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Professional Practice

Illustration of a chalkboard drawing featuring the facial profile of three people.

This year, with the approval of my school principal, I ventured into co-teaching with two colleagues (Nicolas Guimond, OCT, and Anouschka Enders-Zigoumis, OCT).

Here's what it's all about. Students work in a large classroom with a flexible layout geared to teamwork. Two screens simultaneously project digital content to explain the lessons. While one teacher is giving a lesson, the other two provide support, implement accommodation measures and provide changes for students who are struggling.

This is not only positive for the students, because they benefit from the combined years of experience of three seasoned teachers, but it benefits us as well. Together, we can better support students with learning exceptionalities and address behavioural management challenges.

It's an innovative project that can benefit students personally, socially and academically.

Mélissa Balthazar, OCT Grade 6 teacher at École élémentaire publique L'Odyssée, Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario


Student Safety on the Move

Whether they're in cars, on bikes or on foot, students can make their way to school safe and sound with the Ontario Road Safety Resource (ontarioroadsafety.ca). This site — designed and presented by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Physical Health and Education Association (Ophea) and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) South Central Ontario division — is full of activities you can use in class and beyond. The material is categorized for elementary, middle and high school classrooms, and the lessons are linked to curricula such as literacy and health. A few notable resources: road-sign bingo to help familiarize young elementary students with those crucial traffic-safety markers. For middle school, there's a "Technology and Transportation" lesson to get students thinking about the link between technology and road safety. And high school teachers will see lessons about the risks of drinking and driving, how to operate all-terrain vehicles safely and other more advanced transportation topics.

Looking to do something for not just your own classroom but a whole grade, school or maybe even the wider community? Check out the Community Engagement Kits, which provide pointers for creating larger-scale activities. Try a bike rodeo, for instance, where participants learn laws and good cycling techniques. Or run a road safety week and host community partners while tackling road safety issues over a number of days.

To put this site and its content into context, according to Transport Canada's motor vehicle traffic collision statistics for 2018, that year saw more fatalities and injuries than 2017, although fewer serious injuries. Clearly, there's still work to do to make our roads as safe as possible. With Ontario Road Safety's resources, you can help.

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