Inspiring the next generation of

Change Makers

My name is Rebecca Chambers and I am a high school teacher in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. I have taught in the OCDSB for 17 years.  I have taught history, social Sciences, civics and careers, science, math, and law. I am originally from Hamilton, ON and went to University at The University of Western Ontario and The University of Victoria where I completed my undergraduate degree in History.  I attended teacher’s college at Queens University and landed a full time teaching gig in Ottawa in 2003 and have been teaching ever since. I am a member of the Ontario College of Teachers in Good Standing.

I wasn’t a huge fan of high school, so I became a teacher….

My goal as a teacher was to make my classes a place where students could feel good about who they were, gain self-confidence and to know that I cared about them.  I also wanted to make it a place where students were engaged and could get out of their seats to learn the material. In the first half of my teaching career, I did the traditional PowerPoint Presentations, projects, tests and added in some fun hands-on activities to keep students engaged.   I truly believe that I was quite successful in completing what I had set out to. BUT in 2011 I was introduced to Sir Ken Robinson and his TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity” and I knew that things had to change.  Since then I have continued to follow so many different progressive educators and have taken pieces from all of them to work on my ever-evolving classroom.

I am attempting to create a student centered, experiential, innovative and creative environment that values skills over content and reflecting on process over-testing, doing things for a purpose, encouraging my students to help solve problems (Become Seekers and Peekers as Don Wettrick says) to become changemakers, to learn to embrace failure and learn from it, to learn to use technology and social media in a professional manner, to network and connect youth to their communities.

I have two amazing daughters (Naomi 12 & Maeve 7) who are funny, curious, innovative and very thoughtful, who both, unfortunately really do not like school. My eldest, Naomi is in grade 7 and in a couple of years will be headed to high school.  Our public education system is one of the best in the world and I believe in it wholeheartedly.  However, in any big institution change can take some time, and while change is being made, it is not being made quickly enough for my own children.  With our ever-changing world, I want my own children to have the opportunity to work on Global Competencies that are needed in our modern world.

  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship
  • learning to learn/self-awareness and self-direction
  • collaboration
  • communication
  • global citizenship and sustainability

This is why I am opening Unlearn Academy, an online community connected school for the next generation of social change-makers.

If you are interested in reading more about my teaching philosophy and what makes Unlearn Academy different please have a look through my blog or the CBC article done on my classroom in May 2018 How an Ottawa teacher is helping students unlearn learning.

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