It would be hard to start this post and not talk about snow. It’s been a heavy week around, especially for a November. Buses were even cancelled one day and, in typical Essex County fashion, the main roads were dry by noon.
It’s time to share some of the great posts I read recently from Ontario Edubloggers. And, by the way, if you’re in Ontario and blogging or know of someone who is, please add it to the form that’s there to collect for the purpose of growing the list. Or, directly here.
Did you get your flu shot yet?
Your public service notice this fall from the Heart and Art Blog and Deb Weston. It’s personal for her.
In 2009, my students invited their classmates to a birthday party. One of the students had the H1N1 flu virus. In a class of 24 students, 18 students missed a week of class due to this flu. Their teacher, me, was then hit with the flu. I missed 4 days of work. I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Upon hearing I was diagnosed with H1N1, my partner got his flu shot and slept in another room until I was well. The flu compromised my immune system and months later I contracted Whooping Cough.
It’s hard to believe that, despite the facts, we have this conversation every year.
Since you can get it at a pharmacy now, there’s no “waiting for a doctor” excuse any more. Just do it.
I’ve got mine.
There was a time when student-led conferencing was solely an elementary school thing it seems. So, it was with real interest to read that Amanda Potts had mom and a family of three show up for parent/teacher interview – two students that she taught.
From a reading perspective, I found myself bouncing back and forth with empathy from teacher to student who had just been outed that “he talks about me at home”.
From an education perspective, I thought that it was a real winner that this parents wanted to talk about the choice of reading that was selected for this class. I don’t imagine that happens a lot.
The timing of reading this post and an invitation to listed to a new podcast from Amanda and Melanie White made it full circle here. I enjoyed both.
You can read more about this podcast on Amanda’s blog as well.
I knew about much of this from Colleen Rose through private conversations. She wasn’t going to be going back to the classroom to start the fall semester after having had a great summer.
Colleen goes very public with details, including a TMI warning in this post.
I think that it’s cool that she’s turning the whole thing into a learning event – how much more “teacher” can you get than that. In this case, it’s teaching herself to knit. Kudos for doing that.
What impressed me about this post is that there’s a common thread running through it – yes, it’s pure Colleen, but there’s technology everywhere. Mapping a trail, taking pictures (lots of them), medical technology, Dr. Google, listening to podcasts, and YouTube tutorials for learning her new skills. Way to go, Colleen.
The post even includes a shoutout to her union for taking care of things for her.
Jennifer Aston delivers an interesting post about a session that she and her daughter delivered at the recent Bring IT, Together Conference about how Minecraft has found its way into her French classroom.
Her slidedeck, which she freely shares is here: http://bit.ly/parlonsminecraft
Unlike many of the sessions that I attended where the slides were filled with text and drawings, etc., so that the speaker becomes redundant, Jennifer recognizes that she’s very visual in presentation and that the slides, by themselves, doesn’t really tell you what’s happening.
So, she clumps her slides together with speaking notes so that we can follow and understand the message.
Nicely done and it’s great to know that the practice of ensuring that presentations in both Ontario’s official languages are still offered.
Matthew Morris doesn’t give detentions. That’s interesting. Maybe he doesn’t need to? Or maybe he’s got another way of handling the things that detentions would claim to solve?
What I found interesting was his note that he’s asked by students “do you give detentions?”. Even that question speaks volumes that the students are coming from a school culture that includes them.
I can’t recall giving them out. In fact, we were specifically told not to since most of our students were bused to school and after school detaining would open a can of worms. I remember noting that there were still lots of after school sports, clubs, and activities. But, as a new teacher, I wanted to follow the rules.
This ran through my mind after reading Matthew’s post
beatings will continue until morale improves
If the goal of detentions is to improve things, maybe there’s a better way to reach that goal.
Secret Truths of Empathy While Learning to Advocate
Hmmm. Thanks to this post from Ruthie Sloan, the secrets are now revealed!
The big takeaway, if you need it is that
empathy is not sympathy
It certainly isn’t accumulating the number of check boxes on a student IEP either.
What might happen if we began our meetings and our journey with deep and genuine curiosity (beyond check boxes on IEPs but about the ‘whole-child’ and those who are also learning how to support)? How might this affect our capacity to cultivate empathy? What might it do to our filters and translations?
If we truly believe in working with the “whole-child”, then a more global approach is essential. Ruthie uses the term “moral imperative”.
I can’t help but think that the suggested approach would be deemed to be too inefficient and not cost worthy in the eye of the bean counters. Plus, with cutbacks in support…
I think you can fill in the details.
Community Archives and Identity
This is actually a very short message informing us about a presentation that Krista McCracken is delivering to an Algoma sociology class.
Slides are available here.
Unlike Jennifer’s approach of not including speaker notes, Krista does have speaking notes to go along with each slide.
Of course, looking through a slidedeck isn’t the same as being there but this was intriguingly interesting and I used a search engine to find out more about the Archives talked about in the slideshow.
Please take the time to click through and enjoy the original blog posts. As always, there’s some great sharing going on.
Then, make sure that you’re following these leaders on Twitter.
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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.