In 1994, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designated October 5th as World Teachers' Day. It is a day that we use to celebrate the millions of educators around the world who strive to help their students meet …. Read ...
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World Teacher’s Day and more...

World Teacher’s Day

In 1994, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designated October 5th as World Teachers’ Day. It is a day that we use to celebrate the millions of educators around the world who strive to help their students meet their potential.

It wasn’t until I became one myself that I truly realized the amount of hard work, satisfaction, and dedication a good teacher must invest in order to glean successful outcomes. For every hour a teacher spends teaching, they have put at least half an hour into planning. They must constantly revise and edit their lesson plans to suit the diverse set of learners in their classrooms. A teacher spends a lot more time working than just the six hours that comprise the regular school day.

Furthermore, teachers must often play several roles in their student’s lives. Sometimes students who are experiencing social and personal problems often turn to their teacher for advice. These teachers act as mentors. A teacher must be someone who a student can trust, confide in, feel cared for and inspired by.

At Grade Learning, we take great care to ensure that our students are taught by qualified, professional educators to provide the best for the students we value so much. The students, both teens and adults, are the main focus of our teachers. We always have your best interests in mind and will do whatever it takes to help you meet your goal.

Happy World Teachers’ Day!

Debika Thiruchelvam is the online biology and English teacher at Grade Learning. She has a passion for science and literature and hopes to instill an appreciation for both in her students through the emphasis of inquiry and creativity in her teaching.


Pulling A Tebow in University: Not that Difficult

Many people were stunned to hear that famed football star Tim Tebow recently signed a contract to play professional baseball. After so many years of making headlines as a quarterback, it’ll take some adjustment to start thinking of the one-time Heisman Trophy winner as a player for the New York Mets. It is a major career change, after all.

Several students often start off high school thinking they want to pursue one field, and may end up changing their minds once they get to the college or university level. Since most grade 9 and 10 students are taking the same courses (with the exception of a couple of arts credits), they all seem streamlined in one pathway. Once grade 11 hits, students have more freedom to select courses that will destine them for science, business, humanities and other very distinct fields.

Students who are aiming to pursue a career in medicine or engineering will undoubtedly elect to take physics, chemistry, and biology. Grade 12 level prerequisites in these fields are required for entry into university programs majoring in these subjects. The leap between high school and university is so steep; however, that many first year students come to the realization that they no longer have the same drive and passion for these subjects as they did before. This often results in a switching of majors.

This isn’t as uncommon or as drastic of a change as some of you may think. It is estimated that more than 50% of students will change their majors at least once during their undergraduate education. Making such a change is not as difficult as it seems.

The main challenge is first ensuring that one is eligible to switch into their desired program in the first place. For example, a student who is a biology major most likely took mostly science based courses in high school. If this student wants to transition to accounting, he or she must have an accounting credit that was completed in secondary school. What are the chances that a student who was bound for science has already completed a credit in accounting?

Students in this situation need not worry. They can complete the required prerequisite courses during the summer before they are poised to begin their new program. At Grade Learning, we offer a variety of high school level courses for credit that students can complete to set them on their new path. In person, students can elect to take courses one on one or in small groups (of up to a maximum of 5) students. Alternatively, students may choose to take courses online, so that they can complete the assigned work at their own pace without having to set aside time to attend class. With such convenient options that place students at the center of their own learning, they can easily achieve their desired goal and master the subject material at a level that corresponds with what is expected of them at the postsecondary level.

If you, like Tebow, are thinking that perhaps you are satisfied with your progress in your current field so far and would like a change of scenery, do not hesitate to venture out. There are always options feasible and available to those willing to step out on a limb.

Debika Thiruchelvam is the online biology and English teacher at Grade Learning. She has a passion for science and literature and hopes to instill an appreciation for both in her students through the emphasis of inquiry and creativity in her teaching.


Technology in the Classroom: The Untapped Benefits

These weeks, social media has been abuzz with the news of Apple releasing its newest products, including the iPhone 7. While digital devices are sometimes viewed as a necessary evil in today’s increasingly interconnected world, there are many uses for them that often go unrealized. The younger generation is clearly the most enamoured by the newest advances, but do they always use these devices to their fullest?

Several schools in Ontario now implement a “Bring Your Own Device” policy that allows students to use their phones, MP3 players and tablets in a classroom to enhance their educational experience. Most schools have a limited supply of computers that must be shared by the entire student body. Allowing students to use their own devices decreases the demand placed on these limited resources.

Parents may immediately be skeptical and assume that more devices in the classroom would cause a proportional increase in student distraction. Several studies have been conducted on the efficacy of the use of technology in the classroom. While technology most certainly can become a distraction to less motivated students, there are numerous benefits and advantages to maintaining its use in the classroom.

Students can conduct their own research and inquiry when using a mobile device capable of accessing wireless Internet. Instead of addressing seemingly insignificant questions to their teacher in the middle of a lesson, they can research the answer themselves. By sharing their new-found knowledge, the teacher can initiate a class discussion on the topic.

Furthermore, students who have Individual Education Plans (IEP’s), or who face difficulty with writing legibly, can use their devices to take notes.  This allows students to stay on track and at the same pace as their classmates while the teacher is explaining. Submitting digital files for evaluation can also reduce the chance of a teacher misplacing students’ work. Teacher can also use this as a time-stamp to verify assignments were submitted on time.

The use of tablets in particular serves many practical purposes. Instead of having to print hard copies of worksheets, teachers can upload files to a class website and students can access the file on their device, thereby saving paper (and no longer letting “my printer ran out of ink!” fly as an excuse). The expense of purchasing graphing and scientific calculators can be circumvented in this manner, as well.

Even MP3 players can be beneficial. Students can record podcasts in lieu of oral presentations. If the teacher permits, auditory learners could perhaps record the lesson to playback later at home. Some students can concentrate during independent work time better by tuning out the chatter around them and listening to familiar music instead.

There still may be some who remain firm in their belief that technology poses far greater harm than good, especially in regards to distractions from texting and messaging other students. It can be argued that students who don’t want to pay attention will always find a way to shirk learning. After all, before cellphones, didn’t students pass notes back and forth while ignoring their teacher?

All in all, technology poses many benefits in the classroom, to both pupil and instructor. In fact, some students prefer to use technology itself as a classroom. Grade Learning offers several high school credits in an online learning environment. These are perfect for students who want to upgrade a mark, fit in an extra course into their schedule, or learn at their own pace. For more information about these courses, please visit us at Grade Learning Online High School Credits.

So, next time you go out to buy a new phone, tablet, or other digital device (many of you are probably anxious to get your hands on an iPhone 7), consider the educational applications of your purchase.

Debika Thiruchelvam is the online biology and English teacher at Grade Learning. She has a passion for science and literature and hopes to instill an appreciation for both in her students through the emphasis of inquiry and creativity in her teaching.


World Oceans Day

With hash tags like ‘#worldsoceanday’ and ‘ #waveforchange’ trending on twitter it didn’t take me long to figure out that yesterday was World Oceans Day – a global observation to honor the largest water bodies and take time to appreciate the role oceans play in maintaining the ecological balance. The day also celebrates the products that the oceans provide us and raises awareness about the impact of human activities like overconsumption and pollution on these massive water bodies.


World Oceans Day was first proposed by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to officially recognize June 8th of each year as the World Oceans Day.

Why celebrate World Oceans Day?

As per the UN Facts and Figures, Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water. They are home to millions of species and absorb 30% of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, thus decreasing global warming. Marine fisheries employ about 200 million people and over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods.

Additionally, oceans generate most of the oxygen we breathe, feed us, provide a route for transportation and even regulate the climate. They truly are a lifeline for humanity and need careful management in order continue sustenance of life on earth.

How to contribute?

There are various ways that you can make small contributions most of which revolve around spreading the word.

1) Raise awareness through word of mouth. Talk to your peers about the importance of oceans and the role they play in making earth habitable.

2) Participate in school events related to preserving the large water bodies. You can also find public events organized by various organizations.

3) Saving water and following proper waste disposal methods are other minor ways that contribute to the overall picture.


A new chapter begins.

It is that time of the year when social media is buzzing with photos of graduation hats, flashing diplomas, proud parents, convocation halls, university campuses and goodbye’s to a big phase of the student life. It’s graduation time!

Although the thrill of the accomplishments is the talk of the day, many students are nervous about setting foot into the adult life. It is pretty normal to feel a mix of emotions and I believe many students go through the entire process of planning life after graduation. Some wish to launch their career while others go for vacations and take time off to travel.  Relocation and continuing studies are some other items on the menu. There is no right or wrong direction to take. It is more about what you want from life and how will you transition to your ultimate goal.

Generations have been through this phase and everyone has diverse experiences to talk about. There is not much to generalize, however there are some things that you need to bear in mind. The article, “Twenty Lessons For The Recently Graduated”, published in the Communication Activist provides valuable advice. Here are some other words of advice.

1) Breathe! You will be fine. No matter what you are facing; the student loan, the tough job market, the expenses, you will work your way through it. Strategize and see what works best for you given your current situation.

2) Be an active participant in the community. The more people you know the better are your chances of finding opportunities, be it work or just volunteer jobs that satisfy your soul. You never know how your network could connect you to a potential job that has not been advertised.

3) Spend your savings wisely. Do not plan a vacation unless you have the money to do so. Getting peer pressured to spend money of grad trips may not work best in your case. Unless you win a lottery or save from your salary don’t make a reckless decision.

4) People are a great source of advice. Talk to your parents, professors and peers. They are a great resource for advice and you may end up gathering information that will give you a direction.

5) Find what you love. It is very important to discover what you are passionate about. Talk to people in your ideal profession, job shadow, go for informational interviews etc. All of these are some ways to know how your future career will look like.

6) Have faith in yourself. Things may not work right away and it might make you doubt your capabilities. Don’t overthink! Focus and be consistent. Nothing can defeat you.

7) Be optimistic! Roosevelt rightly said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. Embrace that thought. Dream big and put in all your hardwork to make it your reality.

Areej Shah is the Marketing Coordinator at Grade Learning. She shares her passion for communication and writing through informative social media posts and blogs. She is a strong advocate of freedom of expression and often likes to inspire people through words such that they make small differences to the ever-evolving social setup.


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