Thursday, 19 January 2017

Apprentice Teachers Deepen Knowledge of Customized Learning

During their time at Greenwood, our apprentice teachers get to know our students -
and how they learn - incredibly well.
Customized learning is at the heart of Greenwood, and it’s one of the main focuses of our Apprentice Teacher program.

By working with experienced teachers, coaching sports teams, supervising outdoor education trips and service learning initiatives and completing on-calls, our six apprentice teachers get to know our students - and how they learn - incredibly well. These quality relationships between students and teachers are integral to supporting a truly customized program.
“The Apprentice Teacher program is a win-win,” says Mary Gauthier, Executive Director of the Greenwood Centre for Teaching and Learning. “Teachers new to the profession have the opportunity to learn about all elements of the school community, and to connect with many different subjects and age groups; in turn, Greenwood benefits from the many ways apprentice teachers support the program, from coaching school teams to supervising weekly community service activities.


Apprentice teachers meet with Mary one per week to explore a topic connected to
customized learning.

OISE Certificate Program

Earlier this fall, Mary approached the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) about creating a course connecting research in customized learning to the Greenwood experience – and OISE readily agreed. This course is run out of Greenwood's Centre for Teaching and Learning; it is unique to Greenwood, and will earn each apprentice teacher a certificate in “Teacher Induction: Applying the Research to Design and Deliver Customized Learning.”
Once a week, our six apprentices meet with Mary to discuss a topic connected to customized learning – whether it’s the teen brain, grouping students by readiness or relational teaching. At the end of the year, our apprentice teachers will reflect on their own practice through an action research project on designing and implementing customized learning. In keeping with Greenwood’s approach, they can choose the form their final project will take; options include a research paper, an article, a presentation or a video.
“The OISE certificate brings even more value to the Apprentice Teacher program,” Mary says. “In addition to gaining hands-on experience both in and out of the classroom, these teachers can also further their professional credentials.” 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Fostering Creativity with Smart Design

"It's an excellent space for supporting different modes of teaching," says media arts
teacher Marcio Sargento.

When it comes to creating an amazing digital media lab, technology is only part of the puzzle. The thoughtful design of our new media arts space plays just as big a role in fostering students’ creativity.

The media lab is equipped with everything a filmmaker or media artist might need: 22 iMacs loaded with Adobe Suite, three flat-screen monitors, a wide-format printer, a high-fidelity sound system and a soundproof recording and editing suite. However, it’s the design of the room that allows students to take full advantage of these tools.

“It’s an excellent space for supporting different modes of teaching,” says media arts teacher Marcio Sargento. “We can have a teacher-led lesson at the front of the room, individual work in the middle of the room and small groups at the back, all in one period.”


The digital media lab's 22 iMacs are equipped with Adobe Suite.

Film teacher Doug Brown agrees. “The long layout of the space, along with portable whiteboards, allows us to execute multiple lessons in the same room based on student needs.”

Collaboration is key in courses that facilitate the creative process, and students need ample opportunity to bounce ideas off of their classmates and provide constructive feedback on each other’s work. The openness of the new lab gives students the freedom to move around and gather as needed, and to break into small groups. And with three projection screens spread throughout the classroom, students have the ability to see lessons from every part of the room.


Grade 12 student Amelia used the media lab to create this "Day of the Dead" illustration.

Though students and teachers love the light-filled room, it’s sometimes necessary to block out natural light to deliver an effective lesson. With this in mind, motorized blackout blinds were installed to allow for control over the space when film students are learning about advanced lighting techniques.

The new media lab presents endless possibilities, and we look forward to seeing what our students create!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Building Skills and Confidence in the Student Success Centre

The Student Success Centre hosts our Learning Strategies classes, and is also open to all
students before and after school and at lunch.

Located on the second floor, Greenwood’s warm, welcoming Student Success Centre helps students build confidence and develop new learning skills.

In addition to hosting our Learning Strategies courses, the Success Centre is open to all students before and after school and during lunchtime. A variety of spaces, including breakout rooms, quiet study areas and bar seating, allow students to select the right work environment for them.

“In our Learning Strategies classes, some students work best in small groups, while others want to work independently or have a one-on-one meeting with their teacher,” says Jennifer Lillie, Director, Student Success. “The new Centre meets all of these different needs.”


"With the glass walls, students can always see their peers and teachers working, and it
encourages them to do the same," says Jennifer Lillie, Director, Student Success.


The Success Centre is very popular with students, and two teachers are always on hand at busy times to ensure students have the support they need, whether it be study skills, organizational tips or time-management strategies.

“The space is very inviting,” Jennifer says. “With the glass walls, students can always see their peers and teachers working, and it encourages them to do the same.”

Ultimately, the Success Centre helps students to gain a greater understanding of how they learn, and to apply that knowledge both in and out of the classroom.


A variety of spaces, including breakout rooms, quiet study areas and bar seating,
allow students to select the right work environment for them.