This Week in Ontario Edublogs

There’s been a great deal of inspiring writing from Ontario Edubloggers as we head into the Labour Day weekend.  Check out some of what I read this week.

For Some Students, Life Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair

Laurie Azzi share some of her thoughts about “some students” that I think should be a required reading and reflection as you head into Tuesday.  So much to learn and a strong reminder that things aren’t always what they seem.  It’s a reminder that not everyone is created or nurtured equally.

Despite that, you’ll have them in your class.

We all have stories that influence us as educators – the faces of our past.  For me, Tracey’s story reminds me to look behind the behaviour of the student to the underlying cause. It reminds me that sometimes we need to shine the light into the darkness where others dare not look.

It’s not a quick and easy read but it’s definitely worth the time and effort.

Leading & Building a Positive Culture as a Teacher-Librarian

Jennifer Casa-Todd takes on a new challenge next week.

Adorning the walls of her library will be this (or something like this)

By itself, it sends a strong message about the expectations in the library.

She also posted a list of 10 things that she’s going to address with respect to School Culture as a Teacher-Librarian.  Point #4 stuck out to me and so, in the comments, I challenged her to expand on her thoughts and planning.  Check our her reply to me.

Graduate Students – A Warm Welcome From Your Academic Librarians!

Jennifer isn’t the only library warming up for September.  The Faculty of Education at Western University is on point as well.  In Denise Horoky’s latest, she attempts to lay out all that they offer.  Here’s a small part.

The complete post outlines what services they offer and also how they’re going to do it.  I like the references to contact via social media and the connections that they make to the other libraries on campus.

I can’t help but wonder if this post couldn’t be used as a model for other libraries.  Often, they don’t get the respect that they deserve.  Something like this would kill the nostalgic view of finding research in a 15 year old encyclopedia.

Why wouldn’t all “21st Century Learning Commons” start a blog like this with similar posts to keep students, teachers, the prinicpal, and parents up to date with all that they offer?


We live in hurtful times.  It’s impossible to turn on the news and not see stories that are difficult to understand – by actions and by words of others.

Because they’re reported in the “news”, it can be difficult to determine the difference between fact and opinion at times.  Students, community, colleagues, and indeed the school system will be watching.

And the space and timing were ripe for her message: We live in an era when people who are different are treated unfairly, when people of color have to defend their mere existence. Yet, we can all do something about it.

What can be done?

Read Rusul’s complete post and you’ll see five ways that you, personally, can address this.  

If you’re a principal, why not incorporate these into your first staff meeting and help set a positive tone within your school community?

Thinking about the first day of school already-or not!

This was an “end of June” post that Kristin Phillips suggests might be an appropriate way to start the new year.

It breaks the mold of what could be traditionally done on that day.

She provides a great list.  The underlying message is to set the tone for what’s to follow for the rest of the year.

Related to this, check out how Finnish Teachers start their year.

It certainly beats the heck out of copying class rules into the first page of your brand new notebooks.

Open Letter To New (and Returning) Students

I’ve mentioned before that one of the very best things about the teaching profession is that you get to start fresh every year.  In this post, Denise Nielsen lets her college students know that they can do the same thing.

Why shouldn’t every student get a chance to have a fresh start?  Build on their past successes and have the opportunity to adjust things that didn’t go quite as they should.

It’s a great inspirational post that students would be well advised to read and consider.

I like the part, later in the post, where she outlines what’s not in the open letter.

We all know those things; why do they need to be repeated anyway!

Could “eating dinner together” be the best kind of homework?

There’s a bit of a revolution visible in social media as people discuss and share the merits of homework.  There’s even a Facebook group that you can join for support.  I like how progressive educators are considering the entire package of education and challenging the conventional wisdom.

Aviva Dunsiger jumps in with her thoughts about her family meals.

I’m thinking of my own family meals.

  • Yes, television was off.  It was actually only turned on later in the evening
  • We didn’t have any electronics so that wasn’t an issue
  • We didn’t have a doorbell but the phone was in the kitchen.  I honestly don’t remember it ringing much at meal times though
  • Yes, we had to give attention to Mom, Dad, and my brother.  I do remember that he and I both did the same thing at school even though we were three years apart – “Nothin”

I think that both of us were fortunate enough to have a family that was available to eat together.  These days, not all students have the luxury of two parents and even if they do, the luxury of both of them being available for supper with shift work, two jobs, etc.

Today’s reality may look different but there is an importance in making the best of what family time circumstances allow.  Maybe the answer is to just ditch the time formally alloted to doing homework which is increasingly being proved fruitless and use that time for family connections.

Given the calendar settings, it’s not surprising that most of the reading this week surrounded a philosophical look at back to school.  That’s great and thanks to those writers who took the time to share.

Why not drop by their blogs and leave a comment?

1 thought on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Lots of stuff to kickstart my weekend thinking. I very much enjoyed your Finnish share on Facebook, as the relationship building is a huge part of my goal this year. Looking forward to having my class get to know you as someone we learn from.


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