OJEN programs and resources help me to be a better teacher. — Cynthia Palermo.
Cynthia Palermo has taught Civics and Grades 11 and 12 Law at the Dryden High School, part of the Keewatin Patricia District School Board in Northwestern Ontario, since her first day of teaching in September, 2006. Dryden High School is the only high school in town in a remote part of the province. Although this makes it challenging to take part in mock trial tournaments, by reaching out to law teachers in neighbouring communities, Cynthia has helped put together local mock trial competitions 4 or 5 times using the provincial mock trial materials OJEN provides.
She also regularly uses case materials found on the OJEN website which she supplements with her own questions.
She regularly attends OJEN’s teacher professional development workshops including the North West Ontario Law Institute in Thunder Bay and the Summer Law Institute in Toronto.
We asked Cynthia how OJEN programs and resources have made a difference in her teaching over the years:
OJEN programs and resources help me to be a better teacher which in turn has a positive impact on student learning.
I got hired out of teacher’s college to replace the previous law teacher [at Dryden High School] who had just retired. As a new teacher with zero resources to start out with, I spent many late nights creating lessons the night before to teach the next morning. I spend a lot of time on-line keeping up to date on what is going on around the country and the world. It is a lot of work and when I was first starting up I didn’t have the knowledge or confidence.
Once I found OJEN it made my life so much easier. The Teacher Resource packages are complete and comprehensive. I know they are accurate and provide great resources for evaluating student understanding of concepts. Every year the Top 5 Cases are uploaded so new material is always available. There are so many mock trial scenarios available. Everything is as current as possible.
My FAVOURITE OJEN resource is the Teacher Summer Law Institute in Toronto. I love law. I love learning about it, talking about it, and teaching it. There is no one here for me to connect with in person to share this interest and passion. So after attending my first Summer Law Institute I was hooked. I met so many other law teachers and lawyers and justices who were involved in cases I had been following. It’s so amazing to be able to connect and share. (I have always also enjoyed the Thunder Bay PD sessions as well. They are fantastic.
Finally, I have to share that my absolute favourite thing about OJEN is all of you who work so hard to make it all happen for teachers like me. When I fly down to Toronto, and head over to Osgoode Hall, I walk in and staff like Nat see me and know me by name, I feel like I belong. That means a lot when you come from a little place in the middle of nowhere.