Welcome to another Friday edition of This Week in Ontario Edublogs. #twioe It’s cool here but I’ve heard reports of you know what in other places. Stay warm and read some great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.
Living in the age of incivility Part 3 – The Iron Cage that is the school system
This is a rather longish post from Paul McGuire and even longer if you click through and read about “The Cage” and I would encourage that and thank Paul for including it.
As teachers, I think we’re all aware that a school district sets a direction and all teachers are expected to follow those directions. There are consequences for not playing along. I couldn’t help but think about this skit from Monty Python.
On one hand, people are encouraged to be creative but one the other hand, only when it’s within the rules.
As teachers, we always had the ability to contact our federation if we felt that we were treated improperly. Paul’s experience reminds us that principals are not part of any federation and are basically on their own.
In my mind, “The Cage” has become more of a thing with the amalgamation of school districts into super boards. More than ever, it’s easier to manage from the top if everyone follows the dictated rules.
The question should be asked – what type of school system results?
Back to Life, Back to Reality…
When a blog post starts with bad news and then good news and there’s still a great deal to read, it’s hard to predict!
Jen Aston lived with the message that she would be in a portable classroom for the school year. That really isn’t good news. There was a glimpse of sunshine when she was directed not to do too much setup. Because things change. In 2020? Really? <grin>
It sounds like she ended up in a better than expected classroom – a large room in the primary area of the school. That’s good news.
What’s in the rest of the post? It’s an interesting discussion about what’s happening in Mme Aston’s classroom in the various subject areas. If you know Jen, you just know that beekeeping would end up being part of the discussion.
Click through to see how!
Student Virtual Room Tutorial à la Bitmoji Classroom
Larissa Aradj shares with us an idea that she used from earlier this year. She had students design room; not with a drafting tool but in Google Slides.
She includes some pictures of what has been done by her students. They don’t need to maybe draw their own personal room but the room they’d like to have? It’s interesting to explore these images. As you might imagine, if you take a quick look, you might miss a great deal. Take some time, blow up the pictures, and see all the messages that are there.
Since it’s done in Google Slides, it seems to me that there are some interesting additional things that could be done. Make some areas hot spots so that you could open the books on bookshelves or any of the other objects in the room.
I’m also thinking that if this just one big collaborative slidedeck, the teacher could be hiding that Elf on the Shelf within student’s rooms and have them looking for it regularly.
Deciding whether or not to make the switch…
This really is a sign of the times in the fall of 2020. Some students have elected to start the year face to face and others have decided to do it online.
Depending upon the first decision and how it’s going, it should come as no surprise that students may wish to change their mode of learning. No surprises there and the rise in number of COVID people in the province might be forcing a new reality.
To manage this, school districts have set a date by which families must declare how it is that their children will go to school. That date determines the last date that they can switch, at least for now.
Kelly McLaughlin lays out the reality in her district where the date is November 3. To help parents, she’s created a pro and con information resource for them.
Of course, I know just what everyone is thinking – another reorganization of the schools and classrooms.
I fell for Diana Maliszewski’s teaser for this post
So I cried at school on Monday and I cried again at school on Friday. Different reasons; apologies to my in-person colleagues who were worried/alarmed at 1st. (Consider this a “teaser trailer” for this Monday’s blog post.)
— Diana Maliszewski (@MzMollyTL) October 10, 2020
and I held a spot for it.
You can feel her emotions come through in the post and I wish that I could be there to give her a hug. Split grades are a reality more than ever but imagine a school that looks like this…
JK-SK, 1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6-7 and 7-8
The staff got together and reorganized as
JK-SK, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8
In this reorganization, Diana ended up having to pass off what sounds like a great group of Grade 7 students.
Now, keep in mind that in the TDSB, things have been in a flux so she hasn’t had a stable classroom since the first day of school. And yet, she is able to identify a bunch of attributes for these students and how they wished her goodbye. Hence the tears.
You just have to read the post.
I gained even more respect for Lisa Corbett after reading this blog post. Truly.
It brought back advice from my father – you can do the wrong thing and you can do the right thing. The wrong thing might make you friends or help you through a situation but doing the right thing will let you sleep at night.
The bottom line is that you have to live with yourself when things are done and you should never have to apologize for doing the right thing.
Do the wrong thing and you might be doing some explaining for a long time to come.
It was great to see Helen DeWaard back blogging again.
This time around, she reflects as a result of watching the Social Dilemma.
This film, ironically warehoused within the Netflix collection, is touted as a “must watch” docudrama bringing a critical view to the impact of social media on the cultural fabric of society
She makes the connection for analyzing the moving using resources from the Association for Media Literacy and shares her questions with us.
A discussion of this also appeared on #OnEdMentors. Read the post for her analysis of things and check out the podcast on voicEd Radio for the group discussion.
Please take the time to read these posts in their entirety.
Then, follow these educators on Twitter.
- Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
- Jen Aston – @mme_aston
- Larissa Aradj – @MrsGeekChic
- Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
- Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
- Helen DeWaard – @hj_dewaard
This post originates from:
If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.