- Professional Learning
The 2023 CITE Conference, hosted by Appleby College, brought together 20 CIS Ontario Schools to look
at the future through “rose coloured glasses” with joyous speculation.
We were honoured to hear from Metis author Chelsea Vowel in the keynote address, where Vowel
explored the idea of Indigenous Futurism and its profoundly hopeful message. Coined by Grace Dillon,
Indigenous Futurism refers to art and literature that often places Indigenous peoples into science fiction
settings, offers Indigenous peoples the opportunity to “imagine otherwise” and to eschew Western
understanding of linear time and embrace the Indigenous concept of generational connection. Vowel
invited us to welcome a new understanding of global indigeneity and to question “what is fiction and
what is truth.” Chelsea’s recent work, Buffalo is the New Buffalo, has been described as “Metis
After Vowel’s keynote address, the 50 English educators participated in a choice of nine workshops:
- Using the Arts for Deep Introspection
Attia Zaidi (School Counsellor, Appleby College)
- Positive Psychology Principles in the Classroom
Diana Dodd (Director, Positive Education, Appleby College)
- What is Poetry and How to Teach It
Sally Mastromonaco (English Teacher, Villanova College)
- Let's Chat About ChatGPT
Chris Jull (English and Computer Science Teacher, Crestwood Preparatory College)
- You’re Funny!
Ron Hae (Social Science Teacher, Appleby College)
- Teaching Filmmaking in Grade 9 English!
Nicki St. George (English Teacher, Appleby College)
- DEI in the English Classroom
Janay Eccles (Director, Inclusivity, Appleby College)
- The Writer’s Journey
Wendy Million (Teacher, Professional Writer)
- Who do you think you are?
Annette Chiu (English Teacher, The Bishop Strachan School)
Following a delicious lunch and great conversation, participants settled into their second workshop of the day.
After these sessions, the INCITE student writing competition winners were announced. We were so
fortunate to have Arizona O’Neill, Montreal writer and graphic artist, judge this year’s submissions, and
author and teacher Wendy Million run a workshop with the student finalists. Congratulations to
the INCITE competition winners!
Our afternoon speaker, Elin Kelsey, continued the theme of joyous speculation with her talk on
evidence-based hope that emphasizes the regenerative power of nature, the resilience of animal
species, and the hope for Earth’s sustainability. Kelsey urged us to celebrate meaningful
accomplishments and look to solutions journalism. She explores these crucial changes in her recent
book Hope Matters; Why Changing the Way We Think Is Critical to Solving the Environmental Crisis.
The conference concluded with a beautiful wine and cheese hosted by Principal Van Nostrand at his
Thank you to Maggie Hanrahan, Andrew Bryce and the Appleby College CITE Committee: Ellen Palmer, Kathleen Kirkpatrick, Claire Kelly, Nicola St. George, Amanda Sobol, Diana Dodd, Naomi Adjei, and Janet
Kurusanather for organizing such an engaging and uplifting event.
The next annual CITE Conference will be hosted by The Country Day School on April 27th, 2024. We look
forward to seeing you there!