It’s another Friday and a chance for me to share with you some of the spectacular reading I enjoyed recently from great Ontario Edubloggers. I had some self-inflicted damage to my regular process. Normally, as I read things, I just keep the blog open in a tab and minimize them with One Tab until Thursday morning when I actually write the post. However, this was a week of maintenance and browser shuffling and I lost the posts that I had tucked away. I think I remember everything that was saved but maybe not. I had a better plan when I stuck the URLs into Keep or Evernote. Perhaps that’s my biggest learning of all. Shortcuts can come back to bite you. If you wrote a great post and I neglected it, please send me a message “Hey dummy, you missed this…”
I’m not sure that much more needs to be said than how Denise Buttenaar closes this blog after a pretty active reflection session on her personal practice and what it meant to her. I don’t think that anyone should expect that a blog post is going to be the “next great novel”. However, a year from now if she continues to share her thoughts to herself, it may be the “next great professional diary” and I don’t think an educator can ask for more than that. Blogging shouldn’t be an all encompassing event. It’s the accumulation of thoughts that leads to the impressive.
Oh boy, here it is!
Donna Fry gave me the heads up on the birth of this new blog and here’s the first post from Kelly Colter.
I think that the first “way” is something that we all need to ‘fess up about. If we weren’t influenced by others, it would be a pretty lonely connected life. It’s the connections and the shared learning that makes it so powerful. Of real importance to me is the selection of the connections – regular readers know of my passion for those who blog about Ontario Education. That’s not the only influence – another that easily comes to mind is the cadre of Computer Science teachers that serve as inspiration. By joining, hopefully Kelly can keep it up and, with her words, influence whatever group she wishes. She’s now in my little group of Ontario Edubloggers.
Moments of Empathy
If someone asked me who I would like to write like, I could name quite a few and certainly near the top would be Rusul Alrubail. She doesn’t necessarily whip out the thesaurus or come across as pretentious, but it’s just the way that she strings her words together that touches the reader at a different level. I can’t think of a post from her that doesn’t give me pause for serious reflection and I can’t think of a better compliment to pay to a blogger.
So, I thought – who would have been my favourite teacher? A number of really good ones came to mind and I could create a short list. When I thought just a little harder, the “favourite” had some un-favourite moments so I moved on to the next on my list. I’d find issues here and there too. Instead, I changed my thinking. What if I took a bit of him and a bit of her and a bit of her and made my favourite a teacher an amalgam of the best parts. Wow, that was a great teacher and, the common thread was the empathy that each showed.
For any teacher whose goal is to reach every child, (whether or not you want to be their favourite is a personal, competitive activity) take a read of Rusul’s post. We all have our bad days and those stick out because of the lack of empathy. Could that be a gutcheck for success? Recognize it and deal with it before it unduly negatively affects students.
Thanks for your leadership and support!
When you think of people that are centrally assigned as resource teachers – what do you immediately think of? Hot and cold running coffee and an endless supply of doughnuts? After reading Jennifer Casa-Todd’s post, you may wish to change your opinion.
In the post, she nicely ties things together and may give you an insight to what they actually do.
The one thing that she isn’t explicit about and I’m sure that it’s true in her job and others, and certainly was key to mine was getting out of the central location and visiting schools. When I took over that role, I never wanted to be accused of being “out of touch” with the classroom because it’s so easily done when you’re not in one on a daily basis.
My favourite quote from my former superintendent was “Where is he today?” as he came into the Program Department area looking for me. I wish I’d heard it first hand because it could be interpreted so many different ways.
If you don’t see your centrally assigned person often enough, why not sign up for professional activities or just extend an invitation to her/him to come and visit your classroom? You might be pleasantly surprised at how eagerly they’ll jump at the opportunity.
#TBT: Is Our Focus On Assessment Taking Away From Our Children’s Education
If nothing else, Stephen Hurley’s latest post is worth visiting just for the image. What the heck, here it is, complete with his credit to the author.
It’s a throw back post that is just as relevant today as when he originally posted it.
This is an interesting look at assessment and evaluation. I can’t remember a year where it wasn’t “the board’s focus” and it certainly is important. It informs what is done for student achievement. It’s just that it changes so frequently. I remember a person new to my department whose theory was that by changing focus annually, it kept the pedagogues in business as the pendulum swings back and forth.
If you need some moments of reflection today, make sure that you get to the bottom of the post and reflect on Stephen’s questions.
The End of Average
A book, a TED talk, and an infographic fill this post from Erica Armstrong.
This is the perfect followup to Stephen’s post. Play the TED talk as you go about things this morning. You’ll be glad you did.
Do you agree with the affirmation that “the average hurts everyone”?
What are you going to do about it?
What’s the hardest thing a teacher does?
If you read Kristin Phillips blog, you’ll read this more than once.
“Try something new; no one will die”.
I recall a mathematics teacher of some infamy whose choice of worksheet for the day would rival the accuracy of any calendar!
Kristin gives us five bullet points (paragraphs) as to what she feels has worked with her schools.
Would they work in yours?
I say this every week and I never tire of it.
What an amazing collection of blogs. Please click through and read them in their entirety and drop them a comment. They deserve it.
Then, check out the rest of the Ontario collection here. If you’re blogging and not listed, just complete the form and you will soon be.