doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

On Wednesday, Brad Hughes was the guest host of the This Week in Ontario Edublogs show. It was great having him as part of the discussion. He brought a principal’s perspective to much of the conversation.

Mathematics Doesn’t Get a Pass on Racial Justice Reform

If you read one blog post about the post/yank/delete/repost issue with the new Mathematics Grade 9 curriculum, it’s this one from Jason To.

In the post, he researches and shares the critical educational issue behind the issue and does share a Toronto-centric map to support his message from the Ontario Science Table. I found it fascinating to explore, given my limited understanding of Toronto from my one year of living there.

I found his analysis very thoughtful and I left this post just a bit smarter. And angrier.

The anger comes from his research into the media response which preceded the pulling and editing of the document.

OAME released this statement on the issue

The Grey Zone: The importance of empathy & evidence in learning about colonial genocide

Discomfort is a theme that runs through this latest post from Charles Pascal.

We are seeing many extreme measures on all fronts over current issues falling from the discovery of bodies of Indigenous children. Unless you are completely void of compassion, it’s so tough to read about this and broadcast media certainly has put faces to the pain which amplifies the message.

Charles does give a good analysis of what he’s seeing on a regular basis.

He offers advice which is always good and even more important now than ever.


I will continue to try to follow my own advice hoping more and more people will feel more comfortable in that uncomfortable grey zone where respectful listening is more common.

How Do You “Lead?” Unpacking My #OneWordX12 For July.

Aviva Dunsiger has followed Beth Lyon’s lead and, instead of a one word for the year, has opted for a one word for each month. It keeps blog readers busy at least once a month reading it.

So, for July the word is “Lead”.

It’s an interesting word and inspired by her summer work at Camp Power. I smile when I hear the word; education has so many books about leadership. I still have a few on my bookshelf here. Being a Chrysler type of town, we’ve heard Lee Iacocca talk about leadership using Patton’s phrase “Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of My Way”.

Leadership, I suspect, means different things to different people. There are people who rise in leadership positions but somehow lose the spark. There are others that don’t aspire to rise within their organization and yet inspire all the time with their actions.

Aviva gives a nod to a former principal and provides a number of thoughts near the end. The one that inspires me and should be the root of all things in education.

Kids are always worth fighting for

Getting Past a Gatekeeper

I struggled with whether or not to include this post from Noa Daniel in this post. It’s overly personal and describes what would be a low point in her professional career.

But, I did decide to include it. My rationale was that it was obviously important for Noa to put her thoughts to words and a blog is a platform for all kinds of people to land and read. So here we are.

I won’t dwell on Noa’s personal story. You can click through and read if you’re so inclined. I’m intrigued with her message of principal being a gatekeeper, allowing those in their school the opportunity to move forward or to keep them behind.

It would be nice if we could live with the Dyer quote that Noa includes.

If you do worry, you can drive yourself crazy. So often, opinions can be driven by first impressions or pre-conceived thoughts from others and can be difficult to change.

Where does that leave you?

You can wake up every morning hoping that the world has changed but that’s highly unlikely. Ultimately, you need to be true to yourself. You can hope that the gatekeeper moves on or you can make your own move and get on with your life.

Once you’re a dad…

Writing on his own blog, Will Gourley writes a blog post describing the joys and challenges of being a father.

It’s a powerful post and I think that all fathers will be nodding along as they read it. Then, he replies to his post in the form of a letter to his son.

I particularly like the comparison of fatherhood today to the fatherhood that our fathers had. It was completely different; there was no self help books, social media advice, or YouTube videos about how to do this or that. It was just our fathers doing what they thought best. And taking no guff!

And it’s not a bad thing.

All of us fathers hope we do the best. You see the results when your kids strike out on their own and make their own success. Yet, it all comes back to home when they return and immediately go to the cookie cupboard.

Teacher Professional Development Podcasts

I loved reading this post from Kristy and I couldn’t find her last name. Her Twitter handle will be listed below.

I totally agree with the essence of her message. I’ve been to many professional development sessions where the topic chosen was something from a presenter’s catalogue and may or may not have been updated to reflect the current world.

With podcasts, you don’t have the costs or travel to sit and listen. When you chose wisely, the content can be as up to date as this morning and you can listen while walking the dog, writing a blog post, or just lying back on your bed. It’s personal learning at its best.

Kristy provides a list of podcasts, by subject area, that lets you immediately increase your ability to learn. Of particular interest for the summer, you might be interested in the Teacher Emotional Support section.

Luca: The Importance of Seeing Fully

I’ve been a fan of Pixar works.

According to Anthony Perrotta, it started with Toy Story and here we are today with Luca. I’ll confess that I haven’t seen Luca yet. Toy Story, many times – the DVD was a Christmas gift…

This could have been a quick and easy post to read but it isn’t. It’s actually a very complete lesson to you, dear reader, about media literacy and what you could be and should be seeing. There’s a tie to current events and how we need to be doing a better job of understanding.

There’s also a nice link to a PDF download of activities.

I hope that you can take the time to read and appreciate the wisdom in these posts.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • @brad_hughes
  • @Jason_To
  • @CEPascal
  • @avivaloca
  • @iamnoadaniel
  • @WillGourley
  • @2peasandadog
  • @aperrottatweet

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is live Wednesday mornings at 8:45. This week’s show is found here.


4 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. Thanks, as always, for connecting Ontario Edubloggers each week. I appreciate you including my post in here among others: some that I’ve read already and others that I still need to read. It’s interesting to hear your perspective on different posts. What stands out to you? What connections did you make? This week, the other Site Lead and I have been doing some training for Camp Power, and we’ve been looking at comprehension skills. Reading and thinking about your post reminded me of how often we use these skills as adults. Blogging about your reflections gives us so much insight into your thoughts. I’m reminded again of how powerful a tool blogging can be for reflecting. Thanks Doug!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the comment, Aviva. I often wonder how far from the original intended message from the blogger I get as I read and think about it. We all have our own slice of the world and things that are important to us. I think that it’s a tribute to any blogger that her/his thoughts cause others to think and perhaps act.

    This Friday blog post is just my attempt to reflect on the thoughts of others in my space as opposed to a couple of sentences in reply on the original blog. According to the WordPress numbering scheme, I’ve now done it 468 times (and a few more due to typos) so if you multiply that by 5, 6, or 7 per post, Ontario Educational bloggers are really awesome and serve to push my thinking. I hope that it does others as well.


  3. […] This Week in Ontario Edublogs – doug — off the record […]


  4. […] Friday – This Week in Ontario Edublogs […]


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