Dear Future Grade 7 & 8 Students…

My name is Mr. Aspinall and you will be my ninth homeroom class. However you are more than just a number and you are more than just my new students. You will also be my new teachers.
 
I would like to welcome you today to your new classroom. This is your space. You will notice that I don’t even have a desk. This is your new community. As community members it is important for us to take care of each other and treat each other with respect and dignity. You have my respect.
 
This is an inviting space where each individual has the freedom to share and express themselves without fear of judgement. A place where the synergy of ideas can develop something incredible that I cannot yet describe or even envision.
 
I want to make a promise to you today.
 
• I promise to listen and learn from you.
• I promise to challenge you and be challenged by you.
• I promise to support every one of you to the best of my ability.
• I promise to make learning real.
• I promise to make learning personal.
• I promise to make learning fun as best I can.
• I promise to do my very best to make next year the best it can be.
• I promise to teach you to the best of my ability.
 
I am writing this letter today in pure excitement and I will post it on our classroom blog. Tonight’s homework assignment is to read this letter to your parents with an open mind and open heart. A simple task, but it will set you up for success. Not just classroom success, but success in life.
 
You will find this is a place where creativity is encouraged and problem solving is key to critical thinking. You will find choice in how and what you want to learn about. This is a place to explore your interests and ideas.
 
You will find challenges, struggles, success and even failures.
 
While curriculum is important, I remind myself that I teach people. You are individuals. Individuals with different strengths, weaknesses and next steps. I am an individual too. I promise to keep learning. I promise to spend every extra minute I can to become better at what I do. After all, this is about you and your future.
 
Individually, we have strengths, weaknesses and next steps but together we have synergy. We have the potential to change the world. Together we can achieve greatness.
 
Let’s make that happen. Cherish the memories we make next year. I know I will…
 
Have a great summer,

 

Mr. A

Media Task: Wednesday

How I responded to sexism in gaming with empathy by Lilian Chen

Lilian Chen grew up playing Super Smash Brothers Melee. But when her love of the game led her to compete in national tournaments, she noticed a big gender imbalance that brought with it a troubling social dynamic. In this TEDYouth talk, Lilian details her experiences with sexism in the Smash community and how she is now aiming to raise awareness for this topic in a way that doesn’t shame male gamers.

Your Task: Write a blog post reflection. How did this talk make you feel? Can you empathize? Have you ever been in a situation of gender discrimination?

Muskoka Woods Recount

On your blog, write a five paragraph recount from the trip.

Please include:
1) Your favourite event. What made it so awesome?
2) Your least favourite event. How could it be improved?
3) Anything else you would like to share.

(If you didn’t go on the trip, write about your week at home.)