Christopher Snow: Giving young students the skills to facilitate change
Year: 2018 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
Huron Street Junior Public School
541 Huron Street
Toronto, ON M5R 2R6
School telephone: 416-393-1570
School website: http://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/huronstreet/
Subjects and grades taught: Junior and Senior Kindergarten
Christopher Snow builds his teaching around the pursuit of social justice and gender equity inside the classroom and in the world. He begins each day with a treaty acknowledgment of Indigenous lands to show children what is needed for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to build a common vision.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Christopher works to cultivate his students' intellectual curiosity and, at the same time, hone their analytical, oral, reading and writing skills so they can work toward becoming competitive global citizens.
In the Classroom
- Harnesses technology both to show children how to answer big questions about global and social issues, and to teach skills: children do online research and analyze data, while also learning how to read charts and graphs, collaborate electronically, take photos, and type and send polite emails
- Designs hands-on, cross-curricular activities to engage young learners: for example, three students used math, reading, writing, research, science and social skills to conduct a classroom eco-audit; it was such as success that there will be a similar audit of the whole school
- Strives to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call to decolonize curriculum by having students learn about the residential schools system through research, experiential learning and writing; students also visited the site of a former school, and met and listened to a survivor
- Uses a social justice lens to introduce students to topics such as human rights and environmental protection, and then, through inquiry-based activities, identify barriers and biases, examine possible solutions and consider their role as young people in facilitating change
- Was among the few board teachers invited to participate in two long-term professional development programs to work with elders and Indigenous education specialists to bring more Indigenous knowledge and culture into schools
- Was invited by the Council of Canadians to be part of a delegation of Ontario teachers who travelled to Chile in the summer of 2017 to study the ethics of investing in the Chilean water system
- Oversees school-based professional development days, working with the principal to set the agenda for school-wide teacher development, goals and action plans
"Christopher has an innate ability to understand his students and invites parents to participate in their child's progress. … Because of Christopher's expertise and dedication, I can witness my son's self-confidence soar as he becomes more comfortable with how he fits into the world around him."
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