This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I can’t help but think that we’ve been so lucky with the warm weather and that things are going to catch up with us. I had to be in Windsor this morning (yesterday morning as you read this on Friday) and had a long walk along the waterfront trail at the foot of Ouellette Avenue and took a couple of pictures.

http://www.greatcanadianflag.com/

But, this post isn’t about me. You’re here to great some great content from Ontario Edubloggers. Read on.


The deafening silence of university presidents

At times, those of us from K-12 kind of forget about universities and the leadership potential that they have. Yes, we know of the Faculties of Education but the reach is obviously so much greater. Thanks to Charles for writing this post and sharing his outrage that their voices were quiet during the recent episode with CUPE.

As luck would have it, they might have a chance to speak up next week. Hopefully, they’ve read Charles’ blog post and are rethinking their silence.

To emphasize the point, Charles reminds us of this poem.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

https://www.paih.org/first-they-came-the-poem-of-protest

TRAUMA IN THE CLASSROOM

From the TESL Ontario blog, this is a powerful couple of blog posts about trauma in the classroom as non-English speakers arrive ready to learn.

I think we’ve all had that student that comes in and has challenges with the language. However, in most cases, they knew that they were coming to Canada and had hopefully worked on language development.

With what’s happening these days, there are people that are just getting up and leaving and don’t have the preparation. That presents a whole new experience.

The first post talks about the children:

  • What we know 
  • What we learned
  • What we think

It’s not easy but, as educators, you do get to go home at night and recalibrate. The second post brought out the emotion in me as it talks about the effects on teachers – I’d never heard of the expression “vicarious trauma” but I sure have now:

  • How can vicarious trauma be addressed?
  • Where can I learn more?

If you find yourself in this position or you have a colleague who is, this pair of posts is worth the time to read. After all, you can still go home at night but it is difficult to recalibrate when you’re the one with the issues.


The Sound of Paper #SOL2022

This was so my life in the classroom. There was paper for every lousy stinking thing that was going on. As I mentioned in the voicEd Radio show, we had every colour of paper that you could have stuff duplicated on. Boring me opted for white because supposedly, it was a bit cheaper.

The colour blue though was reserved for the principal and every Friday at noon, we got the “Blue Memo” which outlined everything scheduled to happen in the next week. The rule around the school was “if it’s not on the Blue Memo, it doesn’t happen”.

There’s a mindset that goes with publishing to paper. Darn it, if I’ve taken the time to put my thoughts and inspiration to paper, you need to read it. As Melanie points out, if you try to stay on top of things, that pile can get pretty big.

But, paper isn’t just paper anymore!

We’ve embraced the notion of ePaper and email as a proxy for paper because it’s cheaper and, quite frankly, can be edited before distribution and, at times, makes the concept of proofreading a lost art.

It does stack up and Melanie gives us a real visual of her life with paper of all sorts. I had to smile when she talks about turning to a podcast – is that the next new paper? At this point, you can multitask by working and listening to a podcast but will that evolve too? Imagine your next staff meeting as a podcast …


Fluent in Math

It pained me to read this post. Diane does a good analysis and I appreciate that. But, I’ve always loved Mathematics and I suppose that I’d be one of the people that might talk about Mathematics as being a universal language. As a Mathematics graduate from Waterloo, I had a richness of classmates and professors from all over the world and so it flowed nicely for me. It’s not like I was a genius; I had to work my butt off but it was work that I enjoyed. While I’ve long cleaned out my bookshelves of textbooks from my university days, I still have some Mathematics books. I love this one and still pull it out every now and again just to read and work my way through a problem.

Diane challenges the notion that Mathematics is universal and makes a good discussion about each.

  • Vocabulary
  • Multiple Meaning Words (this one had me laughing because it is absolutely true)
  • Word problems (this one had be uncontrollably laughing on the voicEd show as I visualized this)
  • Different algorithms and notations
  • Different expectations of student role
  • Culturally-embedded word problems
  • Exhaustion

Old Fellas New Music Episode 34

Paul and Bob Kennedy do a nice job with this podcast. 9 songs, 1 hour and a great bit of conversation and insight between the songs.

They share their thoughts on the music (apparently this episode had Paul at the cottage – great internet access I might add) You can listen to the show at the second link above.

If that’s not enough, there’s a supporting blog post at the first link so all your modalities are addressed. I don’t always enjoy all the songs that they feature but if I wanted only my own likes, I’d do my own podcast. But, there’s always something to like and walk away with. I like that they do the heavy lifting and I just get to listen and enjoy.

This week, for me it was this collaboration from Allison Russell /Brandi Carlile – You Are Not Alone that stood out. Of course, we’ve all heard of Brandi Carlile and she’s with Elton John in his concert this weekend on his last tour. But, Allison Russell was new to me and what a beautiful voice and in both official languages.

Enjoy.


Bonding Over Basketball

Aviva shares a bit of her teaching history from Kindergarten to Grade 6 and has been at it long enough to know that there are some students that you bond with immediately and others that take a little work. She gives a shoutout to her friend Paula who she acknowledges has the gift.

I think that we all would confess that all (or at least mostly all) students can be reached out to and have a bit of a bond although education is definitely not a one size fits all.

I thoroughly enjoyed her story about her experience trying to reach them all and that there were some that were a real challenge for her. If they only would enjoy a good book with her!

Good teachers don’t give up and write them off; they continue to look for the road that leads to connection. We all do that.

One of the things that worked for me was the computer lab – when students were working, I always allowed them to play music which seemed to soothe the teenage mind well. To be inclusive, I needed to give everyone a chance to determine what we would listen to. It wasn’t always pleasant but we do what we need to do at times.

I think this is a great read for all educators but might also have a special place for those teacher candidates going on a practice teaching placement as a reminder that connections aren’t always easy and yet they’re so important.


#LearningInTheLoo: Cycles 1 & 2 of Implementing a #ThinkingClassroom

I’ve missed Laura’s Loo-worthy material. I had to check if I’d just missed them or she was busier on TikTok instead! As she notes, life gets in the road frequently of best intentions.

This is a two-parter about thoughts of the environment that leads to success for Thinking Classrooms. There’s great stuff there. I wonder if principals outside her school download and print these for staff (not in Blue and be mindful that Melanie might not get to it immediately).

These are one-page materials – it reminded me of creating what I called “One Page Wonders” and respects the audience by not delivering a book when a single page will do.


Do yourself a professional favour and read all of these terrific posts and then check out these awesome writers on Twitter.

  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • TESLOntario – @TESLOntario
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio

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OTR Links 11/18/2022


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