As I huddled in homeroom English, I glanced at the clock, willing it to inch forward. It was Monday, and I knew what was coming – my grade 9 English teacher, Mrs. Meredith, would soon ask me to return to her class after school. Her newspaper club met then, and she was anxious for me to become a member. I suppose she spotted potential still unknown to me; a geeky, chubby 14-year old with coke-bottle glasses and frizzy hair – but I continually declined, theorizing that joining the writing geeks would certainly not elevate my already non-existent status.
But she was persistent, and creative – the very next Monday morning, Mrs. Meredith slapped me with detention for a questionable, minor offense. Bewildered, I stuttered an apology and agreed to return that afternoon. And so, I was sucked into the meeting, and into the club, and before I knew it, I was the first 9th grade Editor-in-Chief in newspaper club history.
We’re Facebook friends now. And she still calls me “chief” from time to time.
These were the days of dot matrix printers and 13-inch computer monitors. When electronics were limited to your boyfriend’s pager and your oversized boombox. When technology was a luxury.
Today, 88% of Canadian teachers and 80% of parents agree with the use of technology in the classroom. Providing a national voice to those closest to students, Parents and Teachers on Education asked both groups to share their perspective on Canada’s education system.
Technology is a teaching and learning instrument and, when used effectively, can empower personalized learning and improve outcomes for students. And, in preparing students for their futures, 85% of teachers agree that knowing how to use Microsoft Office is a critical success factor for post-secondary and career readiness.
Microsoft is committed to being a partner in education, with programs designed to empower parents, teachers and students to achieve more through training, resources and education savings. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that over four million Canadian students were eligible to access Office at no cost, saving families up to $200 million.
(Students can check their eligibility at microsoft.ca/freeoffice.)
Another way Microsoft is putting an emphasis on learning is with their #ThankYouTeachers initiative. In celebration of the 21st World Teacher’s Day, Microsoft Canada, with the help of Staples, is recognizing 21 schools that are making an impact in their community. Selected schools will receive a Teacher Appreciation Package, including:
– $1,000 Staples gift card
– Keurig brewing system
– 3 month’s supply of Van Houtte coffee
– Professional development workshop
– Teacher appreciation luncheon
One lucky school will also receive Windows 10 Surface Pro 3 tablets for each of their teachers!
Anyone can nominate a school that is making an impact in their community by completing the nomination form. In 250 word or less, simply tell Microsoft about the teachers at your child’s school who enrich the lives of their students and surrounding community (e.g. extra-curricular activities, advancing student skills through technology, volunteerism, fundraising).
Hurry! The contest ends on November 1, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winning schools will receive their prize package by December 31, 2015.
I often think about about my grade 9 English teacher, and the fateful day that she tricked me into joining her newspaper club. Thank you, Mrs. Meredith, for seeing my potential, challenging my fears, and allowing me to realize my passion for writing.