Increasingly, it appears that there might be a winter after all. I got a new scarf for Christmas and have been using it all the time. That might not seem like a big deal but it replaces the one my wife knitted for me on our first Christmas together. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that I’m resistant to change. Read on to see what some of the cutting edge Ontario Edubloggers wrote about (and I read) recently.
I got tagged a couple of times about this initiative from Heather Theijsmeijer about an initiative that she and Rola Tibshirani have started to connect Ontario classrooms. It’s a natural thing if you’re using social media and yet, it’s not all that widely used. That’s a shame since the province is so diverse and I know from past experiences that kids can be wildly excited about it. They rush to class and demand to know if there was any connections made over night. If there isn’t, they’re really disappointed. Good teachers use this enthusiasm to keep students on topic so that they can keep up with things on their end. It’s a winning scenario for everyone. Especially coming into real winter, it can be a very motivating project to get involved with. Will you?
Many people are using the New Year as an excuse to use the One Word challenge to help them renew their professionalism. David Fife’s word is “mindful”. In his post, he puts this into context by applying the word to a variety of things. A partial list appears below. I like how he doesn’t differentiate the concept between “personal” and “professional”. I think the consistency will make it easier to sustain; he won’t have to stop to wonder if it applies in one situation and not in another.
Next up with one word is Kristi Keeri Bishop. I’ve never had the pleasure to meet her so can’t comment one way or the other about her personal description of height. Apparently, “stretch” is appropriate for her. Not in the “I’d better do this to keep up with the dog” kind of way though. It’s a way for her to engage in professional activities in a more active and outgoing manner. Look out Hamilton-Wentworth.
I think that Sue Bruyns’ #oneword is a sign of a true leader within a system. Yes, she’s talking about her personal direction but manages to manipulate it to include those others in the system. A true leader leads by example. How can you go around extolling the advantages of social media, blogging, visible learning if you’re not doing it yourself? To me, it’s a perfect example of a quality of leadership in action.
5 Reasons You Should Sign up for Google Apps for Education
OK, confession time here. This isn’t on Rolland Chidiac’s personal blog. It’s on the EdTechTeam blog and I fell for the click bait in the title, otherwise I might have missed it. Like any self-respecting blogger, he managed to work a Sketchnote from Sylvia Duckworth into it. So, how could it not be a hit? In the post, he doesn’t lecture; he shares how Google Apps for Education has worked for him.
If you like a good success story, click through and read the entire post. Why aren’t you following his lead? He describes the open ended opportunity that the tools have afforded his students. It’s the promise from technology that isn’t always there using conventional approaches.
I’m a real believer that leaders are not born. The best become leaders because they work hard at it. Too often, you see second generation educators get promoted based upon lineage and not necessary because of skillset. Lorraine Boulos writes a fascinating post describing the past and future as a leader/administrator and I love the fact that she makes reference to uncoupling the two terms.
I think every educator should take the time to write a similar post of reflection – even if it’s not shared publically just to help them make sure that there head is screwed on straight.
Re-Starting After Winter Break
As I was reminded on Monday, mathematically, the year isn’t exactly half over when all you’re doing is counting days. But when you factor in March Break, EQAO, end of year, it’s always seemed logically to be darn close. Many people use the break to recharge and go back at things in a different mindset. Matthew Morris talks about his startup plans and how he views the second part of the year.
His list is great advice for everyone. Fully recharged, it’s time to think about what could go right for everyone for the balance of the school year. Every teacher who reads this will have their head nodding in agreement, methinks. Great advice for all, if you haven’t done it already.
I’m constantly amazed at the quality and deep thinking by educators throughout the province. Please take a moment and show some blog appreciation by visiting these blogs and sharing your thoughts. And, if you’re already blogging and not in the big list of Ontario Edubloggers, take the few moments that it takes to add yourself.