On Literature for Children and Co-creating Meaning

AKA: For Sophie with Love…

I read Kate DiCamillo’s Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to H a couple of years ago. We both loved it! It is a raw but touching tale about being yourself and love and acceptance – and it has parts that made both of us cry. We need to be giving children literature like this: powerful books with so many layers, and so rich in meaning and depth.

Despereaux Sketch.jpgI also read Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux  to both H and my primary class. Hard not to cry for that one too. Thus, my son and students got to see an adult in their lives cry. I think that is a gift to them – an authentic response to good literature… and a glimpse into our inner workings. When we share our appraisal, we gift them with our sensitivity. There is power in the message: “This really touches my heart… It is safe and okay to feel things deeply and be so moved.”

When H was noticeably struggling with loss and grief, and I was reading books with him to support and assist him with his processing of this, he would look to me,  as we were reading and measure his response against mine. He would study my face… and then ask, “This is a sad part, isn’t it Mom? Are you feeling sad too?”

When I had a grade 2 or 3 class, prior to becoming a special ed teacher, I always read aloud to my students. I believe with conviction that reading aloud to children gives them access to the literature they cannot yet access themselves. This scaffolding stretches the edges of the world for our children – and we are right there with them to answer questions or reflect – or support them in understanding relationships or connections in the bigger world.

When we read aloud to children (and even young adults), we build the stage for a shared experience of new worlds and ideas and the opportunity to safely explore perspectives and co-create meaning.

I loved to read Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. This is a crusty old story written in 1910, which is rich with prejudice, classism, ableism, and imperialism. However,  paired with these values that we’d love to see remain lost in the last century, are huge opportunities to discuss and explore these very relevant topics with young people. There are issues and examples of trust, betrayal, loss, questionable integrity, and resiliency. Encountering these concepts within a work of fiction provides a safe forum to examine complex relationships, and responses to trauma, and what we value at our core. This is also a wonderful book for teaching about inside voice and self-talk, as there are examples of the characters’ inner dialogue and cognition throughout the entire tale. We are able to observe the outside action of the characters and their interactions with each other – but additionally – we are able to see the inner workings of the characters as they are revealed with their shared thoughts.

Uncle Jed’s Barbershop (Margaree King Mitchell) My lovely daughter, Nika, now 21, used to occasionally check this book out of her school’s library when she was in Kindergarten and Grade 1.  It always came as a relief – a tiny island of fiction in the endless sea of non-fiction dinosaur books she would tote home. This story always made me cry… and she used to tease me about that tirelessly. It is a story about goals and generosity and love and sacrifice… and I haven’t read it for years and years (and perhaps my response would be different now) but the memory of this resonates with me still.

I also read picture books aloud. I love the layering of message and multiple meanings that is added with the visual text of illustration. And – yes, of course many of my students could access these independently, but modeling the phrasing and the tone, and the energy I can bring to reading is another kind of scaffolding that brings a book alive and lights a fire for the love of literature.

I love to read aloud using voices, and have always been good at voicing characters and even at adding accents. This brings the story alive, and pulls the listener into the tale.

And… I can reread a sentence that is beautifully constructed… teach how my voice rises with a question, teach the power of the explanation mark – or quotations – and expand vocabulary with rich new language – clearly placed in a well-defined context – rather than in isolation. I can let the words roll off my tongue and be massaged with appreciation for their sound and feel, and then adjust the volume – or the speed – ever so slightly – to draw the children in… and have them begging for more.

Young people need us to help them fall in love with words and story and literature. And good stories… the best of them… give us little glimpses of ourselves… and our possibilities… and the best in all of us.

Here are a few more of my favourites:

Robert Munsch: I’ll Love you Forever

Robert Munsch: The Paperbag Princess

Robert Munsch: A Promise is a Promise

John Bianchi: Swine Snafu

David Small: Eulalie and the Hopping Head

Yorinks:  Louis the Fish   (There is a Reading Rainbow video of this story here)

Mordecai Richler: Jacob Two-Two and the Hooded Fang

Annette LeBox: Miss. Rafferty’s Rainbow Socks

Roald Dahl: James and the Giant Peach

Kevin Henkes: Chrysanthemum

Kevin Henkes: Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse

Simon Puttock: Big Bad Wolf is Good

EB White: Charlotte’s Web

Kate DiCamillo: Because of Winn Dixie

Ahhhh… powerful stories… subversive stories… inside stories… stories about identity and being your true self, stories that resonate and make you fall in love with words and worlds.

I invite you to add your favourites here as well ♥

____________________________________________________________

30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

©Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)   

Posted in Autism, Children's Literature, connections, Teacher | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Road Trip Activism… #BoycottAutismSpeaks

The other day H and I went on a road trip to Bellingham, WA. We talked long, as is our habit on lengthy drives, and had the chance to explore all sorts of topics. We also nabbed the chance to take a few photos in front of an Autism Speaks billboard.

We have driven by this billboard so many times – and each time I have cringed as we discuss the rhetoric promoted by Autism Speaks, because I wonder if the positive messages we give our son are enough to mitigate the constant barrage of negativity in the media.

But this time we stopped, and when we did so, I could see that H stood a little taller…

H and I will feel different from now on when we pass that sign because we shifted things to create a message of pride.  This action, though it may have been relatively small,  empowers him and builds his understanding that he has a right to rail against stigma and to fight for social justice.

ASBillboard4.jpgASBILLBOARD3.jpg

It was an opportunity to encourage and support H in rejecting negative stigma.

I want my son to stand strong against organizations and messages that work to tear him down, or shame him because of his neurology.

I want to my son to know that he is accepted…

That he is not broken…

That we all need support…

That he has a voice and perspectives that are valued…

That he has a right to be heard…

ASBillboard2.jpgImage description: A young man who is wearing a hoodie is standing in a grassy field looking toward an Autism Speaks Billboard which contains the 1 in 110 statistic about diagnosis and urges people to “Learn the signs.” A #BoycottAutismSpeaks sign has been added under the billboard. Text on image reads: “I want my son to stand strong against organizations and messages and that work to tear him down and shame him, or tell him he is broken, because of his neurology.I want him to feel proud that he is growing up to be an Autistic adult. That is why I #BoycottAutismSpeaks”
 

I want H to feel proud that he is growing up to be an Autistic adult.

That is why I boycott Autism Speaks!

Please check out these petitions and links to find out more and take action to support the Boycott Autism Speaks movement:

• Website: boycottautismspeaks.com

• On facebook: Boycott Autism Speaks

• On Twitter: @Boycott_AS (check out hashtags #BoycottAutismSpeaks and #EducateSesame)

• Petition: To the Corporate Sponsors of Autism Speaks

• Petition: to Sesame Street Reconsider Partnership with Autism Speaks

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

Posted in ableism, acceptance, Activist, Autism, autism stigma, Autistic, Boycott Autism Speaks | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Autistic Sun

“The image is called Autistic Sun.

That is what it stands for.

Do not trust the puzzle piece.

Do not live with fear.

Just be yourself.

Autistic people can make the world their own.”  H

HSunImageImage description: A mixed media painting (acrylic and black ink) of a golden sun peeking over green rolling hills, surrounded by a brilliant purple sky.  In the centre of the sun there is drawing of an open eye. Yellow rays, decorated with patterns and designs, radiate from the sun. A yellow road with a fence beside it leads across the hills to the horizon and follows the path to the sun as it fades into the distance.

LetterstoAutistickids.jpgH offered to share his painting for use on a new project, Letters to Autistic Kids: To Autistic kids from Autistic kids and Autistic adults (who used to be kids) with love and solidarity.

We need to signal boost this wonderful new project (curated by my spectacular friend Ibby ♥ of Tiny Grace Notes ) because these are the kinds of messages and resources our young people need.

 

Please check it out and give this wonderful site your support!

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

This post is part of the T-21 Down Wit Dat Blog Hop: Click here to enter your link and view the other participants.

Posted in acceptance, Autism, Autistic, Autistic People Speaking, Letters to Autistic Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Blacksmith at the Forge + The Music of Invention

It is summer, and with summer comes that certain sense of freedom in the days that stretch before us filled with possibility.  It is like that one gift under the tree that hasn’t yet been opened. In all honesty, I like the idea of that feeling of possibility, more than anything the package could actually contain.

Summer is like that… if you approach it the right way; like an unopened present or a wonderfully long snow day.

We work to have some of that feeling every day for H, during the school year as well. That is a part of the reason we choose distance education to support us in home schooling our boy. We want him to have the freedom of possibility and the place and space and pace so that he has the resources to pursue his interests. We want him to have the room to explore, create, and problem solve with his inventive mind and curious nature, to succeed and to sometimes fail, and to practice the skills and attitudes of self-determination.

Today, on a day that I think is entirely too hot to choose such a workplace, H is tucked away in the garage. I smile at the rhythmic, metallic clang and pounding, eventually followed by the lovely squeek-swing-bang of the screen door, chased by the tapping of his shoes on the back stairs. At our house… this is the music of invention.

H comes in, exuberant, and very warm… and sooo proud it fills the room:

“I am a Mini Blacksmith. Look Mom! Look what I made!”

TuskenRaider1.jpgH had fashioned a Gaffi Stick for his Lego Tusken Raider out of a nail.

After H had cooled down a bit with the generous help of a popsicle… he explained:

“I made this the same way all blacksmiths do it. I heated up the nail a bit with a hand torch, which is a small butane welding torch, and I used a small hammer and anvil and pounded it until the end was flat. Then I had to cool it down in water. It hissed as it cooled. I learned how to do this by researching it on the internet.”

Tuskenraider2.jpgIt wasn’t until well into the cool of the evening that H revealed to me that he had actually forged three micro weapons.

TuskenRaider3.jpgAnd before he went to bed, he confidently declared, “It was a good day. I really am a blacksmith!”

I must concur with the blacksmith… it was a good day.

And now, in the cool relief of evening, I’m reflecting that a butane fueled torch isn’t going to cut it for long, and that H may eventually need a full size anvil and a larger hammer if he is going to work with the three-foot piece of steel that he recently acquired for his next project…

But my job in this, and it is harder than it seems, is to sit back and let him figure it out…

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

This post is part of the T-21 Down Wit Dat Blog Hop: Click here to enter your link and view the other participants.

Posted in advocate, Autism, Autistic, Distance Education, letting go, self-directed learning, Space and Pace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Megan Metcalfe: I don’t want you to “negotiate” #BCTF #bced

The following is a guest post by BC Parent, Megan Metcalfe:

I sent a letter to Christie Clark’s office, Peter Fassbender’s office, and my MLA about two weeks ago. I got a response just today. It was addressed from the Premier’s office, but it was not signed and there was no name connected to it. It was the most bland, uninformative “yes, thanks for your input, we’re doing our best, yada, yada, yada” kind of letter.

So I sent this back:

Hm. I would address this to an individual, but no one signed the form letter that was sent to me. I do thank you for at least replying to me. But I find the content of your reply to be quite empty and void of real concern or discussion.
I am an open-minded individual, and I like to pride myself on listening to both sides of any story, but I am angry right now, angrier than I’ve ever been as an adult citizen of Canada.

You see, I feel that the provincial government’s actions at this time in history are unconstitutional.

I feel that my son’s years in school have been decimated, specifically and directly as a result of decisions that have been made to support the wealthy via tax cuts at the expense of our educational system.

Your very large, very expensive ads to denigrate the teachers’ position in the negotiations included incorrectly done math!! Is it that the people you had construct these ads are incompetent, or is it that you think the people of BC are stupid enough to believe the incorrectness of the ad? Either avenue does not bode well for the perception of the liberal government.

I have heard the analogy used, and I think it’s a pretty good one, that if a family needs to “tighten its belt” financially, it doesn’t go buy a Lamborghini then say it can’t afford groceries. This seems to be what the choices of the Liberal government reflect. It’s not that the money doesn’t exist, clearly if we can spring for a roof on a stadium to the tune of 514 Million dollars, there is money available, the only question is, what will we spend it on?

I believe, from what I have read, what has been shared with me, and from what actions I’ve seen the Liberals take, that there is not only a personal vendetta against teachers, but an all out war on proper education for the masses. I think you are making every effort to create a two-tiered educational system. High end for the wealthy, low-end for the economically struggling. And I don’t like it. And I will stand up against it.

You are taking advantage of teachers’ good hearts, their empathetic natures, their unselfishness, because you KNOW that what they are responsible for isn’t a product on an assembly line. IT’S OUR KIDS. It’s MY kid, with his double challenges of giftedness/learning disability. He’s a BRILLIANT BOY and he’s being allowed, like so many other wonderful Canadian kids to fall through the cracks in an overcrowded, underfunded school system.

Does Ms. Clark want to go down in history as the heartless human she’s appearing to be, remembered for her attempt to assassinate quality education? Or does she want to be remembered as the politician who truly put the most noble ideals, education and healthcare, FIRST, for Canada’s kids and for BC’s future?

You see, I used to blame teachers too. I couldn’t figure out why my son hated school so very, very much. Then I started going in to the school (which I wish more parents would do). Spending time there. Talking to teachers. Watching them cope under the most awful, awful conditions. I’ve seen so many kids so much worse off than my son. And slowly, slowly I began to realize that this wasn’t their fault. My son is a good kid. Polite, quiet. Smart, mostly. But he often became “the straw that broke the camel’s back” because of his need, REAL need for one-on one teaching with an adult, in order to succeed. And he was one of those kids that would’ve qualified for a full-time aid years ago, which means that his entire young life would have been different, if different decisions, decisions that showed some concern for our children, had been made.

I have had teachers cry with me over my kids’ challenges and celebrate with me over their successes. I share my parenting role with these people, as do most of the voters in BC. I recognize and respect that they are almost as important in influence as I am in my children’s lives. Why, please tell me, why would you not care about these people? As a single mother, Ms. Clark, surely you know that taking care of, nurturing, watching over and educating children is a grueling, often thankless job. Most of us struggle with the role even when we only have to deal with our OWN kids, let alone 30 of them, day after day!!

I WANT my taxes to pay my children’s teachers WELL. I want them to have excellent health benefits, plenty of time in the summer to connect with their own families and hone those “kid” skills. I want them not to be overstressed, not overburdened, not burned out, as ALL of us get when there is simply too much asked of us with too few resources!

I want the person co-raising my kids to be at their absolute BEST. They are helping me, and all of us average Canadians, raise our children. Is there a more important job??

Now, does my statement put me on the Liberals’ radar as someone to be feared? Silenced? Or do you see the folly in pursuing what will be a guaranteed defeat politically for this government if they don’t heed the message of the province’s people?

I don’t want you to “negotiate”. I don’t want you to work out some compromise with the teachers. I want you to give them EXACTLY what they are asking for, because what they are asking will change the lives of every child and every caring parent in British Columbia for the better and for the long-term. And I want to see you stand up and accept a lot of accolades for finally, FINALLY doing the right thing. For BC. For our children. For the future.

I expect and demand a reply.

From an individual that will sign their name to the paper.

My sincere thanks in advance for your attending to this matter immediately.

                   Megan Metcalfe

_________________

Megan Metcalfe    (Photo  from http://www.meganmetcalfe.com/bio/ - used with permission)

Megan Metcalfe (Photo from http://www.meganmetcalfe.com/bio/ – used with permission)

I must extend my appreciation to fellow BC parent, Megan Metcalfe, for her solidarity and for allowing me to share her spectacular letter.  Megan is a talented Vancouver musician, who is working on her third album.  I encourage you to check out her facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/meganmetcalfemusic and have a listen to her wonderful music there or on her website at http://www.meganmetcalfe.com.

Thank you, Megan ♥

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Please sign and share this petition to Premier Clark: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/373/030/758/premier-clark-negotiate-with-teachers-to-protect-public-education/

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

 

 

Posted in Christy Clark, Collective Responsibility, Educator, Parent, Public Education, Silence, Special Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

#Crapcessibility

I have been hanging in Bellingham with my friend Corbett O’Toole, who raised a child with a disability and is disabled herself. We have had a spectacular time. We’ve seen a few sights, driven Chuckanut Drive, and enjoyed some fabulous meals – but the best part has been the chance to connect and talk about our experiences and how they intersect. I have been gifted with a sense of confidence about the next steps I need to take to support H’s development as he transitions to adulthood, and about my ability to support him in being his authentic self.

We’ve had frivolous moments, witty interludes, and deep conversations about a myriad of topics, from childhood development, to fear, to processing, to parenting, and activism in disability communities.

As Corbett was telling me about her hotel adventures on the first leg of her summer travels from San Fransisco to Bellingham, she shared that some of the access accommodations were less than helpful. She has been collecting pictures of signs and access issues and visually documenting some of the best and some of the worst. In her hotel, for instance, in a room that is supposed to accommodate someone who uses a wheelchair, they apparently assumed their patrons would have ability to levitate or to have telekinetic powers to psychically transport items through the time space continuum

So, as a non-physically disabled person it was eye-opening to me, as is often the case when we come from the perspective of not needing a certain accommodation – or having issues of access. This has also been the case for me in with my interactions with Autistic people; it helped me understand the needs of those who might experience the world differently.

I was shaking my head in disbelief, and Corbett and I were both being sarcastic and rolling our eyes…

I said, “This is not access, this is crapcess”

…and thus the term crapcessibility was born…

Crapcessibility2Photo description: Corbett is sitting sideways to a very high sink (it’s at the height of her armpit) with her elbow on the top of the sink and a toothbrush in her hand. She is wearing a tshirt that says “Criptiques” (from the book). The text below the photo says: “Crapcessibility: pioneering a new trend… the armpit high sink…” In smaller text: “#crapcessibility” and “Thirty Days of Autism: Leah Kelley” (Image description by Corbett O’Toole)

Thank you, Corbett ♥

Your friendship, your fabulousness, your commitment to social justice, and your willingness to share your perspective and experience are very much appreciated.

You can explore Corbett’s collection of writing and body of work on her website at: www.corbettotoole.com

Corbett’s oral history can be found at: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/drilm/collection/items/otoole.html.

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

 

Posted in ableism, Activist, Autism, Corbett O'Toole, Crapcessibility, perspective of others | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance #EducateSesame Street

It has recently been announced that Sesame Street intends to partner with Autism Speaks to create programming for children, which is definitely not a positive move for reducing stigma for Autistic people. Please sign and share this petition urging Sesame Street to reconsider this partnership, in favour of an organization that is inclusive of Autistic people and exclusive of negative stigma.

Autism Speaks tells my child, my students and their families that Autistic people are a burden, an epidemic, and a tragedy. I hope Sesame Street will look deeper… because this needs to be ended. I hope they will shift their partnership to an organization that includes Autistic people and supports them and their families with acceptance, and a strength-based perspective. It is important they end their partnership with Autism Speaks, so that they continue to support and celebrate the diversity that has always been a hallmark of acceptance on Sesame Street.

And what might be an alternative you ask???

There are organizations like The Autism Women’s Network, ASAN, and PACLA, that are run by and/or inclusive of Autistic voice and are working to support Autistic people within a framework of acceptance.

Earlier this spScreen shot 2014-04-13 at 8.10.42 PMring, PACLA  (Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance) published the first issue of a wonderful new magazine, which is a beautiful example of what is possible when Autistic people are viewed from a perspective of acceptance that is not seeking to stigmatize disability.

And everybody is reading it.

And it is not expensive.

In fact it is free, and you can get a copy to peruse and enjoy and share with others right here.

The magazine is an informative publication and a much-needed resource: “In this issue, you will read a lot about what acceptance really means. It is intentional, it is a learning process for most of us, and it is absolutely worth it because our Autistic children deserve nothing less.”

Screen shot 2014-04-13 at 8.48.03 PM

And c’mon… everybody and their Frog is reading it!!

KermitReadsPACLAMAG.jpgAnd finally… if you haven’t already, please sign and share this petition urging Sesame Street to reconsider their partnership with AS, in favour of an organization that is inclusive of Autistic people and exclusive of negative stigma.

This post was originally published in a slightly different format as: Everybody and their Frog: Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance. It has been republished in support of the #EducateSesame Flashblog.

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

Posted in acceptance, Advocacy, advocate, Autism, Autistic, Boycott Autism Speaks, Kermit the Frog, Neurodiversity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why a teacher??? #thisismystrikepay #BCTF

Today on the picket lines, my colleagues and I were approached by a woman with two adorable dogs. I asked permission to take a picture of her sweet basset hound to use on social media in support of the strike.

She immediately agreed and was delightfully supportive of us teachers and what we are trying to achieve.

As we chatted, focused on getting the dog and one of our picket signs to align in the photo, she suddenly looked up at me… and then simultaneously hugged me as she queried, “OMG – Ms. Kelley?!?” 

She recognized me…

I taught her son, Ty, when he was in Grade 2…

I immediately remembered him…

I somehow even pulled his last name out of my teacher hat…

She reminded me of the Circus Show movie I made with that class (as I did with many of my classes) and how we made it look like her boy was shot out of a cannon.  We subtly <sarcasm> created a stunt double with a plasticine figure on a piece of wire for the part where he was blasting across the room. It was very high-tech…

If I recall correctly, Ty may also have been the Ring Master in our film.

These films were a hoot. I had an old, very heavy VHS camera, upon which I had to edit the film as we were recording. And though our special effects may have been a little sketchy, my primary classes and I recorded circus shows and fairy tales and such, where every child in my class had a role and was a star. I suppose I was director, producer, camera person, crowd-control, and pied piper, but the kids were stars and we worked together make the sets and the costumes and plan the shows. Sometimes the camera was shaking because I was laughing so hard, and Ty’s mom told me that I can be heard laughing on the recording of that year’s movie project.

After we were done we would invite the students’ families to our Premier, and then I painstakingly copied a video for every student. And truth be told, today is not the first time I have heard that one of these videos is still a treasured relic from a primary school past.

I am so grateful that Ty’s mom shared with me the impact I had on her son and how the experience of being accepted shaped his feelings about himself. This kid was a live-wire and needed time and assurance, and I spent many-a-day at the end of class talking with this parent and working out strategies with her to positively support the development of her child.

That is what we do as teachers.

We change lives…

Sometimes with little things…

Or in ways we may never see…

I needed this reminder.

I am a facilitator, conflict management negotiator, counselor, confidant, cheer leader, researcher, social worker, shoe tier, lunch maker, firm reliable guide, band-aid provider, crossing guard, co-learner, reader, curriculum organizer and creator, equipment demonstrator, actress, singer, poet, comedian, furniture mover, artist, dream giver, hot lunch distributor, role model, political and human rights activist, cartoonist, tear wiper, scientist, sociologist, puppeteer, group dynamics expert, leader, writer, eraser provider, story-teller, advocate, opportunity creator, inclusionist, supporter of diversity, bridge builder, pied piper…

… I am a teacher!

What a treat it was to meet this parent from so many years ago…

And to hear about this little blonde boy, Ty, who is 26 now…

He is getting married this summer… and they are showing the movie at the reception!

This is my strike pay!

Hound.jpg* A final note: It is of critical importance to understand that 18 years ago, when I taught the class that Ty was in, my class size was usually between 18-20 students, and I had the time to pay attention to each child, and take on projects that stretched all of us to our creative limits. This was prior to 2002, when the language for class size and composition was still in our contract. I am so appreciative of the lovely interaction today with Ty’s mom, that has me thinking back on all the amazing child-centred learning and projects that I was able to undertake with my students. I am renewed in my conviction that we need to continue to fight return class size and composition language to our contracts, and to take a stand to protect public education.

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

Posted in Autism, BC Teachers Federation, BCTF, Educator, social justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cross Words… Creative on the lines! #BCTF

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 10.41.36 AM

 

Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 10.51.35 AMToday we got creative on the lines, vented a little with some cross words, and made up this cool puzzle to share with our colleagues.

Here is a link in PDF format: https://crosswordlabs.com/pdf/teacher-strike-2014

I will post the answers later in the week…

Rail on!!

_________________________________________________________ Screen shot 2014-06-23 at 3.33.38 PM30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

 

Posted in Activist, advocate, BC Teachers Federation, BCTF, Christy Clark, Educator, support, Teacher | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Not alone… #BCTF #BCFED #TeachersStrike

BCFEDRally2.jpgBCFEDRally1.jpgYesterday evening, along with other members of my district’s local, I went to the BC Federation of Labour’s rally in Vancouver to support the BCTF and it was heartening to see the support from so many unions and members of the public.

I wanted to get these up and published earlier… but I am sooo not a morning person and my 5:30 am strike duty is really taking me for a ride.

I simply don’t have eloquent words today… so perhaps I’ll once again extend appreciation to those who are standing in Solidarity with the BCTF in BC and beyond, and trust the photos speak for themselves…

BCFEDRally3.jpg

BCFEDRally4.jpgBCFedRally5.jpgBCFedRally6.jpgBCFedRally8.jpgBCFedRally9.jpgBCFedRally10.jpg BCFedRally11.jpgBCFedRally12.jpgAlong with the other teachers in British Columbia, I am taking a stand for my son, and other students like him (and those who are not) and for the future of Public Education in our Province… and we are not alone!

Solidarity!

_________________________________________________________ 30 Days of Autism is a project designed to promote social understanding and offer a glimpse into the perspectives of those whose lives are touched by Autism.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)

 

Posted in Activist, Autism, BC Teachers Federation, BCTF, Educator, Parent, Public Education, social justice, Special Education, Teacher | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments