Home Outdoor education These GTA teachers get an A + for their cuteness

These GTA teachers get an A + for their cuteness


The pandemic has been a difficult time for students in the GTA. However, some teachers have gone above and beyond to make their children feel comfortable and supported.

We asked you to nominate an inspiring teacher in your life as part of the CBC Toronto program Teacher function. We have received dozens of entries, now let’s meet some of the educators who deserve a special spotlight.

The submissions have been edited for clarity and length.

(Olivia Mailer)

Rebecca Mailer
Robert Munsch Public School, Mont Albert
A kindergarten teacher who has been an educator for 27 years.

“Ms. Mailer is my son’s kindergarten teacher. She also taught kindergarten to him. Last year when the world stopped, Ms. Mailer (with the support of her educator, Ms. Tayna Laverock) set up a vibrant online educational program for lots of restless kids. They had fun, were engaged and were able to find a ‘space’ to play with each other. Ms Mailer even made special home visits to drop off reading materials and lessons to keep our new little students active. She is a beautiful soul, a great teacher, and I will be eternally grateful to her for putting so much energy into creating a program that encouraged growth and brought consistency to the lives of my son and his peers. “
-Named by Kelly Phillips

Ms. Mailer’s inspiration: “I decided to be a teacher at the age of six thanks to a wonderful first year teacher. She made me feel seen and heard. My overall goal every day is to make every child in my class feel like me: seen and heard. Once that happens, I feel like the learning will always follow. Children give me so much joy and love. What other job can you be “invited to” at birthday parties every day? “

(Bernadette Smith)

Hasina kara
York District School Board (Virtual Elementary School, Randall Public School in Markham)
A long-term occasional teacher (LTO) who teaches various years at the elementary level.

“When people ask me how e-learning went last year for my child JK, I always say ‘we won the lottery with a great, caring teacher’. Ms. Kara always goes above and beyond to make sure every student is included and heard. Holding the attention of four-year-olds for more than five minutes in person is a miracle, let alone online! From her course structure to engaging exploration stations, Ms. Kara’s creativity and innovation is exactly what young minds need. Any family who works with Ms. Kara will receive a real gift.
Nominated by Jennifer Di Pietro

Ms. Kara’s inspiration: “I started teaching because my family told me as a kid that I asked a lot of questions. I wanted to be in a space each day to answer these questions with my students and learn with and from them. Every day, the smiles of the students and their thirst for learning and taking action are what motivates me. “

(Athena X)

Adrienne Clarkson Public School, Richmond Hill
A resource teacher in grades 4 and 5 and in special education who has been an educator for 13 years.

Will is a teacher who cares deeply about all the students. At school, despite everything that was going on in the world, whether in person or online, her first concern is how her children are doing. This man’s dedication to the mental health and well-being of his students makes him the kind of teacher all children will remember. He’s a charismatic, bright, funny, sincere and a little bit wacky guy – every student deserves to have a teacher like him at least once. “
-Named by Erika Gordon

Mr. Gourley’s inspiration: “My goals have always been to integrate social justice and anti-racism pedagogy into all aspects of my daily teaching while helping my students discover and develop that they are each 10 out of 10 at something. they are excited to learn every day. For me this happens by putting attention and connections first to the program. Outside of the classroom I work a lot with TED Ed and the student voice, helping students / educators to develop their own TED lectures. “

(André Gibson)

Julia Donnelly O’Neill
Founder of the Toronto School of Nature
Teaches grades 3 to 9.

“In the fall of 2020, Julia founded the Toronto Nature School, a program to connect children and education with nature. Julia’s goal and the Toronto Nature School’s goal is to continue to provide a space for students to learn outdoors, to be themselves and to feel safe and secure to explore the world around them. “
-Named by Stacie Huculak

Inspiration from Mrs. Donnelly O’Neill: “I am motivated by the magic that happens when students learn outdoors. My goal and the goal of the Toronto Nature School is to continue to provide a space for students to learn outdoors, to be themselves and to feel safe to explore the world around them while they learn and feel safe. making friends. My hope is to continue to make outdoor learning accessible to more children. “

(photo submitted by Melanie Korach)

Melanie Korach
Coronation Public School, Oshawa
Educator for twenty years. Currently teaches a split grade 1 and 2 class.

“Mélanie launched a program a long time ago, based on The story of the starfish (“I made a difference for that one”) written by Loren Eiseley, and calls it The starfish club. His students thrive in his classroom, not like I’ve seen them before. I had to teach adults in a mixed environment of virtual and in person and it’s like running a marathon every 3 hours, so I warmly applaud our teachers who made things happen in virtual, mixed or in-class classrooms. person throughout the pandemic. Melanie isn’t just their teacher, she’s their coach and loudest cheerleader. ”
-Appointed by Christine Newman

Inspiration from Ms. Korach: I am extremely passionate about the mental health and well-being of children. Daily mental health messages, positive affirmations and mental health practices are built into everything I teach. My goal is for every child to leave my class feeling that they matter. My mantra in class is “I see you. I hear you. You matter!”