doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s Thursday morning as I start this post. It takes the longest of all my posts to write. We just got back from in town and bought what I hope is that last top up for Sunday. BTW, there will be a Sunday morning post; I wrote it yesterday and it’s Christmas themed. I had a wonderful time chatting with Stephen Hurley on voicEd Radio this week and the blog posts that we talked about plus a couple of bonus ones appear below.


A Polite Request is NOT a Mandate.

Not only did I read the blog post but I had the opportunity to see Marie on the CTV Kitchener news talking about this. Of course, it was about Covid.

The Waterloo Board is wrestling with the concept of masking like so many boards are. Particularly with Christmas coming, two weeks off school and kids gathering for this and that, I have to wonder about the wisdom of not wearing masks after the break. It there ever was a recipe for a super spreader, this would seem to be it.

I’ve always found that Marie is down to earth in her concerns and approach to dealing with the resperatory issues. It just seems to me that, unfortunately, it’s a lose-lose scenario.

if they don’t require masks and there’s an outbreak, they’re wrong, if they do require masks and there isn’t an outbreak, they’re wrong – a lose-lose situation. 

Which side would you rather lose on?

She lays out her thoughts nicely and compares the language about masking from a few other districts. I found it to be a fascinating read and my heart goes out to her as she tries to do the very best for the schools in her charge.

Steps to Self-Publishing

If you are a skilled artist, how do you get your works out into the hands of others? Some people might not wish to get an original or a print for the wall so Colleen has another way of handling things.

She’s self-publishing some blank notebooks covered by replicas of her art work.

And, they’re gorgeous! How do I know? I ordered a couple of them and they’ll be under our tree for the notetaker that I married. I can tell you this because my wife doesn’t read my blog.

I’ll share her reaction probably and will let Colleen know but my impression is that I’m over the top happy with them.

So, how did she get the inspiration? Certainly not from any place that I would have guessed. You’ll have to enjoy the post to find out how.

kids these days – educator version

As educators, we owe so much to so many for our experiences at the Faculty of Education.

Yes, there were all the professors and sessional instructors but there are also those teachers who offered up their classrooms for us to go in and try out teaching. Some of us did great things, some of us screwed up royally, some of us learned from a practicing teacher, some practicing teachers learned from us.

Will shares her thoughts about the practice teaching experience and then focuses on the fact that so many teachers who would open their classrooms to others just aren’t these days. That’s really sad when you think of the opportunities lost.

Of course, the years of Covid were tough but when you read Will’s post, you get the sense that that mentality persists.

After reading, you just might be inspired to say yes the next time the Faculty comes calling.

What are you going to do? A Leadership Recipe for Success

If you aspire for a leadership position in education, you really need to be reading Rolland’s blog on a regular basis. There’s so much wisdom and direction there.

This time, he shared this image as inspiration.

There are six points to consider in the graphic.

  • Practice discipline
  • Take on more projects
  • Learn to follow
  • Inspire others
  • Keep learning
  • Resolve conflicts

The concepts are fleshed out nicely and I agree with most of it; I do wonder about “taking on more projects” as there has to be a limit somewhere. There has to be a point in time where there are diminishing returns for your efforts.

The other interesting point that Rolland addresses are those who would “fake” it. We’ve all seen so many of these people, I suspect, and I’m in total agreement with his assessment.


I actually had the opportunity to catch up with Lynn at a book sale in Tecumseh last weekend. I got the story of her inspiration for the children’s books that she is co-authoring with her niece. As luck would have it, I met her again at David Garlick’s table and found that both of them considered themselves “closers” as the two of them had been the last principal at a number of schools which were subsequently closed.

But, that has nothing to do with this podcast!

I follow Natasha Feghali on a couple of social media platforms and I’m just amazed at her energy and the number of opportunities she’s had for professional growth and opportunities and philanthropy. And, oh, the number of connections. I’d love to have the discussion wth her but she’s currently in Kuwait teaching so Lynn’s interview was the next best thing.

Not only does she come across as a very professional young lady (one of the 40 under 40 around here) but she gives a terrific interview. It probably comes from all the presentations that she gives. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable conversion between two leaders.

Lynn also uses a transcribing piece of software so that you can read the interview if you would rather. It does a pretty good job.

the fact that someone notices

I’ve never been able to write poetry so I’m always pleased to be able to read someone else’s work. That was the case with Chris and this post.

Unlike a straight forward blog post, I do have to slow down to read the words and muse about the meaning.

we are chapters,
not categories or
title pages,

That’s a bit; click through to read it in its entirety.

The Thing With Feathers 

Jessica has published a book of poetry and it’s available now on Amazon.

She calls it

“a story of becoming whole by reassembling broken pieces of self, holding onto hope in the darkest moments, and seeing everything in a new light.”

I love the pictures from her book launch.

Give yourself an early Christmas gift and click through to read all these wonderful posts. Yet again, there’s great content from Ontario Educators.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Colleen Rose – @ColleenKR
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
  • Lynn McLaughlin – @lynnmcla
  • Chris Cluff (he is on Facebook)
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Peace Playlist

Since the Ukraine situation, we’ve opened and closed the show with songs of peace. This week, it was these two.

The peace playlist


3 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. […] This Week in Ontario Edublogs – doug — off the record […]


  2. […] posts bring back memories of the past and reflections on the present. Yesterday, he mentioned in his blog post that he would be writing a Christmas-themed one this Sunday. This reminded me of my own Christmas-themed throwback from the other […]


  3. […] Friday – This Week in Ontario Edublogs […]


Please share your thoughts here. I’d enjoy reading them.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: