This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Yesterday was the last co-hosted show of the summer. The guest was Matthew Morris and it was a great time listening to his insights to these wonderful posts. Here they are, with my thoughts.

God Spare

This was a pretty personal post from Matthew and a little different than most of his. He pulls back the curtain and talks about advice from his Pops – I think that he’s the first person I know that calls their father that. I’m more accustomed to “Dad”.

My pops used to always say, “If God spare our lives” at the end of any late night conversation we shared where one of us was heading to bed

His Pops shared some worldly advice which Matthew shares with us noting that it’s more than just a phrase when it comes embedded in a story.

It’s wonderful to see that he acknowledges this wisdom passed down and continues with it today.

I’ll bet that, by reading this, you’ll be thinking of the wisdom that your parents shared with you.

Throughout the show, Matthew used the expression “Yesterday’s price is not today’s price!” Wise words to keep in mind for the return to school next week.

Choral Explanations as a way of opening the conversation

As you’ll see in a subsequent post, teachers are always looking for ways to engage students in the conversation and class work.

I suspect that you never really think about post-secondary people wondering about these things. Dave’s post will have you realizing that at least he is doing so. I valued my university work because I did have the professor “on the stage” and he/she was the source of all knowledge. Dave’s inspiration for this thinking comes from this bit of insight.

Two things that Dave identifies really resonated with me.

  • “romance with the textbook as a single authoritative voice”
  • “current container of higher education”

With connected learners, there is no shortage of options – you can watch live streams of classes or watch the video after class, you can find the “facts” so easily with simple internet searches.

But how do you truly engage? How do you handle what Dave identifies as “Novices vs. experts”?

There’s some great thinking happening here and this is an inspirational read.

I hope that there are followup posts to further show us what his concept of “Choral Explanations” look like in class.

Fan Expo Canada 2022: If You Give Someone A Costume …

There was a real connection to Matthew’s attendance at a Blue Jays game which coincided with the Fan Exposition. Matthew related how he learned about all these people in costume by asking about them at a restaurant.

I’ve known Diana long enough to know that she loves getting dressed up and in a role. I recall once at an OLA Conference we both attended where she was dressed up and wouldn’t talk to me because she was in character.

There are some beautiful pictures of Diana and others in character in the post and that makes a click-through totally worthwhile. There were two big takeaways for Diana – meeting up with some friends and their families and the purchase of her own kit for making costumes and props.

This could get really interesting!

I’ve never done this except perhaps at Hallowe’en or, as my kids point out, going to work dressed as a nerd.

My Experience with Project Overseas

I found Gary’s post both interesting and inspirational.

Interesting because the opportunity to work overseas and help other educators is just intriguing. Gary indicates that he’s been to Sierra Leone and Uganda. When you read the post, you can’t help but think that the person headed overseas is going to get so much from the experience.

Inspirational because teachers everywhere do what it takes to get the job done with expertise for both themselves and their students.

But picture this …

  • Educators were using tree bark to create soccer balls
  • using pebbles, bottle caps and seeds from fruits to support students’ learning in numeracy
  • using flattened-out empty cardboard boxes as anchor charts 


Gary concludes with instructions about how to get involved if you’re interested.

Happy New Year: Back to School Part Two

Shelly promised a while back that she would be posting to her blog again and nothing happened immediately. However, over the past while, she’s dropped three posts and this is number two.

Like Dave Cormier above, she’s looking for ways to engage all students and shares a list of a dozen ideas along with descriptions about how she has used them.

  • Postcards
  • Identity Maps
  • Soft Entries
  • Travelling Journal
  • Four Corners
  • Inside/Outside circles
  • Commonalities
  • Speed rotations
  • Would You Rather
  • This or that
  • Team Challenges
  • One Word

This post is definitely informative but it seems to me that it could be an opening for sharing and describing your own experience. Share your thoughts with Shelly in the comments.

Mentorship ~ TMA Reflections 2022

So, how did you spend your summer?

This post is a reminder of how Sue is so successful and inspirational as a leader.

Sue talks about her July being involved with the Teacher Mentors Abroad program.

In her case, she was in the Dominican Republic and shares her inspirational involvement with us. Coupling this with the opportunities that Gary describes above is such a reminder of the skillset that Ontario educators have and some take the lead and share with others.

In Sue’s case, it’s not just a month of July but she shares time as a mentor to learners in the London area as well.

Such energy!

Watching and worrying

As as a finale, a story-telling post from Amanda that’s a reminder of how difficult it can be to be a parent at this time. We see people who, I guess, are described as Digital Influencers all over the place and in her household the discussion was about Andrew Tate and his message.

It’s a great story and there are some things to consider:

  • you can’t be looking over the shoulder of your kids all the time. Just what are they watching online?
  • if you’re looking for any kind of message on the internet, it’s easily found
  • nobody trained us for the world out kids are growing up in
  • you do your best as a parent and you just pray that it’s enough and good enough

So here’s the thing. I grew up with technology; I studied technology to earn a living; I taught technology for a living; I supported teachers using technology for a living. Yet every day, it seems, I find something new, exciting, dangerous, despicable, and inspirational, … The one thing that remains consistent is that little voice in the back of my head that helps me distinguish between good and bad. For that, I have a lifelong debt of gratitude to my mother and father.

Please take the time to click through and read all of these wonderful blog posts. You’ll be inspired with your career choice as you head into the long weekend and then the first week of school.

Then, follow these leaders on Twitter.

  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Dave Cormier @davecormier
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Shelly Vohra – @raspberryberet3
  • Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts 

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This week’s show…


OTR Links 09/02/2022

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