Around here, someone flipped the switch and now it’s fall. The warm days went away, replaced by cooler ones. Crickets are everywhere; there actually have been a couple of nights where we closed the windows to keep the noise down!
Not noise, but great commentary from Ontario Edubloggers it the focus of this regular Friday morning post. Please enjoy.
As a secondary school person, it was culture shock when I visited primary classrooms, often at “Calendar Time”. It was always a big deal and I remember students highly interested in having their voice heard.
Now considerably older, calendars are important – in my digital life although This Week in Ontario Edublogs and Walk the Dog are the only two recurring events. That, and birthdays. I don’t really need that; we have a calendar on the fridge and the rules is that if it isn’t in the calendar, it won’t happen.
I remember that the calendar templates in Microsoft Publisher were crowd pleasers in the schools!
In this post, written before her teaching assignment was confirmed, Lisa Corbett shares her thoughts about the important of calendar with Grade 2 expectations. And, perhaps a different approach for doing calendars this year…
It was great to see Jennifer Aston back at her blog. This is another post talking about the nervousness before the return to school. She seems to have a great summer that included some camping. More on this later.
She speaks for so many educators when she lets loose about her frustrations with the Ministry of Education and the approach taken to re-opening schools that, by most accounts, excluding talking with teachers.
What a missed opportunity to work together for our deserving children!
Besides being a teacher, Jennifer is also a mother and is very aware that emotion and words can be heard at times from an unexpected audience.
Dwelling on the negatives can really bring one down and so she does talk about some of the very positive things that she’s expecting for September. Way to go.
Back to camping; there are a number of ways to take a holiday this year – staycations (for the most of us), going to a cottage (which can be like a home away from home including internet access), or going camping. Now, camping is all over the map in terms of experience but part of it is maintaining a safe site, cooking outside, etc. I wonder if students who camped to survive the summer will be tougher when back in the classroom?
Don’tMessWithTheShield: A Little Unexpected, Humorous Teacher Inquiry
Aviva Dunsiger takes us on a little adventure with her experiences with a mask and a shield. Like all of us who wear glasses, fog becomes a very distinct enemy. Of course, I had to think about the Andy Reid shield wearing at the Kansas City football game.
Imagine teaching a class of kindergartners through that fog!
Now, I hope that my friendship with Aviva withstands this comment but she seems to be in the shield modification skill department like how she describes her ability to park. Love you, Aviva.
You might smile as you read this but I’ll bet you can see yourself doing exactly what she tried to do.
Thankfully, she had a VP with a replacement shield to save the day.
Diana Maliszewski takes us on an emotional rollercoaster that so many Ontario educators can empathize with. She found out on Thursday, September 10 what her teaching assignment would be. Think about the date and the fact that normally, school would have started September 8. Over the prior summer, teachers are likely to be engaged in planning and collecting resources for the fall.
If you’re a user of a school library, this will break your heart.
The big picture here, and Diana spells it out, is that she’s had at least a part timetable as a Teacher-Librarian for her entire career. She didn’t use the role as a selfish way to avoid teaching kids; she’s been an advocate and poster child for the transition from libraries as a repository of books to the Learning Commons that we take for granted these days.
More than that though, Diana has been a leader, coach, critical friend, presenter, advocate, champion for technology and libraries. She’s been a mainstay presenter with subject associations like the OSLA and ECOO. She refuses to accept the status quo.
The TDSB has elected to not fund Learning Commons this year.
That places Diana in a full time teaching situation; a 6/7 split. She has three concerns that she outlines in the post. All three are legitimate concerns and I wish her all the best as she undertakes this new reality.
Once she settles in, I know that she will recognize that her years of being a connected educator has made her so many connections and her above average ability to curate resources (check out her wikis) will serve her well.
I also hope that subject associations which have thrived because of the contributions of educators like Diana are there with real resources to assist this year.
Are We Prepared To Be Doing The Same Learning In The Future?
This essay from Rola Tibshirani should be required reading for everyone who emerged from the spring of emergency learning depressed.
Rola uses this post to share her insights into how things went well in her classroom and I suspect many other classrooms. It’s easy to focus on the challenges and certainly there were so many. Rola observes:
Our ecosystem during the emergency remote learning grew stronger due to the established partnership with parents and the students.
It was a slide/transition from regular classroom to teaching online. Rola observes that her success emerged from those idea connections that were already in place. I would suggest stepping back from your current reality and think objectively about what actually happened last spring.
Could your classroom be as successful as hers?
She provides a large list of events about learning, well being, and resilience.
It is so inspirational.
Any time you can take a significant educational think online, be open and collaborative, only good things can happen.
And, good things should emerge from this new intiative that Roland Chidiac describes in this post. In collaboration with Chris Cluff and Ramona Meharg, he introduces us to a new podcast devoted to getting Principal qualifications.
The podcast is a great tool to assist us in sharing our perspectives, learning from each other, and learning from others outside of our immediate circle. We are modeling our process in a public way with the hope that it will start up great discussions and encourage others to do the same. As my friend Joe Marquez likes to say, education is a collaborative sport!
The concept sounds very interesting and the timing may well be perfect for those who are interested in this leadership role in education.
ADAPTING LESSON PLANS FOR ONLINE TEACHING
There are a lot of students whose family has elected to have them start this fall learning online. So many, in fact, that many newly created online schools have a delay in starting that put them behind the starting date for those going face to face.
As we learned last spring, there is a significant different between teaching face to face and teaching face to Zoom/Meet/Skype/Teams.
Like all things educational, engagement is a huge factor for success. Writing for the ESLOntario blog, Azi Pordel shares thoughts about the use of Microsoft Powerpoint or slides in general in the classroom for engagement. Tips on design and the rational behind slide design and process are discussed.
I hope that you can find some time to click through and enjoy all of these blog posts.
Then, make sure that you’re following these educators on Twitter.
- Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
- Jennifer Aston – @mme_aston
- Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
- Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
- Rola Tibshirani – @rolat
- Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
- TESL Ontario – @teslontario
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