encouraging mindfulness in each individual student as opposed to the class as a whole, which I found interesting. The two presenters, Ella Karia and Julia Arbuckle, used their unique personal and professional experiences as educators to share relevant research, personal anecdotes, the teaching and practice of a breathing technique called The Victory Breath, and an outline of the resources and workshops for teachers and schools, for instance the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!). Their focus was on how to bring about more self-awareness in our students; they described the idea that most children and adolescents don’t actually know how they get angry or why, but that as educators we have the tools to help them in this process. The takeaway message was that the parents and grandparents of our students, may not have had the resources available to cope with their own stress and anxiety, but today’s educators have an opportunity to create a new model for kids to follow when they feel stressed.” – Michelle


Michelle DeFilippis

MT I/S General Science and Math

To catch on part 1 click here. To continue to part 3 click here.

Educating for Peace and Justice Conference: Part 1

This year, OISE brought back a sought after conference called Educating for Peace and Justice Conference. To show you a glimpse of the workshops that were offered, I asked some fellow MT candidates to give you their take on the conference. Here is part 1 of 3 with Abbey Ramdeo, enjoy!

“Hey friends! On January 21st, I had the pleasure of attending an EPJ Conference that hosted workshops with themes ranging from Social Justice to Mindfulness. With the quickly approaching deadline for the first draft of the Master of Teaching Research Paper in mind, I chose each of my workshops in order to expand my understanding on Global Citizenship Education (which is related to my own research on antiracist education). These workshops were chosen based on the title and not description– I am a firm believer that my first instinct is the best choice – so I had a limited idea of what to expect. But, I knew what I wanted to learn. Specifically, I wanted to learn strategies that would foster students with skills and competencies to be socially responsible, global citizens. This expectation is exactly what the first workshop (“Creating a World-Changing Classroom”, with Maria Vamvalis) I attended was able to satisfy. Maria provided strategies for grade 7 and 8 Geography, but I found that I could apply these in my own science classes (and even other disciplines, such as English). One strategy that surprised me and stuck with me is how to formulate questions in ways that would engage students in “critical, creative, and collaborative” thinking. As future teachers, it is our role to nurture these skills, and I discovered how something as simple as asking a question could support that.” -Abbey

Abbey Ramdeo

MT I/S Biology and Social Science

To read part 2 click here or to jump ahead to part 3 click here.

Building Futures Quick Recap

by Susan
Master of Teaching


This half-day workshop was brought to OISE by leaders from the Ontario Ministry of Education and was open to Master of Teaching and Master of Arts (CSE) students. During registration (online), I was able to choose from 8 different workshops. I ended up attending “Supporting Student Achievement in Literacy and Numeracy” and “”Hire Me!’: Exploring the Psychological Leadership Resources of Self-Efficacy, Resilience, Optimism and Proactivity”. The workshop turned out to be more than I expected. I was in workshops with students who were in the same boat as me and educational leaders from the ministry who were interested hearing about my research. Each workshop provided tons of resources that you could find online or request for free.

I found 3 quotes that resonated with me and described my attitude towards success during the “Hire Me…” session. I hope everyone has their own personal motto that drives their motivation!

“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.” – Peter Drucker (2005)

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

“Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage. Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favour another small win.” – Karl Weick (1984)

If you missed it this year, be sure to check out the Building Future’s website here and come back next fall for another round of great workshops!