Alysha Groff

Alysha is a teacher with the Durham District School Board, and the current Facing Canada blog curator. Her goal is to challenge students of all ages to think critically about the past and present using the Facing History and Ourselves pedagogy.

Recent Posts

Upcoming Professional Development Events Throughout Canada

Posted by Alysha Groff on June 21, 2019

Facing History and Ourselves Canada will be running some amazing professional development seminars throughout Canada this summer. Below is the information for all of the upcoming seminars, as well as the link to find out even more information on each seminar.

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Topics: Professional Development, Summer Seminar, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, stolen lives

Creating Meaningful Responses to Memoir and Engaging in Reciprocity

Posted by Alysha Groff on June 21, 2019

This spring, Facing History and Ourselves, in partnership with the Azrieli Foundation Holocaust Survivors Memoir Program, invited 175 students from 6 schools to layer onto their learning about the history and legacies of the Holocaust, or of Canada's Residential Schools by reading Survivor memoir. Students read Theodore Fontaine’s Memoir Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools, or excerpts of Nate Leipciger’s Memoir The Weight of Freedom, then created pieces that reflected their understanding and responses to these testimonies, which were gifted to each Survivor.

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Topics: Toronto, Holocaust, Memoir, Facing History and Ourselves, Survivor Testimony, Canada, Residential Schools, Canadian History, Student Work, project, genocide, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, reflection, Connected Learning, Grade 10 History, HSB, CHC, difficult conversations, trc, stolen lives, facing history pedagogy, Azrieli Foundation Memoirs, Decolonizing Schools, Holocaust History in Canada, Facing Canada, cross curricular teaching and learning, collaborative inquiry

Using Facing Canada for  Inspiration

Posted by Alysha Groff on November 27, 2018

As the blog manager for Facing Canada, I have the privilege of working with many very talented, dedicated and creative teachers. There are so many teachers who come up with fantastic and meaningful projects and assessments for students that deepen learning and pique student interest. I have often been inspired by projects posted, and recently had a chance to adapt one for my own classroom that had been on my mind for awhile. 

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Topics: Identity, Holocaust Education, Salvaged Pages, facing history pedagogy, Azrieli Foundation Memoirs, Holocaust History in Canada, Facing Canada

You Could Blog for Facing History and Ourselves Canada

Posted by Alysha Groff on October 16, 2018

A call out to all Facing History and Ourselves Educators. We are looking for Facing History and Ourselves educators who would be interested in blogging for us. You do not need any blogging experience. You will be working with myself, Facing Canada blog curator Alysha Groff, each step of the way to develop your blog post. You can propose an idea to write about, or simply let me know your interest, and I will work with you to come up with a blog idea that will best demonstrate your experiences as a Facing History educator. Teachers of any grade and subject area that work to include topics of social justice and equity in their teaching through a Facing History lens can write a blog! 

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Topics: Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Blogs

Get Ready for Orange Shirt Day With Us

Posted by Alysha Groff on September 21, 2018

Join us as we have a conversation with Lorrie Gallant, the Education Program Coordinator for the Woodland Cultural Centre (formerly the Mohawk Institute Residential School) about how survivors experience Orange Shirt Day, and what true engagement on this day can look like from education and beyond.  
This  interactive online video conversation is intended for Facing History and Ourselves educators to listen, to learn, and to share ideas and questions.
Date: Monday, Sep 24th.
Time: 3:30 - 4:15 PM EST

To join from your computer, tablet or phone, go to https://facinghistory.zoom.us/j/668270809 (you will need to download a Zoom app or program so give yourself 2 minutes to do so)
Or Dial in by phone:  +1 647 558 0588
Meeting ID: 668 270 809
No RSVP is required.
We hope you can all join us!
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Topics: Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, Community Event, Grade 10 History, CHC, trc, stolen lives, settler educators, Equity in Education, Decolonizing Schools, Orange Shirt Day

What happens when we empower students to explore their history this black history month

Posted by Alysha Groff on February 12, 2018

What happens when we support and empower students to bring history and identity into our school community? Meet Nyjah, a Toronto-area student who wanted to see more black history and contributions reflected in her high school, and decided to do something about it. The following interview was contributed by Nyjah about her experiences.

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Topics: Race and Membership in American History: Eugenics, race, little rock 9, black history, Freedom Riders

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted by Alysha Groff on January 16, 2018

 

On January 27 - the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau - the United Nations General Assembly and its member states commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day.   On this day, (indeed every day) we remember the victims of the Holocaust and remind ourselves of the importance of teaching and learning about the Holocaust for the prevention of future genocides.   Here are few blog posts that highlight a variety of approaches to teaching this important history.  We hope these will inspire and assist you as you prepare for this day of remembrance and learning.

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Topics: Holocaust, Holocaust Education, Middle School, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Inquiry, Grade 10 History, HSB, CHC, Anne Frank, international holocaust remembrance day

Facing History and Ourselves: In The Primary Classroom

Posted by Alysha Groff on December 14, 2016

When I graduated from  teacher’s college, my goal was to teach high school music and history. I wanted to have discussions about the people and choices that shape society, the injustices of the past, and the levers that we have to create change. I spent a year supplying, and then in 2014/2015 I was got a position - much to my surprise - in a grade one classroom, and the following year, in a grade five/six split classroom.

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Topics: Art, Books, Indigenous, LGBTQ

"Creating a Culture of Caring Through Reconciliation as a Non-Indigenous Teacher": An Interview with Nathan Tidridge

Posted by Alysha Groff on September 13, 2016

As part of Facing History and Ourselves three day summer seminar "CHC2 Canadian History through a Facing History Lens",  Nathan Tidridge came to speak about "Creating a Culture of Caring Through Reconciliation as  Non-Indigenous Teacher."

Nathan Tidridge teaches at Waterdown District High School and was awarded the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence (Teacher of the Year) and the Charles Baillie Award for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching by Queen's University. The author of four books exploring the Crown in Canada, Tidridge's latest work (The Queen at the Council Fire: The Treaty of Niagara, Reconciliation and the Dignified Crown in Canada) was launched by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Over the years Tidridge has spoken to numerous groups across the country, including recently the Manitoba Council of Elders,  and The Crown in the 21st Century conference held in Victoria. In 2015 he was proud to be appointed to both the Ontario Heritage Trust Board of Directors and the National Advisory Council of the Prince's Charities Canada. 
 
Learn more about Nathan Tidridge's work at www.canadiancrown.com, or on his teacher website www.tidridge.com
 

If you were unable to attend and would like to see the talk it was streamed and can be accessed on Periscope.

Following the event I had a chance to catch up with Nathan and talk to him a little bit about his experiences teaching difficult content in the highschool classroom. Whether or not you were able to attend this great talk, take a look at the following interview and consider the following:

1. How could you use the information in this interview to better your own teaching practice?

2. How might this interview help you contextualize the importance of addressing the TRC calls to action for your department and school?

3. How could the interview be used to help inspire and build confidence in educators to incorporate Indigenous Studies into their classrooms?

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Topics: Teaching, History, Canada, Indigenous, CHG, CHC

Humans of the Woodlands: Choosing to Participate through Blogging and Photography

Posted by Alysha Groff on April 21, 2016

Each year, like all educators, I think about new culminating activities that are meaningful and engaging. Inspired by Humans of New York on Facebook, I thought this concept would fit well into my Grade 11 Genocide and Crimes against Humanity course. In fact, the more posts I read, the more I realized how closely aligned they are to Facing History’s Scope and Sequence.

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Topics: Art, Choosing to Participate, Identity, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, reflection

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This is where Canadian Facing History and Ourselves teachers and community members meet to share reflections, scholarship and teaching practices that will inspire, challenge and improve teaching and student learning. Our stories provide a window into diverse Facing History classrooms in Canada, and invite you into the discussion.

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