Professional Development Sessions with TDSB

Professional Development Sessions with TDSB

 Over the past ten days Vietnamese, Canadian and foreign teachers from AES, BCIS, CVK and CIS have participated in professional learning workshops focused primarily on the tenets and strategies of assessment and evaluation. The work begun in August 2015 went further this year in supporting teachers’ understanding of the creation and importance of learning goals and the co-construction of success criteria for students in every grade and every subject.

Vietnamese staff concentrated on classroom management, unit planning, differentiated instruction and the integration of character education, learning skills and work habits through the Inquiry Process.


For Canadian and foreign teachers at AES, BCIS and CIS time was afforded to examine Model School Units for Grades 1 through 8. This spring the Ontario Ministry of Education released a new curriculum document for Kindergarten. The CIS Kindergarten team will begin a gradual implementation of this program and where pertinent, CVK will also align their program.In addition to these half day sessions, CIS teachers shared strategies and planning for Math curricula, expanding their English language learning tools, and refining assessment and evaluation.


Over 260 CISS teachers participated in this year’s professional learning days! All this was made possible through CISS’ consultancy agreement with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). Returning for a second year, we welcomed back Ms Bonnie MacDonald who works in the TDSB Continuing and International Education Department and Ms Rosalie Griffith a TDSB secondary teacher who assumes the role of Vice Principal in Toronto in September. Both Bonnie and Rosalie are renowned educators. Bonnie has taught curricula from kindergarten to Grade 12 and numerous additional qualification courses for new and experienced teachers. Rosalie was seconded to the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) where she taught teacher candidates. This May the TDSB was honoured by the Governor General of Canada for their educational outreach to Syrian refugees; Bonnie MacDonald led this initiative.

Joining Bonnie and Rosalie this year were equally skilled practitioners, Laura Inglis and Freda Liu both teaching and learning coaches. Laura is one of the authors of the model school units. Like Bonnie, Freda teaches additional qualification programs for teachers. She has also developed educational programs for TVO. Freda has worked as a teacher in international schools in Thailand. The collective and individual expertise of this team has created a spirit of inquiry that will be sustained throughout our school year!

From left to right: Ms Rosalie Griffith, Ms Laura Inglis, Ms Bonnie MacDonald, Ms Freda Liu and Ms Tran Thi Le Hang (CVK Principal)

In collaboration with TDSB, under the direction of Bonnie MacDonald and Bonnie Thibodeau, Principal of BCIS, our Board of Directors is exploring the opportunity to offer a Certificate of International Education ICP. Watch for news of this program offering in the very near future!

This kind of professional learning celebrates the teacher as a learner and affords much needed dialogue, teacher to teacher, to align system, division and grade level goals. We know from educational research that when teachers have designated time to work together, student achievement improves… TDSB and CISS Boards share a teaching and learning agenda that puts children at the centre!