Monthly Archives: March 2015

Occasional Teacher Interviews – Getting the Job You Want

1So you want to be a teacher and you don’t have any experience in the classroom outside of what you learned in teacher’s college. Don’t worry, you can still rock that first job interview.

Here are things you should think about before going to that Occasional Teacher Interview.

What would you do / have you done questions

Here is a handy mnemonic device to help you answer these questions.

S – SITUATION (tell them circumstances, what it was about)
A – ACTION (what you did, how you did it)
R – RESULTS (what the outcome was, impact, reactions)

It’s a good idea to have a story or two on hand that you have thought about or rehearsed. Think of how you handle difficult students, defiance, and what you have done when there are no plans left for you to follow.

Behaviour Management

When you enter a classroom for the first time as a supply teacher, there are already established rules in that room that you can readily use. Go to the school early and read whatever notes the teacher has left for you. If there is an incentive program in place, use it. Give points and rewards readily for any positive behaviour.

Connect with the Class

I like to share some of my interests with the class early on. I let them know that I am a rapper and can beatbox. if we have a good day together, I promise to showcase that ability for them I built up a reputation for that when i was supplying and certain classes really looked forward to it.

Be Prepared

Bring some activities that you can do in a class at a moments notice. Consider having a reading lesson or math activity for every division. I would have one that would work for Kindergarten, one for Grades 1-3, one for Grades 4-6, and one for Grades 7-8.

This is really important because there will be times when you show up for an assignment and there will be no lesson for you to deliver, no resources for you to use, and really nothing written down for you to follow.

Part of the job is being able to improvise and go with the flow.

What Would Your Class Look Like

Even for a supply teaching job, some principals will ask you specific questions about what your own classroom would look like.

Make sure you mention,  RIGS (Reading that balances Independent, Guided and Shared Reading lessons.) Don’t forget that this acronym applies to writing as well.

In Math, research the three-part problem solving lesson. Don’t mention doing drills or having students memorize number facts. Math has moved in a completely new direction that last few years and you will want to be able to speak on that.


Growing Success is the document we use in Ontario. This is the guide we use for writing report cards and gathering marks. Even if you simply mention the document, you will be ahead of some of your peers applying for the same job.

Be familiar with the terms For, Of, and As Assessment.

Don’t forget to . . . 

  • Dress Professionally – If you are male, wear a shirt and tie. It might be old-school but it pays to look smart.
  • Be Early – I always aim to be 15 minutes early. You will be calm and relaxed when you don’t have to rush.
  • Bring a Book – I read a book while I am waiting to be called in for the interview. Sometimes this becomes a great ice-breaker and leads to intelligent discussion before they ask you the tough questions.
  • Smile – You might be nervous and not naturally smile in a job interview situation. be conscious of this and do your best to smile.
  • Don’t Ramble – Keep your answers succinct. Think of the rule of three; mention three things only and wrap up your answer with confidence.
  • Sit up Straight – Posture is important in an interview
  • Don’t use Slang – Teachers need to model proper English. Make sure you do so!

I hope these tips will help you get on the Supply Teacher / Occasional Teacher list in your area. Good luck with the job hunt!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – your  weekly resource for great resources , tips, and tricks for classroom teachers!

FBP – Federal Bureau of Physics

FBP Vol 1

FBP – Federal Bureau of Physics: Vol. 1

The laws of physics that we take for granted seem to be broken. There are localized gravity failures, pockets of the city where time moves at a slower rate, and bubble dimensions.

We are used to the universe abiding by predictable constants. It is a terrifying world when the impossible is always possible. Hence the need for a government agency that helps to fight these local disturbances and protect the public.

The main character is Agent Adam Hardy. He is a bit of a slacker but good at his job and fulfilling the motto of the FBP, “Prevent and Protect.”

But things seem to be changing and not for the better. Not only is the fabric of the universe weakening, but people seem to be cashing in on it with the advent of Physics Insurance, and a conspiracy is brewing that just might topple the entire balance of the world.

I love this concept for a graphic novel series. There are so many things that are broken in our society. To see scientific norms being broken is probably a metaphor for that, but also ties into my belief that in order to understand our world we need to look passed science.

I look forward to reading more of this series!

My List of 2015 Reads – my detailed reading log

Batman / Superman – Cross World

Batman Superman - Cross World

Batman / Superman: Volume 1 – Cross World by Greg Pak and Jae Lee

In the DC Universe, there are all sort of parallel Earths. On one such planet, Batman and Superman have not yet met. Superman cannot even fly. He simply leaps over tall buildings and great distances.

These two heroes are somehow transported to an Earth we are more familiar with . Their more experienced counterparts are there as well. So, in this graphic novel we have two Batman / Superman teams.

The story revolves around an alien, who set all of this up to test the heroes. She wanted to to see which heroes were the strongest and thus which Earth would be more able to survive an upcoming threat

There is some interesting bonus content in the hardcover edition of this collection, including penciled pages, the written script for those pages, creator notes, and alternative covers.

My List of 2015 Reads – constantly updated all year long

Increase the Fun Factor at School

School Fun Factor“Sometimes it’s OK to do things in class because it increases the fun factor and fosters positive feelings about school. “

It’s Not a Waste of Time

Doing a quick game, activity, or challenge is not a waste of time. If you do such an activity, you might notice the following

– students cheering on and encouraging their peers
– students cooperating and offering great tips
– students who never interact with each other before, working together

All of that can come from a silly activity and not detract from the regular learning that happens in your room.

I love doing special activities in school and think we can find time to do them more often. We can do short challenges and tie them into the theme or context of the learning we want to see happen in that lesson.

Be Creative

In the book, Teach Like a Pirate, Dave Burgess writes about how he sets up a hike that goes around some of the outer fields of the campus. He plans out the route and sets up all sorts of props and scenes throughout. During the class period, they go for a walk, and stop at those areas to have a lesson, lecture, or activity.

These activities can be fun, energizing, and educational! And the best part is that it gets students excited about school and breaks the monotony of the traditional school setting that inspires very few of us.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – yours source for weekly classroom inspiration

Smallville Season 11: Chaos

Smallville Season 11Smallville was a television series that ran for ten seasons and revolved around a young Clark Kent before he became Superman. I own every single season on DVD and really enjoyed watching it.

I had no idea that the story continued in the medium of comics. My brother surprised me with the first 5 issues of Smallville: Chaos since he knew I liked the TV show.

It turns out though, that there are many issues of the comic before this mini-series. I am interested in reading those too since this story characters from the DCU that never appeared on the TV series. I’d like to see how they came to be in the story.

I also like how Watchtower has expanded. It feels like it won’t be long till the have the space station as seen in the Justice League animated series. It really feels like this comic was trying to seamlessly bring to be part of that continuity.

I think I would have gotten more out of this story if I had read the title from the very beginning. That being said, just like the regular Superman title, you can jump in anywhere and still enjoy the story.

The fifth issue of this series was a stand-alone story focusing on Zatanna and Constantine, just to show you how much of a collaborative title this is. The show was moving that way too. I would have loved to have seen Batman and Wonder Woman in it like they have been in this comic book series.

My List of 2015 Reads – a detailed personal reading log

An interview with BT Rockwell

BT Rockwell is an audio engineer, producer, and author. He produced Only Built for Cuban Linx 2 by Raekwon, has worked with The Wu-Tang Clan, and has most recently wrote a novel entitled “Burn Me Up Fast.”


I had the chance to interview him on my radio show. We talk about all sorts of things from writing fiction to producing music to touring with Raekwon.

Press play and enjoy the show or download both parts to listen to the podcast at your leisure!

Part 1

Beastie Boys – Here’s a Little Something (Remix)
Raekwon – Range Rover
Wu-Tang Clan – Shame on a N
Redman and Method Man – Da Rockwilder

Part 2

Raekwon – Penitentiary
Wu-Tang Clan – Can It Be All So Simple
Classified ft. Raekwon – Only Say It if it’s True
Wu-Tang Clan – Visionz

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio live Monday nights at midnight on 94.9 CHRW

My List of 2015 Reads – my annual reading log with links to every title

March Break – Take Time to Enjoy It

Take Time to Enjoy ItIt’s March Break and it can be quite tempting to use this time to do some planning for the rest of the school year.

I highly advocate leaving school completely behind for one week.

  • Do some reading
  • Watch movies
  • Go on vacation (if you can afford it)
  • Take a day trip (if you can’t)
  • Get outside
  • Be active
  • Spend time with your family
  • Get some things done that you’d like to
  • Focus on yourself and not your job!
  • and remember to . . .
  • Have Fun!

Our job is a very important one, here is some inspiration to carry you through this week, and the rest of the year!


Have a Safe and Happy March Break!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – every week right here on Silent Cacophony

Word is Bond Rap Radio’s 3rd Anniversary Show

WIB 3Word is Bond Rap Radio celebrated its 3rd Anniversary last week with a very special live show at the radio station.

We kicked off the program with a mixset by Teck-Zilla of The Word is Bond. He spun a bunch of “Word is Bond” songs.

1. Teck-Zilla Mixset

Zhane – My Word is Bond
Joey Bada$$ – Word is Bond
House of Pain – Word is Bond (Remix)
Brand Nubian – Word is Bond

Next up, Relic called in to send some warm wishes on us reaching this milestone and we did a little interview with him.

2. Relic aka Rel McCoy Interview

Relic – Thru the Motions

After that, Daddy J from DOPEfm jumped on the decks to deliver us a nice mixset that repped Steel City!

3. Daddy J (of DOPEfm) Mixset

Shing Shing Regime – Divine People
Coleman Brothers – On a Better Day I’m Dreaming (prod. by Tall Black Guy)
Spectac and Amiri ft. Najee – I Grew Up

And then we blew the roof off the studio with some fantastic live performances.

4. Live Performances

Es – Aspire to Inspire
Lyrical Mind – Day After Day
O-beast, Lyrical Mind, Es, Chase March, and DJ Wiskaz – Cypher 1

I spun a mixset highlighting two of my all-time favourite acts: 2Pac and Run-DMC.

5. Chase March Mixset

2Pac – R U Still Down?
Run-DMC – Down With the King
Cable – No Balls

And then, we had a few legends on the phone lines.

6. EMC Interview

Masta Ace, Wordsworth, and Stricklin on the phone lines

EMC – Fly Thoughts

7. Live Performances

These in-studio performances were stellar!

Es – Speak Up, Speak Out
Lyrical Mind – Baby So Crazy

And then we capped things off with mixset by DJ Wiskaz

8. DJ Wiskaz Mixset

Rel and Lexx Kickzz – Not a Stranger
Proff – Horses in the Ghetto
Geneles / Memphis Reigns – Scorpion Circles

And closed off the show with a cypher!

9. Live performances

Es, Lyrical Mind, Chase March, and DJ Wiskaz – Cypher 2

Thanks for tuning in these past three years! Here’s to the next 3!

LISTEN LIVE – Monday Nights from midnight through till 2:00 a.m. Tuesday Morning!

  • 94.9 CHRW on your radio dial in London, Ontario, Canada
  • CHRW webstream
  • TuneIn App on your browser of Smartphone
  • Rogers Cable Digital Channel 943


Watch for This Title on the Bookshelf

Watch Robery J Sawyer

Watch by Robert J. Sawyer

This is the second book in the www trilogy.

In the first book, an artificial intelligence emerges within the World Wide Web. At first, this intelligence  doesn’t know anything about itself or the outside world. A teenage girl stumbles across its existence and helps it learn and grow. The intelligence gives itself the name, Webmind, and both Caitlin and her family declare that this is more than a computer program.

Unfortunately, WATCH, a secret government agency that deals with online threats, learns of Webmind’s existence and is determined to shut it down.  Even though Webmind has only helped people and has made no threatening moves, they fear it will do more unless they shut it down before it grows ever more powerful.

This is a great tale that focuses on the teenage character of Caitlin Decter and her family. It is science fiction that seems incredibly real. Caitlin even reads 1984 in her English class and they discuss how Webmind could become an evil entity like Big Brother. Caitlin can’t believe that will ever happen though. He is shown nothing but kindness and is striving to learn all he can about humanity. Their connection is what is important in this tale.

I can’t wait to start reading the conclusion to this trilogy, Wonder!

My 2015 Reading Log – with links to every title I read this year

Why Teachers Should Share Resources and Plans

Silvia Tolisano wrote an amazing article entitled 3 Reasons Why You Should Share and 3 Things You Can Do to Start Sharing

I think she makes some great points. I have been sharing some of my best practices, resources, lessons, report card comments, and much more here on my blog for years now.

She writes that we have a Moral Imperative to Share and wish more teachers take up the mantel. Here is a video explaining exactly what that means.

I share things easily on Pinterest.

Every time, I find a resource online that I think that I would like to use in the future, I pin it to a board specific to a subject area or topic. This is a great way for me to bookmark sites and amazing educational ideas. And it only takes seconds to do.

The best part is that you can quickly scan my page, my boards, and other people’s pins with ease. You can re-pin stuff to your site so that it is all organized in one place.

Pinterest CM

I also use Twitter to share links and resources.

Twitter Favs

The only problem with Twitter is that posts get buried fairly quickly. If you want to save tweets for easy access later, you need to click on the star to mark them as a favourite.

I use Twitter for a lot of things outside of the educational realm as well. I really enjoy the platform and how easy it is to connect with other people.

I also use my blog to share teaching resources every week with this Teaching Tip Tuesday series! 

I do my part, do you?

Teachers helping teachers, what can be easier and more effective?

WIHH5 – Celebrating International Women’s Day on the Radio

WIHH5 WIBTonight, we celebrate International Women’s Day with a special 6 hour broadcast of Word is Bond Rap Radio

This is always my favourite episode of the year. I hope you enjoy it too!

It all gets started at 10:00 p.m. on 94.9 CHRW. That is an early start for the program so please take note.

We start off with a 30 minute music mix like we always do, then we have a roundtable discussion with three talented female MCs.

After that, DJ Syductive blesses us with a special mixset. And then I deliver an hour-long edition of Know Your History looking at all of the female voices we had in the very first year rap music was recorded.

We then close off the show with one more music mix, an interview with Miss.She.Ill, and a spotlight on Skulastic.

LISTEN LIVE from 10:00 p.m. straight through to 4:00 a.m.

  • 94.9 CHRW on your radio dial in London, Ontario, Canada
  • CHRW webstream
  • TuneIn App on your browser of Smartphone
  • Rogers Cable Digital Channel 943

Enjoy the show!

5th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Special TONIGHT

WIHH5Today is International Women’s Day and we are going to celebrate it with a special edition of the radio show TONIGHT.

Tune in to DOPEfm at 12:00 midnight EST straight through to 7:00 a.m. in the morning as we shine a spotlight on hip-hop’s better half.

It’s an all-female edition of the show tonight featuring . . .

1) A mixset of dope female rappers
2) A roundtable panel featuring Skulastic, Haviah Mighty, and Tiff the Gift
3) A mixset by DJ Syductive (a female DJ)
4) Miss.She.Ill interview
5) Know Your History: Women in Hip-Hop Year 1, exploring all the female MCs that released music in 1979
6) Skulastic In Her Own Words


And if you miss it tonight, you can tune in MONDAY at the same time to Word is Bond Rap Radio

  • 94.9 CHRW on your radio dial in London, Ontario, Canada
  • CHRW webstream
  • TuneIn App on your browser of Smartphone
  • Rogers Cable Digital Channel 943

This is our 5th Annual Women in Hip-Hop Spectacular. We hope you enjoy the show as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers

Guide to Book Publishers

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents

Publishers have rules and they can be difficult to figure out. That is why this book is such a blessing. Jeff Herman gives writers straight up advice that is easy to follow. He even lets us in on a little secret . . .

“Remember this: the rule exists for their convenience, not yours. If you rigidly follow their rules, you’re only serving them, not yourself. It’s reasonable for you to consider ways to bypass the rule.”

The book is divided into seven parts. The first part has over a dozen articles on everything from writing query letters to creating non-fiction book proposals to finding an agent.

The last five parts of the book give detailed listings of Publishers, Independent Presses, University Presses, Canadian Book Publishers, Agents, and Editors.

Jeff breaks down the reason why he wrote this book . . .

“My vision was, and is, to simply give writers crucial information about the industry and its primary players, blended with accessible road maps and advice about overcoming likely obstacles.”

He interviews agents and gives their contact information. It’s a great place to start when looking for representation that fits what you do. There are detailed listings of the publishers and presses to make the querying process a little easier as well.

This is a great book that any writer wishing to get published can benefit from. I hope it helps me finally get my work published. I’ll be working on applying this advice all year long.

My List of 2015 Reads – constantly updated all year with each new title I read

Teach Like a Pirate – Day 3

TLAP Day 3Welcome to the third post in a series focusing on the methodology Dave Burgess lays out in his book, Teach Like a Pirate. 

Day three, according to Burgess, is absolutely critical. It is a day where you can get the reluctant learners on board. It is the day where you can sell your program and your class to the students. This is the day where you can engage students who have had a negative view towards school and their own abilities. It is a turning point.

Day three consists of a massive, high-energy, frentic sales pitch designed to convince my students that my class is completely different from anything they have experienced in school. Most importantly, I work to sell them on the fact that they can , and absolutely will, be successful. 

He doesn’t get very specific as to how he sells his program. He mentions multiple intelligences, differentiated instruction, and the importance of having a growth mindset. The rest of this day probably focuses on the specific things you want to have in your own program, your subject area, and the age group you teach.

This is something I have never done in my own teaching practice. I never felt the need to sell what happens at school. School is just something we have to do, so let’s buckle down and do it. Of course, this isn’t good enough motivation for many of our students.

I’ve actually been struggling with student motivation over the past few years. This seems like a great way to establish a positive learning environment. I can’t wait to try this three day plan next year!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – great resources for classroom teachers every week!