This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Unfortunately, I got bumped from the voicEd Radio show this week. Hope to be back next week. But I had a couple of songs ready to do, thanks to a post last week from Marc Hodgkinson. Regular listeners know that I’ve been opening and closing with love and peace songs since the war in Ukraine started.

What “Not Knowing My Retirement Date,” Means For Me …

Retiring or leaving any profession is a personal decision and not something that anyone else should have an influence on. Teaching, for sure, is such a profession. I still remember the welcoming meeting for brand new teachers in my first year. There was a recommendation there from a financial advisor “Plan like you’re retiring tomorrow and plan like you’re going to teach forever”. It sounded kind of hokey at the time but it turned out to be pretty good advice.

My first financial advisor was my father who was a banker and did income taxes. His advice was to attend ever planning workshop that I could – for free – and take a course on how to do income taxes. That turned out to be helpful when I taught how to do a tax return in Grade 9. The key is to be ready when the time is right – both financially and having plans to continue a rich life. I think we all know about the finances but teachers have had a schedule forced on them for 30 or more years. When that stops, there’s a whole lot of freedom that needs to be scheduled.

While I think most of us are in the boat of wanting to teacher forever, there are things that come along.

  • health and family issues
  • change in education and the people you work for
  • change in priorities of the governing body
  • desire to do something new or different

and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In Aviva’s case, not knowing the legislated date may not be known, and that’s OK, preparation and planning of all sorts can’t be ignored.

Excerpts from a Cover Letter

As luck would have it, Elizabeth talks about retirement in her post and my thoughts about it would be the same as my comments to Aviva. It’s her own choice as to when and why.

The real focus on this post was a move on her part to leave her Library and take up a Grade 3/4 classroom. Good for her; it was a conscious decision after five years of being in the Library. As retirement is a personal decision, so would this be. What I find interesting is that the education system is all over the map in its support of libraries.

Some have staffed them with technicians; some have reinforced the fact that they needed to be fully staffed by a teacher-librarian and others are somewhere in between. With her role as president of the OSLA, and presumably past-president in the future, she won’t have closed her library doors completely.

People become educators because they want to make a difference and that can be in the form of classroom teacher, teacher-librarian, principal, resource person, … I think it’s important to note that nobody ever write a blog post indicating that they’re just going to kick back and do nothing in education. I’d be willing to be that this upcoming 3/4 class will be the most literate and social media aware group in that school.

The biggest question will be whether or not she changes her Twitter handle.

Buying Together, Building Together

I’ve known Diana for a long time and I’ll vouch for the passion that screams in this post. It was great to see that there was an opportunity to go to a Resource Fair. I’ve been around teacher-librarians and know that this is one of their highlights of their year. It’s the proverbial kid in a candy story. What was unique here was that Diana actually took kids with her to the Fair! How awesome is that! How awesome is it that she had money to spend. That sounds great.

The other part of the post was a summary of the constructing that her students are doing – complete with pictures as is typical Diana. There’s so much pedagogy here from the actual construction to the co-creation of the assessment rubrics.

I really enjoyed reading for sections of this post. If you want to read about a teacher excited about teaching, start with this post.

I’ve tried to do this; it’s not easy.

Writing in digital spaces #SOL2022

This post took me back. There was a time when I used Verdana as the font of choice for everything that I did. I still remember a teacher coming to me saying that she knew that an email was from me because of my font. These days, I really have taken a shine to the Ubuntu font and that’s what this blog uses. I find it nice and crisp and anything but Times New Roman.

In the post, she talks about how people claim an identity for themselves on social media by appearance and not necessarily by content (although we’d like to think everyone does good content) After looking at her example, I thought of two things.

  • Elizabeth Lyon’s blog – I told her once that her blog was the hardest to read for me because she centres everything. We live in a left-justified world! It’s by design; she knows that readers have to slow down and read her work slowly
  • The second was this blog post I’d written three years ago now – how to change the font in your Twitter handle to stand out.

I think that would have been a fascinating discussion in her class. I wonder if her students took her advice and changed how they present themselves.

How about you? Do you do something to stand out?

Students as Teachers: a Culture of Inquiry and Learning

She leads off with this …

“I am just going to check in on everyone and see how they’re doing” – one of my Kindergarten students said as she led her peers through a step-by-step challenge…”

I’ll be honest here. I thought that she made a typo because that sounded like a comment from a Kindergarten teacher and not a Kindergarten student.

What follows was a wonderful post describing what is happening in that class and how it benefits students (and it just has to benefit the teachers and maybe the whole school community).

We need more of this mindset everywhere in education. Period.

The Future of Online Learning in Ontario

It was great to see content back on Lynn’s blog. This time, she had been invited to be a panelist for a discussion about Online Learning in our province.

She did her homework by talking to her students and getting their opinions about the topic. You’ve got to admit; everyone has become an expert in the topic over the past couple of years. Not surprisingly, the responses weren’t terribly positive.

Lynn shares her thoughts about mandatory online learning and the forced shift to it during the pandemic. There are lots of benefits and regularly scheduled online educators were definitely better prepared for this.

It is akin to putting every student in Ontario in a laboratory to see what happens. 

Nailed it!

I think we all know that it’s going to be made compulsory at some point but there are issues of equity, ability, pedagogy, etc. that have to be seriously addressed if it’s going to be successful.

Astronaut Gives Home Tour In Space

This video was submitted to the STAO website. I’ve been doing a great deal of reading about space lately so it fit in nicely.

Ever wondered how astronauts eat, sleep, go to the gym and even go to the toilet in space?

Let’s be honest here – there’s one of those topics that we’re all interested in. Watch the video!

And, we would have concluded the radio show with this O’Jay’s video.

I hope that you can find the time to check out all these great blog posts.

Then, follow these people on Twitter.

  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Melissa Turnbull – @missmturnbull
  • Lynn Thomas – @THOMLYNN101
  • STAO – @staoapso

OTR Links 05/20/2022

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