Greetings from my remote location – in my house. If you’ve listened to the voicEd Radio show on Wednesday mornings, you’ll know that I’ve been bumped from Studio A to Studio B because of a bathroom renovation. I’m on a different computer, different network, but I did bring my chair to sit at this relatively small desk. So, I’m good to go but am staring at a wall instead of looking outside on this beautiful Fall day. Here’s my weekly wander around the province looking at Ontario Education blogs.
The voicEd Radio archive of This Week in Ontario Edublogs podcasts is located here.
It’s easy to read about the challenges that Ontario (and everywhere) teachers are having as school buildings re-open in the time of COVID. It’s less easy to find something motivational but Michelle Fenn does in this post on the ETFO Heart and Art Blog.
It’s great to read that educators from her district are interested in refining their technology and pedagogy abilities on their own time during the summer and now continuing into the evenings.
She draws a parallel in education to a series that she watched on Netflix about an exploration to Mars and the unexpected things they found. I’ll bet that describes your classroom.
It’s a good read and she mentions something that needs to be repeated and repeated. It doesn’t lessen our opinions of doctors, nurses, firefighters, grocery and other store and service workers but
Every educator is a front line worker, doing their best, making a difference, being brave beyond imagination and truly an inspiration.
I challenge all readers to repeat that on social and other media often.
Elizabeth Lyons gives us a lesson in language in this post all tied to education’s current realities. As she notes, “dichotomy” is a word that we don’t use all that often. But, it was the inspiration for this post as she shares what she sees as dichotomies in our current reality.
- Masks or no masks?
- Physically distanced students or collapsed classes?
- 1m vs 2m?
- Online learning or face-to-face?
- Hand sanitizer or soap and water?
- Google Classroom or Brightspace?
Then, she takes off and gives her interpretation of each.
It’s an interesting read and important that it’s from the keyboard of an educator. We see these terms used casually by those in politics and on the evening news. Their true meaning goes much deeper.
Patti Henderson is an incredible photographer and a valued person that I’ve met through my social connections and I’ve had the chance to meet her in person a couple of times.
I will apologize up front though; I went to her blog and looked at the pictures and was captivated and blown away with what I saw. I’ve mentioned it many times that artists like Patti see things that I miss. Certainly, this sticks out for me in this photo essay.
It wasn’t until I got to the bottom and saw the map that I realize that this wasn’t some sort of random collection of images. She had participated in a Terry Fox run/hike and took pictures along the way. I even thought that she had taken a picture of the set for Kim’s Convenience until I realized that there are thousands of corner stores in this world.
The pictures and her corresponding commentary puts the whole experience into perspective. Thank you, Patti, for doing this.
In a perfect world, there is so much movement in the classroom. Even when students are writing a test or a quiz, you’re up and walking around. This is certainly not a perfect world and people are supposed to sit at desks for the most part of the school day.
Laura Wheeler takes on this notion and lets us know that there are things that can be done to get the blood moving even in the current reality.
In the post, she explains why it’s important to have some movement in the classroom and shares a playlist of activities she’s curated to be done during breaks.
This is yet another example of how educators are seeing puzzle pieces strewn on the classroom floor and are taking the time to put them all back together. Using this metaphor, I think that it’s important to realize that you may have to smack some of those pieces to make them fit at times.
I really enjoy this series of blog posts from John Hodgkinson as he takes us through a list of great 500 albums. I hadn’t through of Dr. John for a while and when I do, I think naturally about
The song would be so important in our current time and place. If nothing else, turn up the volume and play it loud.
It’s not on this album (Iko Iko is) but there are great tunes nonetheless.
John gives us a description of the influences in Dr. John’s music including the connection to voodoo. It’s an interesting read and, he’s inspired to think about how to greet students in his classroom.
- Everything is an influence for good or bad. I’ll remind my young charges to be mindful of the world around them and tap into its inspiration.
- The teen-years are a fertile time for passionate pursuits…pursue your passions.
- I will continue to foster the academic and artistic pursuits of my students. Unlike Mac’s Jesuit teachers, I’ll never give them an ultimatum.
- Persevere and Adapt. Challenges are opportunities for greatness in disguise.
- Quirky, flamboyant, wild and weird are positive descriptions. Be what you are meant to be … Let your freak flags fly!
Some inspirational thoughts here. Could you use them?
OK, I love anything that Zoe Branigan-Pipe writes and when I’m in the first sentence of her post, I’m over the top!
I’m glad that I wrote that reflection post about my experience. In her response, Zoe takes us through her network and the value that it brings to her. I’m impressed with how our networks overlap.
If you’re new to networking or if you’d like to tweak your own network, take an opportunity to “meet” those in her post. You can only get better connected when you include them in yours.
In closing, hi Zoe, you’re not the only one to read your post and we’ll hold you to your promise of blogging at least once a week!
Finally, back to the Heart and Art blog and a post from Tammy Axt.
This is another photo essay – about teaching this time. Technology works well except when it doesn’t.
Tammy is teaching in a hybrid environment and so is being observed with a couple different set of student lenses and everything just needs to work.
What happens when it doesn’t? It happens for all of us. I can just image the Help Desk at her district when she sends in these images to report problems.
I hope that you will take the time to click through and read these terrific blog posts. There’s great stuff there for all.
Then, make sure you’re following all these people on Twitter.
- Michelle Fenn – @toadmummy
- Elizabeth Lyons – @MrsLyonsLibrary
- Patti Henderson – @GingerPatti
- Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
- John Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
- Zoe Branigan-Pipe – @zbpipe
- Tammy Axt – @MsAxt
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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.