This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This week, Aviva Dunsiger joined the Wednesday morning live show to talk about a nice collection of blog posts, including one of her own.

To Buy Or Not To Buy? Clothing, COVID, And Unexpected Decisions.

Aviva and I debated about whether or not to include this post from her blog. We had a couple of dueling blog posts about clothing and so it seemed like fun just to continue the discussion a bit further. Her take was on her personal purchases for the fall.

In her post, she talked about buying a poncho. Now, when I think poncho, I think of that yellow one I got when I was safety patrol in elementary school. I had the primo location at the corner of Highway 8 and East Street which probably means nothing to you. But, there’s something powerful about stopping traffic on a highway so that kids could cross the road.

And, it actually made sense when she itemizes the work hazards of a kindergarten teacher…

  • paint,
  • mud,
  • time spent on the floor,
  • time spent outside (in all weather),
  • and creepy crawly critters

But no, this was a classier poncho and she includes a selfie of it in the post if you’re interested and shared with us some tricks for keeping it clean. Time will tell.


Of course, it would take an English teacher to actually “love” document editing. Apparently, she also has a “face” for editing that is recognizable. Amanda Potts is that person.

It’s one of the things that I hated doing in school. It seemed like a mostly redundant step, particularly exercises where we had to create a rough draft, edit it with the appropriate symbols, and then produce a perfect final product. I looked around and found this guidance of the editing symbols that we should know.

Proofreading and Editing Symbols

At the time, if you asked me what editing was for, my response probably would have been “marks” and I wouldn’t be far wrong. Amanda threw in a bit of a twist that makes sense and I wonder if I would have been more appreciative of editing at the time if I had only realized that editing is “growing a story”. Now that I try to blog daily, I get it. I do go from a rough document, edit it, proofread it, and then click Schedule to have it appear.

The deviance from the skills that I learned in school though is that my editing is now done on computer and mostly in the WordPress editor. Since it’s online, I think I still mentally use the editing tools but keyboard and mouse and “just in time” edits as I proofread.

Gawd I want to teach poetry

Alanna King just wants to teach poetry and she writes a poem in this post to tell us why. I didn’t fully appreciate her genius because I first read the poem in my RSS reader which is all about the text and not the format. It was only when I went to her blog to read that I really “got it”.

Teachers working in the summer is always a bone of contention amongst those in the profession and people that interact with them. Yes, they do have their two or three weeks of vacation and down time but everyone does. The rest of the time, you’ll find teachers taking courses, curating resources, purging outdated materials, doing research for new courses/grades, and now more than ever interacting with other educators online building capacity with each other.

I’m sure that those who talk about not working in the summer also think that the daily workload of a teacher is from 9-3. The profession is far more than performing when there is an audience in the classroom.

I had to smiled at the comment “How do I get an A?”. Every teacher gets that question at some point and often repeatedly. The answer is actually quite simple and not what a student expects. When they ask that question, I often felt that the real question was “How much effort do I have to put forth in your class?”

A Canadian Student Bill of Rights

Back to back with Alanna’s post is Tim King’s post. If you’ve ever been to Castle King and seen their workspace, you’ll see what I did there.

Tim has an interesting muse in this post about taking the arbitrary decision taking choice away from politicians or at least keep them in tune with the rights of students for a just and fair education. My first thought was this was like the powers given to male politicians over female reproduction rights.

I think it would be an interesting exercise to track a student from Kindergarten to their ultimate workspace and note the changes in education that they’ve been subjected too. How many are positive; how many are negative; how many are inspired by a search for perfection; how many are inspired by budget decisions … I’m not sure that we’d be comfortable with the results. Maybe Tim does have a valid point.

If there’s anything good about COVID, it’s that we’ve seen…

  • a serious look at retirement homes and how our elderly are treated
  • better housing for migrant workers
  • cleaner than ever hands
  • ventilation in schools
  • the difficulties of putting 35 students in a classroom built for 24 and then wonder why 2 metres distancing isn’t possible

You’d think those would be basic rights but they aren’t in actual practice.

It Is More Than Just SEL!

Social Emotional Learning is the starting point for this post from Rola Tibshirani and it follows nicely from Tim’s post. A key point from Rola’s post that resonated with me is the guidance from her district.

  • Be Community
  • Be Well
  • Be Innovative

Rola’s post would be important at any opening to a school year. I would suggest that it’s incredibly important as schools open this fall. I would hope that people aren’t planning to “hit the ground running” with academics that first day.

Of respect to the learners that will be back in classrooms, it will be more important than ever to think about the physical and mental conditions that they’ll be in as things resume as close to normal as they can be.

This is a long post and Rola punctuates it with some interesting graphics and infographics, some of which you may not have seen before.

When you read the post, make absolute certain that you go right to the bottom and read Hip Hop Theatre by Avery. It pretty much sums up where your students are coming from and may help you centre things those first days of school.

Five Reasons To Attend The 2021 TESL Ontario Annual Conference

The TESL Annual Conference will be held in November. Details and registration are available here.

It’s their 49th conference and it will be online – I hope that they’ll be in a position to have number 50 face to face.

The five reasons?

1. Three days of learning, knowledge exchange and professional development.
2. A chance to make valuable “Career Connections.”
3. Networking, networking, networking.
4. Giveaways and prizes.
5. The convenience of going virtual.

Crocheting and Math

Earlier this month, I took at look at Terry Whitmell’s post about Quilting and Mathematics.

Side note – my wife just came in and saw my computer screen – “You’re looking at afghans?” It’s a reminder to keep your eyes open and close tabs when you have visitors!

No, I said. “I’m looking at mathematics”. The response “you’re such a teacher”.

Well, actually, it’s Terry who is the teacher here. This is a wonderful read with all kinds of pictures of her craft and the mathematics story behind them. There’s even a mobius strip. When will we ever use this stuff? Who knew one of the answers would be crocheting.

Mathematics is indeed everywhere; you just have to keep your eyes open to see and appreciate it. Very nicely done, Terry.

There’s your Friday morning reading.

Next up? Follow these great bloggers on Twitter.

  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Alanna King – @banana29
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Rola Tibshirani – @rolat
  • TESLOntario – @TESLOntario
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell

This week’s voicEd Radio show is here.

Opening Song

Closing Song


3 thoughts on “This Week in Ontario Edublogs

  1. Thanks for having me on the VoicEd show this past week and then including my blog post and others in here. It’s so interesting to read your blog and see how the conversation then evolves into the post. You connect so many Ontario Edubloggers each week, and it’s really appreciated.


    Liked by 1 person

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