Category: Uncategorized

BOPPPS – the ISW song

This song is a resource for anyone presenting an ISW (Instructional Skills Workshop).  If you don’t know what that is, then you may not get the humour and content of the song. BOPPPS is an acronym for the steps of a lesson.  Of course that kind of word suggested a style for me from the ’50s that I couldn’t ignore…



What’s the policy?


One of my pet peeves over the years is the indiscriminate use of the word policy.  Call me a policy geek, but often when people refer to policy, they really just mean “what are the rules?” for a situation.  As policy is a component of the leadership and teacher training courses that I teach, I wrote a song to get across the main concepts of policy and policy development.  However, anyone who works with policy will get it.  I hope the song sounds less dry than the topic!


Ethical Grading

What a dull sounding post title.  It needs something… about another song? Something about grading practices that applies to both K-12 teachers and post-secondary instructors.  Something that reflects the grading angst that many experience as they prepare for final marks at university or report cards in K-12.  Maybe a little silly, too…

Here’s “Is Your Grading Going to be Fair?”

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Salmon Fry

Running out of ideas for your salmon unit?  Need something zippy to get your class going after Thanksgiving?  Try out “SALMON FRY – a song I wrote for the Primary Song of the Month Club in School District #73 in the 1990’s.  It covers the lifecycle of the salmon in a fun rockabilly song.

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A Snail Tale


Over the years, I’ve composed a few children’s songs for primary grades.  A couple years ago, Ms. Comeau invited me to her Grade 2 class at Dallas Elementary to hear about the students’ inquiry projects about snails.  They had a number of questions for me to find out if I knew what they had discovered about snails.  I took the answers and made them into a song.  I’ve included the SNAIL TALE lyrics and have uploaded an accompaniment track with me singing and Karaoke style with no singing, so you can lead the singing yourselves.

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Who’s the Boss of You


Teachers, while being autonomous professionals, have many bosses.  First, there’s their employer, the regulatory oversight of the BC Council of Teachers, the legal requirements of the School Act, Ministerial Orders, and Regulations, and of course Collective Agreements, District Policies, School Procedures, etc. etc.

These, like the Professional Standards, can be a bit of a dry topic for Teacher Candidates.  Hence, another song!  Enjoy “Who’s the Boss of You”

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Class of ’17 Bachelor of Education

(Thompson Rivers University/Flickr)

As classes finish for the graduating teacher candidates from progams across BC, there is a sense of excitement and relief.  There is relief from the hard work and pressures of a demanding program of practica and theory, and excitement in anticipation of job possibilities that have been unheard of for decades.

In celebration of their accomplishments, here is my parody of “Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)”.  The original text for this graduation “speech” was written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune.  It was recorded with music by Quindon Tarver and was made famous by Baz Luhrmann in the late ’90s.  I call it “Wear Sensible Shoes” and it’s dedicated to graduating teacher candidates:

Back to School – Back to our Profession

back-to-school-183533_1280It’s time for the school year to start again – new teachers and experienced teachers alike are heading back to their students after a well-deserved summer break.  Teacher Candidates at university teacher-training programs are also heading back to school, to learn about their new profession.

Being a professional means a lot of things in a general sense, but for K-12 teachers, there are some very specific requirements.  These requirements also apply to Teacher Candidates, as they will be working as (not-yet-certified) “real teachers” alongside their school mentors. Therefore, they need to know what’s expected of them as professionals.   The statutory, regulatory, and union requirements for teacher professionalism can come across as a heavy and overwhelming topic.  Therefore, to make it a bit more fun, and to make the information a bit more sticky/easy to remember, I’ve written a song, “You’re a Professional”.

I hope you enjoy it!  I’ve also written a lesson plan and powerpoint about how to use the song lyrics with a group of teachers.

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