Teacher Spotlights are our way of highlighting and getting to know some awesome teachers in our community who use Planboard to simplify their lesson planning.

Meet Heather!

Q: When did you start using Planboard?

A: This is the fifth year I have used Planboard.

Q: What is your favourite/most used feature in Planboard?

A: I use the daily planner EVERY day!

Q: How has Planboard made your life easier?

A: I can set up my timetable and create templates for each block that include all the regular classroom routines. It means that when I have to be absent, I don’t have to think about everything I need to let the occasional teacher know, it’s all RIGHT there! The ability to be able to shift a lesson or copy a lesson means I don’t have to rejig everything – it moves it for me and that means I can “fix” things if the schedule gets changed without any notice.

Q: What education trend are you excited about?

A: I am interested in some of the virtual field trips and travelling resources that are being created in response to the pandemic. I live in a relatively remote area, and taking students to events / locations is costly. Access to virtual programming is a benefit to my students, even when we are in the classroom. I was part of the National Teacher Advisory Group that helped with the creation of a new travelling kit created by the Canadian Museum of History (which my class had a chance to pilot before it became available to teachers across the country). Virtual visits and travelling resources level the playing field for students in rural and remote areas.

Q: What was your favorite professional development opportunity?

A: I have two – the Teacher’s Institute on Parliamentary Democracy in Ottawa and the Historical Thinking Summer Institute in Vancouver. Both of these were week-long events that included seminars, field trips, networking with teachers from across Canada, and creating collaborative learning projects. They energized my teaching practises, and gave me a network of like-minded colleagues from across Canada to work with once I returned home.

Q: Why did you decide to become a teacher?

A: I came from a family where education was very important, and I wanted to share the love of learning that was instilled in me by my parents and my own teachers.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Exploration. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new place or a new idea, I want to see what there is to be seen and learn something new. And then I want to share it! My Dad was probably my greatest inspiration – despite being a farm kid on an remote island during the Great Depression he never stopped wanting to be a learner and explorer. He took our family on so many adventures camping across North America, and his collection of books and support of our local library inspired me to be a voracious reader. I wouldn’t be the teacher I am without his example as life-long learner!

Q: What is something you can’t teach without?

A: Books! I have collected books throughout my career and have a vast library of books for students to borrow. I believe students benefit from having access to not only “just right for their reading level” book, but books on a wide range of topics, in different genres, and for different purposes. Technology is great, and I use it ALL the time in my daily teaching. But I also think books still hold a place in a modern classroom because they represent not only learning, but enjoyment and relaxation. The opportunity to read for pleasure is one of the greatest gifts we can give our students, and we need to be able to provide opportunities (and the physical books, magazine, etc) to make this happen!

Planboard is a free online lesson planner and gradebook that is used by 600,000+ teachers. Planboard makes it easy to get organized and reduce your classroom prep time. Accessible from anywhere, you can plan lessons, align to standards and manage your schedule with ease. Learn more about Planboard and sign up for free today.

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