doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

It’s the last Friday of March. Can truly and consistent warm weather be far away? Here’s your collection of great reading for this week. You may note that things look a little different around here so please stick with me as I work on it.


Tips for Teacher Leadership

If you’re used to clicking through to pick up a new “Reading in the Loo”, you might be a bit surprised at this post. I know that I was.

Leadership
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As part of an Additional Qualifications course, Laura’s doing some curating of leadership resources. It’s a wealth of information.

  • Traits & skills of an effective leader (followed by a huge list)
  • Have a vision or goal
  • Supervise a club or team
  • Join a committee
  • Get to know people
  • Share resources (this one resonates with me and why I like to promote and support Ontario Edubloggers)
  • Invite colleagues into your classroom
  • Mentor colleagues (formally or informally)
  • Give recognition to others
  • Participate

Laura is asking everyone who reads the post to share it to their Personal Learning Network so that’s what I did by leading the Wednesday radio show with a discussion of it and including it here. So, help a sister out, and share her post!


Scenes from the day 24/31 #SOL2023

Melanie is doing the Slice of Life challenge for March and this was the one that I selected to include here. Anything that makes me smile (and think) is worth sharing.

This is written in the form of a Director’s notes for a couple of scenes that might play out in an epic movie.

  • Scene 1 – high school English office – five teachers having lunch
  • Scene 2 – grade 9 students assessing themselves on an essay

I love the format and the visuals that it gave me reading it. I wish I’d thought of the format first.

And there’s wisdom

“The world will look after the creation of self doubt”

Read the post to see the wisdom in that quote.


fractions rv

I learned a new word from reading Will’s post – Edu-dread – he defines it as being over your head in a subject area.

As I’ve heard so many times, it’s in the area of Mathematics. I get it.

He did well until his OAC years when his teachers were preparing him for university. I’ve seen it happen in Grade 8 when teachers prepare students for high school. Will also saw it at the Faculty as they prepared him to teach it in class.

I think I probably went through the same stages of instruction except I loved Mathematics, having a degree in it and it was my first Type A teachable. But learning it yourself is one thing, teaching it to XX others with a variety of abilities is a completely different story.

Throughout the post, Will takes us on a trip from dread to actually enjoying teaching it. I had to smile at his reference to manipulatives. I never had manipulatives!

I’ll bet that most teachers have a similar experience when placed in a subject areas or grade level that they didn’t see coming.


A Day at “Reading for the Love of It”: Thoughts on Returning to In Person Conferences

I loved this post from Colleen. It summarizes my thoughts so nicely. I’ve tried, really tried to learn online the past few years and I just wasn’t very successful with it.

There’s just something special about being in a crowd of co-learners, meeting new people or reuniting with people you’ve met once or twice in the past.

Then, there’s the idea of going out for dinner or some other social activity above and beyond the actual physical conference. As a person who was involved in the planning for many professional learning events, I’ve been part of planning for things after the planned sections as well. It’s so important.

People appreciate the new connections and opportunities to collaborate and they’re best learned by getting together. That’s something that “virtual” doesn’t do a very good job at.


The 500 – #273 – Going To A Go-Go – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Aw, man, who doesn’t like Smokey Robinson.

We play Euchre with our daughters and we prime the smart speaker with one song and just let the application create a playlist for us. Recently, I said “Play something from The Supremes” and we landed ourselves in good old Motown land.

As Marc does when he reviews a song and a singer/group, he does his research and this post is rich with it.

My takeaway piece of trivia was that Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin were in the same high school at the same time. Wouldn’t it be an interesting conversation to talk to their music teacher?

His takeaway song? Remember when we danced like that?


YOU CAN BE A LEADER! – E118

This podcast and associated show notes tack onto Laura’s blog post above.

Their conclusion nicely sums it up.

The biggest thing to remember is that there are LOTS of opportunities out there to develop your leadership skills, both formal and informal. Your best bet is to put yourself out there, build relationships with a wide range of colleagues and professionals, and try something new! It’s amazing how things tend to work out!

What I liked about this podcast and the corresponding notes is how honest and open that Rachel and Katie are with their thoughts about Leadership and how it came into their professional lives.

The irony in all of this is that teaching, by definition, is a leadership position in itself!

Maybe teaching could become called “Super Leadership” or “Leader of Leaders”.

Even if you don’t aspire to be in a different role, the advice and conversation will give you an appreciation for the things that you’re doing already. And, it might even inspire you to up your game!


Cultural Humility

I really didn’t know what to expect from this post when I read the title.

It was an interesting read about a take-away from a Professional Learning event with the topic of Culture.

A personal lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and self-critique

I found Kelly’s observations about attending a Catholic School particularly interesting. I went to a Public School but did have friends that went to the local Catholic School as well as the Christian School. I can recall having some interesting discussions. This was back when those attending these schools had to meet certain criteria.

I never actually met anyone from a India until university. I’m thinking of one person in particular and we’d talk about culture over lunch in the lounge and then head off to bang our heads against a wall trying to get a computer program project to work.

Our society is different these days and it’s interesting to see our kids and grandkids try to fit as part of it. Then, you turn on the evening news …

If only we could get the entire population to one of these workshops.


Please take the time to click through and read these terrific blog posts.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio 
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley 
  • Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Edugals – @EduGals

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This week’s show

Opening song

Closing song

Peace playlist

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2 responses to “This Week in Ontario Edublogs”

  1. Thanks for sharing Laura’s post – it came up in my own feed when she posted it and it’s one I’ve returned to several times to reflect on.

    Liked by 1 person

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

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