This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s another Friday, a sad one for education and society, but still a chance to get inspired by some writing from Ontario Edubloggers. So, here goes.


Prom Project Hamilton

This is an interesting and wonderful project. Not everyone has the resources to be able to go out and buy something brand new to wear to the school prom. That shouldn’t be a reason for people not to go.

Kelly shares her work for this project gathering lightly used clothes, sorting by size, and making them available to students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford the outfit. Not only does it give them the clothes but it would raise their esteem and allow them to celebrate the end of a school career with classmates.

I had to ask my wife what we did for the prom. Her mother made her a fancy dress. Me, apparently, I wore my church clothes.

This initiative would be nice to see replicated in all school districts.


How do we develop students for democracy?

Paul’s post was my thinker for the week. He reflects on the writing of Westheimer and Kahne (What Kind of Citizen? The Politics of Educating for Democracy, 2004) where they identify two approaches to developing students. Of course, it’s all theory until you see it in action and then analysed. That’s where this post comes in.

Paul looks inwardly and recalls a field trip to the Dominican Republic and highlights the poverty and yet the attraction of the beaches to tourists.

He also talks about Police Officers coming in to the school to talk to students. At one point, he was a fan of the concept. Now that we’re looking at a contemporary approach to evaluating authorities in the country, he has changed his opinion. He’s not alone – a lot of schools districts are rethinking things as well.

This is a great post that he me thinking and that’s a good thing.


If a student asks for poetry…

I knew the answer before I clicked.

Teacher goes out and buys it.

As teachers, we’ve all done that. The school district support for curriculum only goes so far and the rest is either ignored or researched/funded by teachers. Been there, done that.

That’s not the best part of this post though. Amanda didn’t know this poet and so did some research to bring herself up to speed. Student teaching the teacher. What a golden moment!

Have you ever wondered though – should students have a voice at the purchasing table to help made education richer? It happened in this case.


Day Late, Dollar Short (again)

Lisa weaves a nice story and observation as per usual although as she notes, a day late. But the wait was worth it.

She shares with us an observation about things not being accomplished on time this year. I suspect that so many teachers will have the same observation from their classroom. Lisa shares how she coped with her students with an interesting classroom activity.

I love the part when a student noted how much they’d improved in the work over the course of the year and got to show her progress with the school administration. Success!

And, “nobody cried in art”. Success? ! Maybe the ? goes away when it’s done again.

Lisa wishes this success had happened in November but the key is that it did happen. No matter when, there really is a high when things all come together.


Virtual Presentations

You know that something ain’t right when a teacher makes this statement.

On my bucket list of things to do as an educator, one of my wishes has been to have students attend a live concert.

Understandably, it’s been impossible the past couple of years. Heck, many adults can’t get out to a live concert.

In my high school years, I remember going to Stratford on a field trip to take in a concert and a play. There’s nothing like being there in person.

So, Stephanie, things will get better and you’ll be able to scratch that from your bucket list. Soon, I hope.

In the meantime, traditional places offer virtual experiences and Stephanie outlines some of them. To that, I’d add https://www.stahome.org/2016. Not a concert but a good example of a good organization doing good.


I’m Getting Used To This

We’ve established expectations this year just like how we established expectations in past years. We stand up for the national anthem, ask for permission before leaving the classroom, stay quiet while taking tests. I’m used to that. Again. And that’s where I think my problem truly is.

I’ve mentioned this before. With all the COVID teaching, maybe there would be a great deal of thought about it and education would come out better as a result. Did we have it perfect in the past. Was there no room for improvement?

Matthew notes that what so many have wanted – “a return to normal” just doesn’t feel right to him.

If the school system isn’t making massive changes, then maybe the answer lies in those little steps. Close the classroom door and change what needs to be changed there.


An Interview with Shyama Sunderaswara

When I started this blog oh so many years ago, I had no idea what I would do. I think I was probably considerably more geeky back then and wrote about computer things. Over the years, I’d done some experimentation and one that I’ve come to love, although it’s a lot more work than a regular post, is to interview what I call “interesting people”. All the interviews can be directly found here.

I had the chance to interview Shyama and it came back powerfully. She pulls no punches about being a Planning Time Teacher, or her use of the phrase “all lives matter”, or her vision of getting Ontario educators together. It’s one of the longer interviews that I’ve done but I think well worth the read.


Hopefully, this weekend you can find the time to click through and read all these posts.

Then, follow these people on Twitter.

  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts 
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Shyama Sunderaswara – @ssunderaswara

This voicEd Radio show can be found here.

OTR Links 05/27/2022


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