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Back to School Resources for Educators!

Safe@School COPA National offers extensive resources to help educators jumpstart a new school year and ensure safe, strong, free classrooms. Many of these resources can be found on Safe@School, a comprehensive web resource created in collaboration with the Ontario Teacher’s Federation. Safe@School offers 4 Professional Learning Modules with concrete strategies and tools. Below is a brief description of what you will find in each. Youth Empowerment This professional learning module is full of testimonials and examples illustrating the wisdom, capacity and profound caring of young people, and the critical role of adults as their facilitators and supporters. It emphasizes the potential of young people to positively affect their school environment when they have opportunities to lead, to speak and be heard, to make decisions, and to take action. Guided by the wise and passionate voices in this learning module, teachers and school staff will develop and strengthen strategies and practices aimed at channelling their students’ energy and motivation into constructive, positive action. Bullying Prevention Recognizing the complexities of bullying and preventing it are far from simple matters. The electronic forms that social and emotional bullying can now assume only add to the challenges that educators face as they tackle this pervasive problem. Understanding bullying, how it affects all of us, and recognizing it as a form of aggression is the cornerstone of efforts to prevent it. Although we may sometimes feel powerless or unable to address bullying behaviour in our schools, as teachers, individually and collectively, we can find many opportunities to model and encourage behaviours and interactions. Through this training module, our hope is to provide assistance for that work. Equity and Inclusive Education This module aims to provide a resource for teachers, educators, and school staff working with students in Grades 7 to 12, though much of the content and many of the strategies may also be useful for primary to junior level teachers. The module offers opportunities for teachers to increase skills, awareness, and understanding related to the following:

  • Social context of racism, sexism, and homophobia;

  • Role of identity, power, and privilege in shaping our world view;

  • Respect for diversity;

  • Steps we can take to make a difference.

It is hoped that the module will prove useful to all those who believe in this vision for change and are seeking concrete tools and information to make it a reality.

This professional learning module offers a practical approach to bringing parents and Caregivers into discussion and dialogue aimed at creating a safe and inclusive school culture. The module is not a recipe book, and we acknowledge there are no simple rules to follow. Instead, we present guidelines and concepts that can be applied in a broad range of situations at both elementary and secondary levels, supported by concrete strategies, tools, exercises, and scenarios serving as examples.

Effective collaboration with parents and Caregivers in the development of a safe and inclusive school culture requires a team approach. As teachers, our role is fundamental, but we cannot do it alone – nor should we. Working in tandem with support staff, principals and school boards will help to ensure that our schools are welcoming places for a broad diversity of parents and Caregivers.

Other tools for educators on Safe@School are:

  1. Respect for You and Me: Sexual Assault prevention Strategies for Educators.

This is a practical, clear, and easy to read guide with hands-on strategies to prevent sexual assault that are based on student empowerment. It includes definitions of sexual assault, rape culture, and consent and explains how educators can build empowerment, model resilience, use intervention strategies, and work with communities to create a culture of consent and establish healthy relationships.

  1. Online Bullying prevention Course for Educators

This course is organized into ten modules, and its objective is to provide a simple and accessible online learning tool with the following elements:

  • Basic information and concepts for understanding and recognizing bullying in schools;

  • An effective approach to bullying prevention in classrooms and schools and for intervening in bullying situations;

  • An effective approach based on promising practices for mobilizing the whole school leading to effective bullying prevention and intervention.

Habitat for Learning COPA National's Habitat for Learning website also has a wealth of tools and strategies for educators.

Joining the Circle is a resource for educators that was created in collaboration with the Ontario Teachers Federation and designed in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit families, community leaders and Elders, and a wide range of educators. It is intended to help ensure Indigenous students and their families feel that they belong and are able to realize their greatest potential. This project represents part of our collective effort on the journey of reconciliation, a journey that involves what COPA National terms the cycle of positive change that features learning, reflecting, growing, and changing. The Guide for Educators includes topics such as pride and identity, helping students succeed, understanding challenges Indigenous young people face, and nurturing safe and healthy schools and communities. Each of the 10 animated videos that are part of this series is translated into 6 Indigenous languages, French and English. These engaging short films address a variety of topics such as welcoming schools, positive role modelling, parent engagement, etc. The films include introductory segments with teachings from Elders, and discussion guides to help jumpstart dialogue and change, indigenize the classroom, and nurture safe, strong. and free classrooms and schools. Language Tool Indigenous peoples’ histories, cultures and languages are still ignored, made invisible or thought of as unimportant by school systems and other institutions. Many Canadians are simply not aware of their vitality and meaning and their importance to the identities of First Nations, Métis and Inuit People. This language tool is a way to educate non-Indigenous students about the need to preserve Indigenous languages and also a way to welcome Indigenous students into the classroom. We wish you all a GREAT start to the new school year, and are hoping the resources here will help create a learning environment that will enable educators, kids, and their families to flourish!


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