doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Please take a few moments to kick back and read these inspirational posts from the blogs of Ontario Edubloggers.

Dear Ontario Educators,

It’s not an easy time to be an Ontario Educator.  With the current situation, it’s easy to feel like you’re disrespected and unsupported.

Peter Skillen shares his thoughts that hopefully, will pick you up.  He reminds you that you do terrific things daily and that there are students in your care who like and appreciate your efforts.  And, isn’t that the ultimate goal?

From the empathetic things that you do to make things work to the academics and efforts that make it happen, Peter offers a real reminder of the importance of the things that you do.

And, if you’re looking for the data driven element, Peter shares the world rankings in PISA.

It’s good to be in the green.


When I first heard about #EdcampBeijing from Ann Marie Luce, I did what any Twitter user would do.  I tracked the hashtag and created a Wakelet from the Twitter messages.

That’s a collection of the firsthand messages that were flying from the event.  The background and organizer reflections come from this post from Ann Marie.

What struck me as really unique, although not unexpectedly, was the way that both English and Chinese were embraced throughout the event.  Ann Marie gives us a picture of the schedules with both languages.  Quite frankly, I only understood one of them.

As would be expected, there are some pictures to capture the learning at this 160 person event.

As any good post would have, there were some reflections about the successes and the room for improvement.  They were particularly interesting to read because they went beyond the typical “we need more food” and went to the heart of a two language event and how that went and/or could be better.

I’d never seen something like that before.  Very interesting and congratulations to those involved in making it happen.  And, of course, to Ann Marie for sharing it with us.

Be Strong in the Face of Poor Government

There’s a strong message in this post from Will Gourley on the ETFO Heart and Art Blog.

Be strong

Like Peter Skillen’s post, this is a timely reminder for teachers of their power and skills that make great things happen on a daily basis.

Of course, into the mix comes the posturing and messages that will be heart over and over as we head into a time of negotiations.

You can’t avoid them; they will be everywhere and staff rooms will be full of conversations.  Your children may also hear the messages and be curious.

Will reminds all – be strong.

Sidney Helped

Jessica O’Reilly’s post reminded me of my first foray into the Twitter world.  I was told I needed to be “connected” but not necessarily “why”.  Sure, there was a small number of recommendations of people to follow but that was about it.

The missing part was the magic that is actually required on my end to make the magic happen on the Twitter end.

The connections really do matter.  It’s a matter of quality, to be sure, but there’s also the element of quantity to make checking things regularly important and there’s the intangible of connecting to people that you don’t already know.  It really was a fuzzy type of experience.

As part of the Extend Ontario project, Jessica apparently had to use a utility SocioViz to visualize her network of connections.  The interaction between Jessica and Sidney who either helped or actually did her homework depending upon the title you follow was interesting.  Listening Sidney talk Jessica through what was happening was very interesting.

Dreams do come true if you persevere, my vision of an experiential passion based classroom have come true.

How’s that for a lengthy blog post title.  This one comes from Rebecca Chambers.

It’s a story about how she’s been thinking about how we “do” school and what could be done to make it better.  According to her, it’s the culmination of 10 years of her thinking about this.

Using the expectations from the TOJ4C and IDC4O course, Rebecca has designed an experience that embraces

  • Student Driven
  • Exit Outcomes (Essential Life Skills)
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Technology
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • Social Media
  • Authentic Audience and Community Connections
  • Course Content as a vessel to work on all of the above

The post includes a “week in the life of” recounting for the students.  It’s an interesting read.

What I found particularly interesting was the amount of social media that these students use to address the expectations in the course.  In a time when there are detracting comments about student use of smartphones, this is a refreshing read and a look to success for the future.

Good Will: it’s what holds the education system together

“We do it for the kids”

How many times do you hear that from teachers?  Of course, it is true.  There really isn’t much else in education, after all!

And yet, there’s the realistic side of things.  In order for teachers to get to the position that allows them to make that statement, there is the reality of how navigating the system works.  Just getting hired can be the tip of the iceberg.

In this post, Tim King shows us much of his personal iceberg.  He tells of his personal career choice to become an educator and some of the finances and mathematics to make it all happen.

Tim also outlines the parallels between education and political jobs.

Including comments about having the summers off.

Saying Goodbye – A Consistent Journey

After a lengthy stint in the Modern Learning in Information Technology department with Peel School, Tina Zita is leaving.

In a day when we’re reading about teachers being declared surplus and having unsure futures, it’s refreshing to read that someone who is generally acknowledged as an expert in her field is off to a new adventure … of her own choice.

She’s off to a new position with the Ontario College of Teachers.

That’s a big jump.

So, a personal congratulations to her for taking control of her future and ending up in a position she wanted.

Let’s hope that the new position doesn’t preclude her from continuing to blog and be active in other areas of social media.

Please take a moment on this Friday morning to click through and enjoy all of these posts.  You’ll be glad that you did.

And, take a couple more moments to expand your personal learning network.

This post first appeared on:

Anywhere else – it’s not original.


2 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. […] of teachers who are being laid off. I am encouraged by Doug Peterson, who is featuring some of the posts written supporting teachers and students each week. I am also encouraged by the teachers who are speaking out about being laid […]


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