This Week in Ontario Edublogs


By the time this post goes live, we will have the results from the 2022 Provincial Election. As I write this on Thursday afternoon, I just hope that we elect a government that will respect and support public education.


Bring Back Specialist Teachers

I think there may be a number of different opinions to Gary’s post. I found that my background as a secondary school computer science teacher influenced my way of thinking. After all, I was a specialist teacher. You wouldn’t have wanted me teaching music in your school.

Gary does remember a time when there were specialist teachers for things like music, arts, library, technology education, and more. In the elementary panel, there definitely is an approach to integrating everything and specialty teachers were the casualties.

I found his post interesting and reminded me of my own elementary school where we did have specialized teachers, including a principal who taught us Grade 8. At the time, we were impressed that he would take the time to teach us; having gone through the system, I realize now that perhaps he was just providing prep time.


Looking Forward to September: Excitements, Challenges, and Worries – E089

We used to call late May and early June our silly season. It was the time of the year when all the option sheets where collated and numbers generated. The principal would give each department head the number of sections and staff and we had to recommend how to divvy things up. We’d be fighting to see what we’d be teaching in the fall. We would meet individually with department heads to express our desires and then hope for the best. It was educational “fun”, I suppose but it was also sadness when certain courses wouldn’t run in the fall because of numbers.

This post goes along with the EduGals’ podcast about their plans for the fall. We all know that there are all kinds of challenges in the teaching profession but one of the huge, huge advantages is that you get the opportunity to reinvent yourself as an educator every fall. How many professionals can claim that?

So, Katie and Rachel are having that wonderful opportunity of doing things differently and doing different things. As a former professional learning provider, I smiled and was pleased to read of their excitement of renewed opportunities to learn new things. That past couple of years have been brutal with learning opportunities cancelled and / or moved to online.

The professional is doing well when educators have and share this level of enthusiasm. Are you excited? Why not drop the EduGals a note to show them that they’re not alone?


Bringing a Fruit Roll-Up to a Knife Fight

Nobody disparages fruit roll-ups more nicely than Lynn does!

Lynn’s post is a summary of a professional learning event that was put on by the Ontario Teachers’ Federation. The OTF does an incredible job of bringing together subject group learders to share motivating and futuristic approaches to education in the province. I can’t recall any OTF event that I attended that I felt less than over the top motivated.

I thought that the message delivered and that Lynn shared was very timely. It was about resilience and stress and so many of the challenges that educators are dealing with right now. We hope that better days are ahead but we do so with crossed fingers.

If there’s one immediate takeaway, you need to download Everyday Resiliency and maybe even more from this page.


Banned & Challenged Books

I’ll admit that I was challenged and invigorated by this rather long post from Jennifer.

It reminded me of the good old days of social media and the value to educators. It’s a personally crafted lesson/activity by Jennifer personally in her role as teacher-librarian and collaborator with a classroom teacher. So often, people share great resources but they’re done by someone else and maybe there’s some advertising or you get a sampler and then you have to pay for the whole deal.

Not in this case. Jennifer takes us through the entire experience and what she does with real students dealing with the notion of banning books. Quite frankly, some of the resources might surprise you.

There is a slideshow that she worked through with the students as well as pictures of what a banned book display might look like.

It was really well done and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and working my way through her thinking.


So, Where are We Headed?

Set aside some time to look at Marie’s latest offering. That needs to be said right from the start.

She sets the stage with a story that certainly reinforces the notion that we’re not all on the same page of this recovery deal. Hell, the comment made to her makes me realize that the past two years may have given some people the lattitude of going back to the 50s. She should have decked the guy.

Marie takes us on a long discussion of social safety nets just in time as we head into the election and I found that this was a very difficult post to read. I kept pausing, thinking, and then going back to re-read her thoughts again.

Next Thursday’s election isn’t just about government in Ontario; it’s a peek into whether or not good can triumph over evil. Be prepared.

At least there was George Carlin.


Teaching VALUES in Our Classrooms!

Nilmini sets the stage with a TL;DR

  • All languages have value!
  • We can collaborate with others across the world.
  • Value humanity and spread kindness.

The post isn’t terribly long so please do take the time to read it. From my perspective…

All languages have value

I grew up in a small community where everyone spoke English. A few of my friends spoke Dutch and we were all put to the test when we were forced to study French. We just didn’t see the need to learn another language. How wrong could we have been? Going to university and making connections with all kinds of people who had English as a second language made me feel so inadequate being fluent in only one.

We can collaborate with others across the world.

One of the real eye openers in education for me was being connected. My first steps were with the very appropriately named Electronic Village. That begin my efforts of learning with people anywhere in the world. A friend also helped put perspective as well – why connect across the world when you don’t talk to the teacher across the hall?

Value humanity and spread kindness.

If you’re not doing this, I don’t want you in my digital world. I think one of the reasons why I was so drawn to and intrigued by Nilmini was her very open kindness. To me, she exemplifies why I do this, and why all educators should do so. Being connected can be a very selfish experience and that’s just wrong. Flip that mindset.


World Oceans Day

You know, Arianna, I had no idea that June 8 was World Oceans Day either! Usually, Lynn Thomas lets us know about these special days on social media. So, probably she probably has it already geared up.

Anyway, Arianna uses this bit of trivia to lead us to Rochelle Strauss’ new book, The Global Ocean.

She gives us a quick overview to the book and reasons why it’s something that it should work its way into classrooms across the province. She addresses the concept of five oceans and plastics. Timely and important!

I’m glad that I fell into this post and was able to refer to it in this post just in time for next week. Who would want to win World Oceans Day.


Please take the time to enjoy all these posts. Then, follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Gary Stewart
  • EduGals – @Edugals
  • Lynn Thomas – @THOMLYNN101
  • Jennifer Aston – @mmejaston
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge – @NRatwatte
  • Arianna Lambert – @MsALambert

This Week’s voicEd Radio Show

OTR Links 06/03/2022


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