This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s so nice to be back and home and sitting at my own desk with my own setup for writing.  The past week or so meant using a computer while sitting on a hotel bed or with an arm chair on a table which was too high to keyboard comfortably.  Having taken and taught keyboarding, I know what works and what doesn’t.  Plus, I have my own music and setup here rather than a portable substitute.  It’s so much better.

It’s time to check out some of the great offerings from Ontario Educators.

A Blog Post About Blogging and All the Stuff in Between

From Jessica Outram’s blog, this post is a two-parter.

The first part lists

Here are five reasons why blogging is great:

For those who are regular or aspiring bloggers, there’s something old and something new here.

But, lest you end up letting it take over your life, move on to part two.

So, if I haven’t been blogging, what have I been up to?

It’s an interesting list showing life balance.  I think it’s nicely done – and as I’ve said before, if you’re blogging, you tend to look for and see more.

10 Leadership Lessons from the Tour de France

From the title on the Lead Learner blog, I didn’t know what to expect.  But David Sornberger does give you something to think about as he ties leadership to the Tour de France.

My favourite is this:

They’re all good points.  It could be a Sketchnote, Sylvia….

Two Essential Questions for Reflection

Sue Dunlop asks two questions of herself

Am I getting better?

How do I know?

I don’t think she owns a monopoly on those questions.  Shouldn’t we all be asking and attempting to answer them?

I think that my use of the word “attempting” is important to consider in itself.  Lock yourself in a room and I’m sure that you can come up with answers to these that you’re happy with.  It’s easy to see

a – yes

b – because I did this

Time to move on.  But ….

A few years ago, I got seriously into peer coaching.  It was one of those sessions that you go to with a partner and go through a bunch of contrived activities to get the sense of what it is.  I then went back to work and ran into a friend who had been to a similar session and was trying to “shake” his contrived partner.  Truth and honesty are two attributes that are important and it just doesn’t work when one or both are faked.  Anyway, we ended up coaching each other and it was one of the best things ever for me (and I like to think him too).  We still meet and reflect on exactly these things and neither of us will let the other get away with easy answers.


It must be reflection time in Hamilton because Kristi Bishop offers a post of her own.

Failing is a popular topic because its use in education seems to imply that teachers who “allow it” are somehow progressive.  I’ve read much and ignored much of it because it’s just a bandwagon that some seem to want to jump on.  This post digs a great deal deeper though and I like the points that are fleshed out near the bottom.

And still…

Kids have been failing for a long time.  I failed; I “fail” ever day.  It’s been done long before me and will be done long after me.

The use of that word bugs me though.  It’s an education word.  We all know its context because we’ve all taken courses or tests that are pass/fail.  It’s now the name of a television show where failing often ends up in stupidity or pain.  Is there not a better word that we could use?

Teaching to the Extremes

How many times have we heard that “Differentiated Instruction” is the answer to most questions in education?  When you hear it from someone who hasn’t lived it, it’s one of those simplistic solutions that really don’t work but just serves to indicate that the situation has been solved and it’s time to move on.

Matthew Morris puts a reality spin to it.

What do you do when you teach a fifth grade class that consists of thirty students and amongst those thirty students, you have one who can pass an LSAT test and another who can’t count down from ten? Welcome to Mr. Morris’ 2015-16 classroom. Differentiated instruction? Pfff. I am talking about teaching extremes here.

So, the solution from government and his board – cutbacks.

That’ll do it.

How many times do we hear the missive that we “need to do more with less”.  Picture the extremes painted in this post and you’ll shudder.

End of an Era – Life Skills Reflections (Part 1 – The Kitchen Community)

End of an Era – Life Skills Reflections (Part 2 – A Terrific Team)

On the topic of cutbacks come a pair of heartfelt post from Kim Gill about another cutback – this time her Junior Life Skills program.

The first post deals with the program; the second deals with the people who were involved with the program.

The solution appears to be integration into the regular program.  The post is very appropriate to read after Matthew’s.

Take some time to read these posts in their entirety and leave a comment or two.  There’s lots of good stuff to ponder this week from the keyboards of Ontario Educators.

OTR Links 07/15/2016

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