By Rachel Collishaw

February 10, 2018

While February in Ontario is often described as a month to “just get through,” I always feel a sense of new beginnings and anticipation. As the days get longer, and the weather warms just a little, I feel pulled to get outside a little more, and to start anticipating spring and summer. For those of us in semestered schools, we have new students and everyone gets a bit of a fresh start or at least a do-over.

Important new changes are coming for History teachers, as the Ministry of Education has finalized the first phase of curriculum revisions in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. These are going to be affecting the mandatory history courses in grades 4-10. School boards will be bringing the learning to you this spring, and the curriculum will be published officially in March, for implementation in September. You can get a sneak peek at the pre-publication documents here: bit.ly/TRCrevisedcurr. I, along with several members of OHASSTA, as well as many Indigenous partners and educators from the FNMIEAO were involved in writing, reviewing and making recommendations for resource development. Grade 7-8 teacher and new member of the OHASSTA executive, Raman Sarai will blog about her experience writing team next month.

Your OHASSTA executive is busy already planning for our annual conference in the fall, which will be in the Toronto area - dates and location are being finalized as I write this. We are partnering with the Association for Canadian Studies again this year, and we will have speakers, workshops and panels on a more national scope, so it’s going to be a great year to come. We are inviting keynote speakers and planning our learning together around the theme: The Next 150. We’re hoping that you’ll consider submitting a workshop proposal in the coming months to share the innovations and exciting things that you’re trying in your own classrooms.

We’re also busy planning to offer summer institutes with OTF. These are free 3-day sessions (accommodation and other expenses included!) that are offered in various locations across the province. Last summer we offered a workshop on Blended Inquiry in Niagara, and we’re hoping to have more topics and locations this summer to learn together with your OHASSTA friends, and make new friends across the province. You can subscribe to the OTF newsletter to stay up-to-date on all their offerings from K-12, and of course we’ll keep you updated on our particular offerings here on the Rapport blog, on Twitter and our Facebook page.

Wishing you a very happy February!

@rcollishaw

Rachel Collishaw is President of OHASSTA.