Have you ever been in a conversation with a teacher when they ask, “How can I do Tribes when I have so many other initiatives I have to be accountable for?”

With this in mind, in Lambton Kent we developed a chart that showed how Tribes actually is inherent in every ministry of education initiative we have been engaged in. Starting with the curriculum – deliver your lessons using tribes strategies that engage the students in active learning. Think of the strategy you used – does it pro-mote cooperation which could be one of the character traits your board has chosen? Common assessments, diagnostic testing using DRA, all lead to teaching the children what they need when they need it. Think of your personal medical issues, one size treatment does NOT fit all! Instruction must be differentiated to meet the needs of all learners. In Tribes this is supported by multiple intelligence assessments, brain based learning research, implementation of the 5E’s etc. Look at the reflection questions you incorporate at the end of the activity. Are you being proactive in prevention of bullying and providing a safe school environment by asking and discussing ? When you have the agreements in place and have taught and discussed them, are you promoting equity and inclusion?

Our motto in education must be…if you expect it…you must teach it.

Nothing “extra” is required. Good teaching practices cover all these ministry initiatives. Before presenting this to the board as a whole, we decided in good Tribes thinking, that we needed a visual for those who do not learn with many words. Hence the train picture developed. Curriculum is the engine that drives all we do. Whether it be character education, DQPA, equity, inclusion, safe schools or anti-bullying, Tribes is the track we should be following for the safe delivery of our students in their educational journey. Perhaps it is time to intensify the Tribes process and revisit the Tribes Trail rather than panic and wonder how we are going to do one more thing in education!

~From the OTLCC Newsletter (Ontario Tribes Learning Community Consortium)
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