What my Son Thinks About His Mom Being a Student

By Heather Watts

It feels like I have been in graduate school for quite some time. I can remember crossing the stage at my commencement from Columbia University Teachers College back in 2014. I was graduating with my first master’s degree, in Literacy Instruction. I was four months pregnant, and with a growing baby in my belly, was filled with excitement, wondering what opportunities were ahead for us. 

Fast forward four years and that growing baby was now a growing toddler, and we found ourselves at yet another higher education institution as I was working toward my second master’s degree. We made some big changes to be at Harvard. We sold our house in New York State to move to Massachusetts for a one-year program, and my mom even moved with us to help care for my son, Nico. He was not of school age and daycare costs were outrageous; we were so grateful to have my mom living with us during this time. 

A collage of images of Heather Watts graduating from her first two degrees, and a final image of her and Nico playing in the leaves outside.

There’s something you should know about me – I love getting involved, in clubs, causes, work, everything. I’ve always had a tough time saying no to an opportunity as I want to be involved in impact work and love learning from team environments. During my time at Harvard, I was a full-time student, Equity & Inclusion Fellow, co-chair of an Indigenous student organization (shoutout to FIERCE!), worked as a Research Assistant, Social Media Manager, and Curriculum Designer. Like I said, I LOVE being involved and hadn’t learned a lot about the concept of overextending oneself. Something I constantly struggled with was this question: 

Am I a bad parent when I choose school instead family time? 

Raising and Teaching Anti-Racist Kids

Cover of Aricville by Shauntay Grant

By OISE Library Staff

Originally published on the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education blog.


The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet have brought much-needed attention to the racist policies and systems that harm Black people in the United States, Canada, and throughout the world. Many parents and educators are wondering how best to speak to children about race and racism, and how to educate for antiracism and for Black Lives. The University of Toronto Libraries and the OISE Library are here to help parents and teachers find the resources they need and to feel empowered as educators.


Professor Angela Pyle: 10 ways to teach kids through play at home

young boy playing
By Angela Pyle and Perry King
Originally published on the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education blog.

Angela Pyle is an assistant professor in OISE’s department of applied psychology and human development. Her research focuses on child development and the role of play in children’s learning. She currently runs the Play Learning Lab at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.

Sitting down with OISE News, Pyle lays out a list of great ways to engage children’s learning through play – a less stressful and productive way to support children’s learning.

Working and caring for kids while social distancing

Benches lined up apart

By Amanda Cheung
Originally published on the University of Toronto’s Family Care Office Blog, Intersections.

Over the past few weeks, COVID-19 and calls for social distancing have rapidly changed the way we work. Many of us have gone from commuting to a busy office or campus every morning, to rolling out of bed and telecommuting in our pajamas. Your home might even feel crowded as you attempt to make space for your work life and your children’s education. To help with this transition, The Family Care Office has compiled a list of resources for parents who are adapting to working and studying from home while also caring for their children.

Parents and kids: Get to know the CBC websites

Mother homeschools daughters online
Source: Metroparent

By Emily Pritchard
Originally published on the University of Toronto’s Family Care Office Blog, Intersections.

Frequently featured in our blogs and social media posts, the CBC Parents website is an excellent resource for all things parenting. There are seven different sections to this website, which we will explore below.