This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Another week; another collection of great blog posts from Ontario Educators.


Beginning a New Job

In a time when I’ve seen people happy to reach retirement and others who are wishing for retirement, there’s Terry Whitmell.

She’s starting a new job in educational leadership. You’ll have to read the post to find out where and what.

It was just a few weeks ago when we looked at a blog post from here talking about assisting with home schooling in kindergarten. How things can change!

I found this an interesting post to read about the things that go through an educator’s mind in a situation like this. In the post, she does break her thinking into five areas:

  • You need a lot more “stuff” to begin work in 2021, especially in a pandemic
  • You need to get to know a lot more people
  • With social media you can easily make “faux pas”!
  • It’s not as simple as “getting the keys”
  • Your identity needs to be more explicitly communicated (Terry/Theresa)

And, within each area, she shares her thinking. I’ll bet that many of the things you’ll have well under control but there may be a few items that you need to think about.

I’m sure that she would appreciate any advice in the comments to this post.


A Pedagogy of Kindness

These days, you often see this sentiment …

Laura Elliott had this sort of sentiment as she went through and redid her educational philosophy. It might seem to be a straight forward decision but Laura really describes how the sentiment applies in so many ways.

Of particular interest to me was the part of the blog post when she talked about the necessity for students to actually trust their teacher. That will make you stop and think for a bit. It seems like a simple concept but when you think of the alternatives like what would make a student mistrust a teacher, you really can see where she’s headed with this concept.

We all need inspirational moments these days; I suspect that reading and reflecting on this post will be one for you.


It’s Your Writing Spiral Now! So Then Who Am I?

There was a great deal of learning and thinking in this recent post from Jessica Outram. She has that ability as a writer.

First; I’d never heard of the word “autoethnography” so that was my starting point.

The post is full of ideas and practical motivation pieces to get you thinking about yourself as writer. I’m pretty sure she didn’t write it with me in mind but there were so many good ideas in there to ensure that I’m writing to be true to yourself.

In school, I’m not sure that that was ever true. I seem to remember that the goal was to write like some of the authors that we had been reading in class. This goes in a different direction that seems to me would be more powerful. There are elements of thinking about your own culture and its impact on you and your impact on it. I’d never really thought about it this way before.

It just makes so much sense. We all bring out own individual backgrounds to the writing process and the chances that two of us are exactly the same are slim. So, why wouldn’t this reflective approach work and work nicely?

It’s very powerful thinking. Thanks for sharing this, Jessica. Shouldn’t everyone be encouraged to write this way?


Negative/Positive

Richard Erdmann uses his blogging space to share his ongoing challenges dealing with cancer. As such, his writing is often a different vector than some of the posts that I include here. That doesn’t validate or invalidate anyone’s words but just reinforces in my mind all the positive things that can result from blogging.

In this post, he shares the results of a biopsy. The results set the tone for the negative part of this post and the resulting disappointment.

Then, he turns around with a mindset that can only be helpful. He talks about the positive things that he’s going to be doing including mindset and daily approach and the possibility that he may be admitted to a new program at Princess Margaret Hospital to try a new treatment.

I know that we all talk about Plan As and Plan Bs in our lives. Richard’s working on Plan “E”. Let’s all wish him the best and that “E” is it.


Friday Two Cents: Perseverance

Everyone who has ever been in a classroom knows the importance of March Break. The Fall session last from September to December and the excitement sustains.

Then, the return from the break in January marks a very long stretch to the end of June. It starts with the darkest days of the school year and there are are a couple of holidays but it’s always been the Spring Break that makes that chunk of time bearable.

Throw in the current stress of COVID in the classroom and you can really understand those that lament the movement of the break.

Paul Gauchi shares his thoughts about the movement of the break from March to April. In the post, he acknowledges the stress and fatigue that so many educators are enduring.

In a normal year everyone could look forward to time off  to help recharge their batteries for that final push until June.

As we know, this is anything but a normal year.


Staff Relationships: COVID Edition

I thought that this was an interesting look at the perspective from an Occasional Teacher, Melissa Turnbull. It’s not a job that I’ve ever had nor aspired to. Just covering classes internally for other teachers was challenging enough, particularly when you don’t know the subject matter.

Occasional teachers allow the school to continue though. We always treated these people as guests when they came into our department. We had an extra desk that was available should we get one on any particular day. If we had two, it went to whoever got there first! We’d give them a tour of where rooms are, where the coffee is made, etc.

But that was in a regular school environment. As with many educational things in the days of COVID, things are much different these days. This post, from the Heart and Art blog, will give you a look at what it looks now through Melissa’s eyes.

It’s also a reminder that you can never been too friendly for those guests at your school. Isolation and all the other rules that need to be observed can really push back.


A Pandemic Fugue

It had been a while since Helen DeWaard had blogged so it was nice to see a flag by her blog in my reader and then with a title like this, I knew that I had to dive into this post. Two new words this week, courtesy of reading blog posts. Does it get much better than that?

Thankfully, Helen takes the time to provide us with a definition of the word “fugue”! I’d never heard or read it before.

I think that, in these days of COVID, we’ve all seen screen captures of video conferencing sessions with participants in their own little window. That’s become the reality for most people and we’ve all made fun of it and have seen how others can be brutal in their comments as well.

Helen provides another interesting look, a couple of examples, and an inspirational call to action.

We too can step out of our fugue and leave a legacy of our teaching and learning, just as this video models. This is a record of a moment where musicians came together purposefully, to create something meaningful and beautiful.

There’s your challenge if you’re working in an online class environment for this Friday.


Check out all these amazing posts and then follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell
  • Laura Elliott – @lauraelliottPhD
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
  • Richard Erdmann – @rerdmann
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Melissa Turnbull
  • Helen DeWaard – @hj_dewaard

The Wednesday morning’s edition of This Week in Ontario Edublogs is available here: https://voiced.ca/podcast_episode_post/identity-pedagogy-and-a-meaning-of-life/

OTR Links 03/19/2021


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.