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Year: 2006 – Province: Ontario
Certificate of Achievement Recipient
School: The Sterling Hall School
99 Cartwright Avenue
Principal: Ian Robinson
School Telephone: 416-785-3410
School Fax: 416-785-6616
School Website: www.sterlinghall.com
Grades/Subjects Taught: Grade 8, Science, Math, Technology, Stewardship
- Adopts a visionary and philosophical approach aimed at maximizing student benefit in all endeavours, academic or not.
- Demanding of students to accept nothing and question everything.
- Encouraging students to push the boundaries and ask questions that the teacher and the student then co-investigate together.
- Encourages students to try things on their own, not just from a textbook.
- Integrates hands-on strategies and problem-solving activities into daily teaching practice to make connections to the real world.
- Regularly integrates subject matters.
- Mr. Hay has been Head of the Intermediate Division, head of Mathematics, Head of Science, and he currently leads the SHS Inquiry Think Tank. This group engages in professional conversations using Knowledge Forum as a technological medium for building ideas. Mr. Hay was invited to present "Seeing Like a Mathematician" at the International Boys' School Coalition in Washington, and introduced a Mystery Math and Film Studies elective course.
- Mr. Hay puts in endless hours pulling together videos and sending mimeo copies of lessons home to students so that they can review class notes "in time" as the ideas emerged.
- Mr. Hay motivates his students and keeps them interested by taking his lessons outside a text book and outside the box. For example, for one physics class his students pushed his jeep around the parking lot. On another day, students learned about velocity and acceleration by skateboarding down the hall.
- Mr. Hay was a founding member of the Math Club, which is oriented toward contemplating and furthering the issues of numeracy in the context of everyday life. The club has explored topics as far reaching as classic math puzzles, debated the merits of different ways to calculate Great Circle distance using latitude and longitude, explored the concepts of the Golden Mean and the math behind Texas Hold'em.
- Mr. Hay has been able to develop in his students a deep appreciation for media and technology. He also frequently insists on there being a cultural element involved in student work and students come to understand the sometimes complex relationships between subject areas.
"His science and math classes spill out of the classroom into the corridors. The enthusiastic student talk is evidence of an on-task and constructive classroom. Students push the boundaries and ask questions that the teacher and the student co-investigate together. There is a refreshing sense that the teacher is a co-learner and every class is an adventure." - Nominator
"He has made me into a person who works hard with any project. He has helped me become a person who likes to use technology. I have become a better leader and a better person because of Mr. Hay." - Student
"James is known by his neighbours as the man to go to when folks need homework help. There have been known occasions when lessons using sidewalk chalk fill his driveway and continue onto the street." - Nominator
"He has taught at this level for 15 years and as one would expect, his personal qualities are to the fore in his daily coexistence with his students: honesty, wonder, integrity, involvement, passion, commitment, understanding and, as with all great teachers, ever the learner with that infectious sense of awe at all around him." - Principal, The Sterling Hall School
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