Good Friday morning! Hope you have a quick Friday (at least it’s a Friday the 14th) and on to the weekend. Oh, and check out some great blogging from Ontario Edubloggers.
From Sue Bruyns, some thoughts about interviews. Personally, I hated them when I was on the being interviewed side. I was always afraid that I’d say something stupid; sometimes my speaking exceeds my thinking ability. What the heck, most of the time that happens. That’s why blogging and the ability to proofread and edit suits me well.
I did have occasion to sit on the other side of the table and it really isn’t any better watching the interviewee squirm. Apparently, Sue enjoys the interview process and explains why in this post. What I found interesting was the approach of asking interviewees to bring in an artefact and share that with the interview team. I think it’s a great approach as it shifts the control away from the people doing the interview and lets the person being interviewed take control over something they’re very comfortable talking about.
So, Sue walks us through the interview. I found it interesting and brought back memories for me of times when I sat in one or the other chairs. It’s a necessary process, I suppose, but I still get the shaking nerves when I think about it. Of course, Sue has such a wonderful style about her, I’m sure that she would make you comfortable for the interview.
Friday Two Cents: Daily Routine
If there’s one way to maintain sanity and get results in education, it’s having a healthy and regular routine. Paul Gauchi writes about a personal experience when that happens to fall off the rails.
I think he speaks for most people in the province when he says
During these past months there has been nothing but turmoil from the government: are we going into virtual learning or are we staying with the in-class option? It goes back and forth, back and forth.
It’s pretty difficult to build a regular routine when that is your reality. He notes the shortage of occasional teachers and that only adds to the situation.
I think we all look back at the past year with a critical eye and that’s done here, in the concept of a routine. What happens when that routine stops? What happens when you rebuilt the routine?
Read about it in this post.
I’ve been sitting on this post from Melanie White for a bit because it’s kind of sad, kind of insightful, kind of nostalgic, …
She starts by talking about cleaning windows which immediately made me think of this Safety Last! scene.
There’s a husband story here about cleaning windows to start the post but she ends up with a thought about classroom windows. Supposedly, they let you look outside, but you really only see a subset of what’s out there. In my teaching experience, most of my time was spent in a windowless classroom. The outside was neither a distraction nor an inspiration. When I did get a classroom with an outside window, it was one of those tall windows that you’ll find in an air conditioned building. It was slightly better.
But, I got thinking … all that comes into play when teachers and students are in the same room looking out the same window. What happens these days with remote learning? Everyone has a different window, if they have a window at all. What’s missing as a result? Can there be a meeting of the minds?
Every0ne in education is reflecting on this and Lisa Corbett adds her thoughts. Particularly with the oddities of teaching online, planning and maintaining a schedule is crucial for success.
As Lisa notes, there are other things to remember to schedule – feed your own children.
It’s the teacher mentality and we’re all guilty of it. Everything about those students in our charge is important. We’re supposed to know them, be a social guidance, mentor, inspiration, and sometimes the more important things are devoted to whatever time is left over. Sure, we all know that’s wrong but we all do it.
Time is such a big deal in education and Lisa notes another upcoming time crunch – five weeks of teaching content and four weeks until report cards are due.
Joel McLean gives a nice discussion about decisive moments, at the same time revisiting the notion of routines.
He works with the premise that we are a society of instant gratification – but what happens when it doesn’t come right away … The Valley of Disappointment!
I think we all go through this daily. What’s so frustrating is that horizontal axis. You plod along it never knowing what’s going to happen next. We rely on the fact that there will be an upturn —- but when?
I’m going to give a shout out to educators. We may not be able to see the future but we absolutely know that, if we stay the course, that curve will bend and we will see results. It’s just disappointing, even frustrating, until that happen.
Joel’s formula for success?
Patience + Perseverance + Effort = Decisive Moment
Anti-oppressive student placement cards
I’m a bit out of my element in this post on the Heart and Art Blog from Deb Weston. She tagged me in it and there was a ton of responses to it so I know that it resonated with many. It never really affected me – I was the only computer science teacher in the school so if you wanted that subject, you got me. Full stop.
Of course, the world isn’t all like that and Deb shares her thoughts.
She identifies past practices for placement of students in classes.
Past Student Placement Cards:
- Gender: Blue cards for boys, Pink cards for girls
- Academic success: High, Medium, Low (circle one)
- Language: High, Medium, Low (circle one)
- Math: High, Medium, Low (circle one)
- Special Education Support: formal/informal IEP (circle one)
- English Language Learners: Steps of ELL for Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing
- Students to place in same class with:
- Students to not place in class with:
- Attendance issues: Yes/No Reasons for absence:
- Student Behaviour: Big “B” and little “b”
- Parental issues: Big “P” (big parent problem)
Then, she addresses the assumptions and issues with this approach and puts forth an alternative way of looking at things. It’s an interesting and informative read. You might want to pass it along if you’re able to influence the process.
The Annual End of Year Pressure
I guess it’s an annual event – summer is coming and there’s pressure to ensure that all that needs to be addressed in the class is, in fact, done.
Kelly McLaughlin takes a look at her world and feels that there is more pressure than normal. I think that’s perfectly understandable. How many times have educators had to shift gears this year? Then, there’s the whole “are schools going to re-open in June” thing.
One of the things that educators have had to learn on the fly is assessment in its current form… i.e. at a distance. Never mind the actual teaching, consider the whole assessment picture. All of the traditional techniques and observations have been rethought in the current reality.
Kelly shares her plans for the month of June and the things that she has planned – coding and health among others as well as some of the approaches and resources that she has been using just to get to this point.
I like the fact that she was so open with this – the more that people share good ideas, the more we realize that the wheel truly doesn’t need to be reinvented.
Please take some time to click through and read these wonderful posts and drop off a comment or two.
Then, follow these folks on Twitter.
- Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
- Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
- Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
- Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
- Joel McLean – @jprofNB
- Deborah Weston – @DrDWestonPhD
- Kelly McLaughlin
This week’s This Week in Ontario Edublogs podcast can be accessed here: