And, just like that, it’s June. It’s been the longest three months and yet March Break seems just like yesterday. We’re now hearing of schools that are opening so that things that got left behind in March can be picked up. I’m not sure that you could write this as a story. And yet, here we are.
Here we are again for another Friday and an opportunity for me to highlight some terrific blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. I hope that you can come with me and enjoy their writing.
When I first read this post from Deana Gordon, I immediately thought of Peter Cameron’s post challenging the notion from the Minister of Education that the system has pivoted.
This post comes from the “Authentic” Side of the stillnesshub blog. Labelling the notion of what’s happened in Ontario this spring as authentic is absolutely appropriate.
Deana notes that it’s very easy to find the negative but the reality is that teachers are on the job and everyone wants to do the very best for their students.
So, they need the courage to see things differently, reorder life and job priorities, express more gratitude and face the things that we run from. The courage to evolve indeed.
I’ve been a participant of badging as a child through swimming lessons from the Red Cross and Royal Life Saving Society and then as a Wolf Cub and Boy Scout. The concept is to learn a skill, demonstrate a proficiency in it, and then demonstrate that proficiency to a tester that awards a badge for success.
We’ve seen badging or credentialing all over the place, typically for teachers. Microsoft, Google, and many software entities offer badges for teachers to put on their website or other social media as a way to give them cred with visitors.
Amy Bowker is looking at the concept for her classroom going forward. Whether schools are back in classroom or online learning continues, there undoubtedly will be more focus on digital portfolios to demonstrate skills. She’s created herself a set of credentials for expectations with varying levels of proficiency.
In education, we often think that the motivation to do well is a mark at the end of a course or year. Why not recognize smaller achievements ongoing throughout the year?
One takeaway from all this Learning at Home stuff has been the challenge of maintaining motivation. Perhaps ongoing badge collection would be helpful.
I think she’s on to something here.
The question went out to students in Lisa Corbett’s online classroom. Has anyone got any mail?
But that was about to change as students from her class opened letters to reveal “Flat Mrs. Corbett”.
Like that other Flat guy, the challenge of taking a picture with Flat Mrs. Corbett in various places was on.
Would the impact have been there if it had been emailed?
Of course not, there’s just something special about getting personally addressed mail.
Spring in Ontario didn’t go by unnoticed here. Sweatshirt and sandals!
Patt Olivieri takes us on a deep dive thinking about assessment and growth in these emergency times. She was inspired by a Twitter message from Brandon Zoras that generated quite a bit of discussion. As Brandon notes, the document has the flexibility to be melded by professional educators and many are doing so at this time.
I can’t do justice to this post except to encourage you to read it at least a couple of times. It’s rich in content and ideas and a section encouraging you to focus on what matters. She addresses a number of things there but there was one that really leaped from her list for me.
‘P’ is for Pandemic not PD – learn one thing well from a place of curiosity and care, not panic.
This was an important message for me. My job was Professional Development among other things. In order to stay on top of things, I was always learning because I wanted to.
In these times, people are indeed learning new things just as a way to survive. You could easily panic and feel a need to learn outside the traditional route. But good learning comes from curiosity, not from threats.
I’ve really been interested in the posts from the ourdadshoes.com blog. It’s a space for people to talk about being a father and honouring your own father.
This post came from Chris Cluff.
There’s a terrific opportunity that Chris has when going to university. He had the opportunity to meet up with his father at Union Station and take the train with him back to Oshawa. I’m jealous; I didn’t have that opportunity.
Of course, on the train, there might be a discussion between father and son. Chris had the opportunity to ask his father why he chose the profession that he did. The answer might surprise you so you need to read the post in Chris’ words.
This is another post from the ourdadsshoes blog, this time from Rolland Chidiac. He concludes with this piece of wisdom.
Whether you have a dad, are a dad, or want to be a dad, do what you can to enjoy every minute of your experience because once it’s gone, you can’t ever have it back exactly the way it was.
Rolland shares that his father passed away young leaving many things between the two of them hanging.
Rolland lets us know that it was painful for him to write the post, thinking of all the memories that he had, and then he does find the power to share some things with us.
I’m so happy for him that he’s able to see his father in his children. That will let the memories be good and live on.
The concept of organizing thoughts has never been so important as it is these days. People have different ways of organizing; I tend to use bullet points in a document or a graphical tool. I do recognize that my resultant notes always tend to look like a timeline or a flowchart.
I’m envious of people like Laura Wheeler who have the ability to create Sketchnotes as their way to organize. I enjoy it when they share their creations; in this case, it’s the book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink. I find it easy to understand the message that she has diagramed.
I just can’t do it myself. I’ve spent way too much time trying.
Maybe I should just come to the conclusion that it’s not just for me. I really do appreciate that Laura shared her work with us.
Please take some time to click through and read these inspirational blog posts. There’s some great thinking there for you to enjoy.
Then, make sure that you’re following these educators on Twitter.
- Deana Gordon – @dgdocfree76
- Amy Bowker – @amyebowker
- Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
- Patt Olivieri – @pattolivieri
- Chris Cluff – @chrisjcluff
- Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
- Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
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