This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Hmmm.  I’ve got to schedule this for next month.  I hope I manage not to mess it up.  I’ve been wrestling with WordPress quite a bit lately.

There’s always good things flying off the keyboards of Ontario Edubloggers.  Here’s a bit of what I read recently.

Different Kids, Different Approach

If there’s one way to summarize why teachers should blog, Diana Maliszewski absolutely nails it in the last sentence “Before I forget, I wanted to reflect…” It’s a wonderful post about some of the things that she did during summer school.  I really liked the idea of “Student-Controlled Bulletin Boards”.  It was a technique that I always used with my Computer Science classes.  It started as a way to have fresh content without me generating it but evolved to a research and display space for students.  The rule was that the next group had to have their bulletin board up for Tuesday morning.  It always seemed to generate discussion among the class – I had six classes and six bulletin boards.  If you really believe that the goal as an educator is to teach communication, this is a perfect opportunity.

I wonder if Diana kept pictures of the bulletin boards?  That’s always been a regret of mine.

Students as Creators – Not Curators – of Math

This seems like such a logical statement but, given the beating that education gets from the outside about mathematics, it needs to be repeated and Kyle Pearce handles it in a recent post.

In the post, he even takes a reflective look at his own practice from being happy with his students scoring high on EQAO and changes the focus to deeper understanding of mathematics.

It’s too bad that we continue to have to have these conversations.  Of all of the subject areas, mathematics can lend itself to be fun when you get away from the drill, kill, memorize, regurgitate approach.  I like the reference to Pythagoras, Pascal, and Euler.  It begs the question – did they have to memorize the 10 times table?

What’s on your plate?

Sue Bruyns asks an important question to everyone in education.

“Who can you trust with this task?”

I remember having this discussion once with my superintendent who was a genius in my eyes in the field of leadership.  As it happened, we were in the car together driving to an RCAC meeting in London.  He would pick my mind and bounce ideas off me and I reciprocated.  If you ever have the chance to go somewhere with your leader in a car, take it.  It’s worth it.

One of our discussions was about burnout in education.  He made such an interesting point.  The only time that educators really “get it” is as a classroom teacher, dividing students into groups, establishing rules and norms to balance the workload among the group members so that one mark per group is fair.  But, as you move away from that scenario to assistant department head, department head, vice-principal, principal, consultant, superintendent, director and who knows what else I’ve forgotten, you forget all that.  Your plate gets filled with more and more “stuff”.  Some do it as a control freak.  Some do it to avoid letting others know what they’re doing.  Some do it for job protection or competitiveness for a promotion.  Some do it because they don’t trust others to do as good a job as them.

When was the last time you sincerely thought about delegation of tasks?

Thanks so much everyone for sharing your thoughts and leadership.  I hope that you can take a few moments and link back to these original posts and read them in their entirety.  There’s so much great thinking to be done!


OTR Links 08/01/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.