Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size


CBC News: The National honours four OISE teachers

August 28, 2011

by Eileen Thomas


Starting August 29, CBC’s The National will feature four OISE alumni in a special documentary series on The Real Lives of Canadian Teachers. Over four days, the series provides an exclusive look inside the real lives of Paul Aikins (B.Ed. 1998), Nicole Magson (B.Ed. 2000), Tiffany Shelton (B.Ed. 2008) and Keith Hoare (Diploma in Tech Ed, 2008), both at home and at work, profiling each of these alumni, who all teach in the Toronto District School Board. Following is an advance peek at of two of the four great OISE teachers.


OISE alumna Tiffany Shelton profile on CBC The National documentary Great TeachersTiffany Shelton teaches English, African History and Law at Sir Sandford Fleming Academy (recently renamed John Polanyi Collegiate Institute), where she serves as Assistant Curriculum Leader of Literacy and Library. Tiffany aims to be a personal role model for her students.  She feels fortunate to work in a school that serves students from Toronto’s priority neighborhoods, and who have taught her much about resilience and overcoming difficult circumstances. “Teachers have the opportunity to make such a huge impact on students and I really wanted to be able to mentor and make a difference in the lives of young people,” she says.


Tiffany believes that attaining balance between the personal and the professional is one of the biggest challenges facing her as a teacher. “Teaching in an urban environment requires a great deal of passion and energy,” she says, “It is easy to want to provide so many opportunities and support for your students that you forget to save energy and time for your family and for yourself. Another challenge for Tiffany dealing with community issues. “My students' lives outside of the classroom do not exist in isolation from who they are inside of my classroom. Being able to have difficult conversations about gang violence, racism, poverty, homophobia and other equity issues are all a part of my daily routine. It is my hope that at the end of these conversations, at least one student leaves my classroom feeling empowered and ready to take action.”


Keiith Hoare OISE alumni featured on CBC The National documentary Great TeachersKeith Hoare, who once owned a catering business, now has a second career teaching culinary arts at Thistletown Collegiate Institute in Rexdale. Over the past two years he has been an associate teacher, supervising three teacher candidates during their practicum, and has worked closely with a teacher candidate for an internship project.  The role of associate teacher is extremely important for Keith. Guiding the candidates as they create lesson plans, take the reins in a classroom—basically  immersing them in the role of a teacher and giving them feedback is a rewarding effort that affords enormous satisfaction.  “I believe that to be an effective teacher you need to possess a high level of commitment and dedication to the well-being of your students and their education and development,” he said.

There are many students in Keith’s school who live at or below the poverty line, in an area known for its high crime and high unemployment rates. Every day he encounters students who have less than satisfactory home lives, in addition to experiencing the typical hardships of being teenagers.  “Through it all I’m amazed at the dedication of many of our students to strive towards a better and brighter future. The student’s desire for a more positive outcome in their lives is the factor that encourages me to get involved and do what I can to be a part of that goal. I have never endured the hardships in my life that many of these students live every day. To see them forge ahead with a positive attitude is uplifting.