This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Welcome to July! I hope that everyone is enjoying the beginning of summer. I hope that you can fit reading these fabulous blog posts into your day.


Leadership Lessons from Baseball

Charles’ post takes me back. Not only a memory of Tony LaRussa coaching but going to a Phillie’s game while in Philadelphia at a conference. I’m in the picture here with another Doug from across town.

Charles gets to LaRussa’s retirement and then being brought back to coach and making the decision to walk someone with a 1-2 count. That does seem a little bizarre!

There are great questions at the end of the post that Stephen and I talked about during the Wednesday radio show.

  • Can you think of a public figure who owned up to a mistake in a timely and totally contrite manner?  
  • Can you think of a leader who moved on to let the next gen leaders come forth? 
  • Can you name someone who made a successful and inspiring comeback after a ten-year gap?

They’re great questions. If you have answers, swing over to Charles’ blog and share them there.


Teachers Make Mistakes: Here’s What To Do When You’ve Made One

Kristy’s post was so appropriate to read after Charles set the stage. Do you want to do something scary? Do the math here. (No, it’s not the math that’s scary, it’s the result!)

Years ago, a mentor teacher explained the reality of teacher imperfections. He pointed out that teachers are in the business of communicating – we say, write, and teach a lot of things every day – and if each of us makes only one mistake per day and we multiply that by the number of days in a school year and then by the number of years we spend in the classroom, that works out to many thousands of mistakes and missteps over a career. 

Gulp.

She discusses the topic in some detail that offers a what-to-do when it happens.

  • Admit Your Mistake
  • Hold Yourself Accountable For Your Actions And Remedy The Situation
  • Make Your Admin Aware of Big Mistakes
  • Everyone Makes Mistakes

On the show, Stephen made reference to an incident where he needed to talk to his admin immediately after he shared something in class. He shared it with me privately afterwards and yeah — the administration would want to know when the parents start calling!


Ode to our Guest Educators

I held off on this post from Sue for the last show of the school year. I hear so much about how teachers are moving on but I never hear about administrators moving on.

There will be teachers becoming vice-principals for the first time; there will be vice-principals moving to the big office. Come September, they will have the opportunity to set a mindset and environment for their school.

There will be regular visitors to classrooms who aren’t the regular teacher. We used to call them Supply Teachers and I don’t recall them being treated all that well when I went to school.

In Sue’s school, they don’t use that expression; instead, they’re known as “Guest Educators” which immediately changes the mindset and Sue uses the post to describe what it means to be a guest educator in her school.

I can’t help but think that this is a mindset that should be expected everywhere. So, if you’re making a move this fall, read and consider what you might do.


What you think you know

Cal’s post will have you thinking.

Certainly, as educators, we are well aware that some students do well in other classes and are challenged in ours or vice versa. When you do the math, there are all kinds of students that you interact with daily and as Cal notes, “you can only know so much”. You’d have to be a permanent shadow to understand everything about everybody.

That’s just in the classroom.

Take that to the next step and think about the administrators in the school. They’re even further away from understanding everything about everybody.

My first superintendent was really inspired by the writing of Tom Peters and the philosophy of management by walking around. That is a good step but often an administrator needs that formal feedback from staff and students as well.

Cal had an interesting observation that often administrators only hear about the positive things. But, they’re only human. How should they handle criticisms?

And, … if you’re like me, you’re going to want to look up umwelt.


Create Safe Spaces

I loved the insights from this post from Nilmini. Of paramount importance is the concept of stories. She sees the classroom as being a safe place for students to have a conversation and be comfortable in doing so.

She addresses areas where stories can be used.

  • History
    • This got me thinking; I still know so much about my childhood community and I can tell you stories about it!
  • Reflection
    • For me, the big advantage of blogging is to reflect on something that’s of importance to me. If it’s helpful for you, then great
  • Journalling
    • We were told to keep a journal when I was in school and it should come as no surprise to regular blog readers that I did so to the bare minimum. Now, if blogging had been a thing back then…
  • Graphic Organizers
    • This is so important to computer programming where you lay out your logic. These days, I also do that in preparation for the Wednesday show and this blog post

Last Day of Teaching – Ever!

There have been lots and lots of sentiments of this type on social media. As my dad always said “it’s time to call it a day”. Since I’ve found Marie’s blog, I am an avid reader; she’s frequent and so open and I hope that she continues in her retirement.

I’m envious as I always thought that I’d like to teach in the same school that I went to as a student. That wasn’t to be and I had to learn all about a new community over three hours away.

In Marie’s typical style, it’s not a short post but is so rich in details. She tells a great story. As someone who has gone through this, I do admit to having a tear or two on my keyboard reading this. When I left my school, I got a set of bookends; when I left the Program Department, I got a plaque. As luck would have it for this post, I was cleaning my bookshelf and my wife wondered why I kept those up there.

I think, and it rings solidly in Marie’s post, that there’s something extra special about being in education. Yes, it’s like banging your head against the wall; it feels good when it stops. And yet, there’s something about being an educator that never, ever leaves you. I will always treasure those gifts.

That comes across so clearly in this post and you can see and hear her thoughts here.

https://watch.screencastify.com/v/WH7fCErEfbZh0ws4cgnp

How did she hold it together?


Looking Back Over the Year

Gary gives us another look at a reflection as the year ends. It’s really been a year like no other. Could this have been the worst of the COVID years?

He identifies

  • start the year by working at home
  • getting a new central position
  • getting shifted to a new role
  • becoming a blogger

This truly is a unique year. I like the fact that Gary indicates that he couldn’t have done it on his own. But, it’s not just about him; he acknowledges that so many others struggled through it as well.

Gary, I agree with your plans of kicking back and really, really recharging. We’ve talked about this so often but never has it been so important as this year.


Please take time to read this and follow these great bloggers on Twitter.

  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • Kristy – @2peasandadog
  • Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
  • Cal Armstrong – @sig225
  • Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge – @NRatwatte
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27

voicEd Radio Show

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happiest of Fridays to everyone. Enjoy some good blog reading!


So You Are Going to Be A Teacher Librarian… now what? Part 1

Is there any location in a school that changes so frequently in response to resources, understanding how students read, or just a conducive place for learning, reading, making, or just a place for lesson planning as the library?

Elizabeth has started a series of blog posts about what goes into her thinking about design and I like how she’s generous enough to share it with us in this post and has shared it with colleagues and administrators from other schools over the years.

Today’s library is so far removed from the libraries that we enjoyed going to in schools. Certainly, we enjoyed going there and it was a favourite place for a number of reasons. Mostly, I recall, it was for books and a quiet place to work.

Things have changed. How do you make it a success? There’s lots of planning, design, and thinking that goes into it and you get a sense of it in this introductory post.

  • Things to consider – layout of the room
  • Beginning readers
  • Picture books
  • Chapter books and graphic novels
  • Non-fiction
  • Dual language

If you’ve been paying attention to education, there’s much more to come as we think about makerspaces and all the other things that happen there. As she notes, the library environment is the third educator in the room. If you think it’s just another room with books, you’ve got another think coming.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming posts.


Researcher’s Journal: Living in a post-truth world

Now that Paul is working on his PhD, he’s taking us deeper in thought as we tag along with his research.

This time, he’s looking at “post-truth“, ironically the definition that I’m sharing is from Wikipedia! This resource even has a post about mis-information.

It doesn’t take long when you turn on the evening news broadcasts from the south of the border that this concept blows up in your face. There was a time when an expert carried an expert label; now it seems like anyone who is willing to stand in front of a camera and scream gets the air play. Truth used to be so binary.

Paul’s current thoughts are influenced by Sam Weinburg and he’s good enough to give us a glimpse of his research reading.

These days, it seems anyone can be a journalist and you can start with a blog and share whatever information you want! Later, I’m going to talk about a blog post from Bonnie Stewart and she has a link to a resource on eCampusOntario about Information Abundance. Good reading and I can’t help but think that Paul’s work is important but how will it be judged objectively? What does objective mean anymore?


Minds Moving … For Adults And Kids Alike!

All teachers have a way to start their class. There’s a phrase that you often hear “minds on” to describe things. You’d like to think that students come in, sit down quietly, and get to work. About the second day in this profession and you know that they need help; it doesn’t come naturally.

Aviva shares how she personally starts her day. With an early start, she’s into the popular word puzzle games. I know that many teachers are now using it as a fun start to the lesson (psst don’t tell them that it’s good for them) but Aviva uses it for herself to get her mind going.

Then, what would an Aviva post be without pictures? She shares how her students get started independently.

It seems to me that the key to all of this is to find a bite-sized activity that’s engaging and enjoyable to do. That’s not always easy but finding it will have huge payoffs.


Redesign for online: 3 easy steps to questioning everything you do as an educator

My RSS Reader brought up this two-year-old now post from Bonnie. I don’t know if she updated it or if it was just fortunate luck but I read it and really enjoyed it. There’s so much wisdom in here that, after COVID, we can get a better understanding of now.

Warning – the title is a bit of a bait and switch but not in a bad way. As she notes, there is no such thing as three easy steps.

Online teaching is her thing so she does write from a strong background and credibility. After two years, everyone has built up a bit of expertise so her experiences have added importance.

There were a few big takeaways for me.

  • “Redesigning for online is a confronting process. It forces you to pare down both your course content AND your course communications to the bits that matter most” – Yes! Not everything gets ported over. It’s also a good idea as you prepare for F2F next year
  • “the infrastructure of the internet is actually designed FOR two-way participatory communications” and she gives terrific examples of what to do. I thought that the concept of knowledge creators versus consumers was particularly helpful. With YouTube and the like, I think everyone has got the consumer part down pat
  • “My partner, on the other hand, worked ten hour days, wrote half an Online Teaching textbook, and created an entire site of video resources and interviews about digital pedagogies” This is a rich resource

There is a presentation and the irony of the tools used isn’t lost on me but it will be a good hour of professional learning for all.


Grad Prep

After the fact, I had some regrets about sharing the post. The content was about the work that Diana puts in to support her colleagues in a couple of graduations in the school – from Kindergarten and Grade 8. She’s using her technical skills to build a presentation using green screen and a story for each student.

It was a little sobering when she mentioned that this might well be the first time for the kindergarten students to see a big audience. I never thought of that.

The regrets came from responses to the voicEd show where the concept of graduations was discussed in not so glowing terms. That wasn’t the point of Diana’s post and I hope that she missed it. Graduations are a school or district decision; not an individual teacher’s.

Having said that, I can’t recall any course where things abruptly ended after the last class. Even at the Faculty of Education just taking a single course, there was an invitation to go out or over to someone’s house to celebrate the end of things.

There have been so few things to celebrate these days that a formal graduation may just be the shot that people need, for that moment in time. There may be a time and a place to have this discussion but to tag onto this blog post isn’t it.

And don’t forget the parents – this from a friend of mine this morning…

So proud x 2 🎓🎓🎉🎉! Congratulations to both XXXXXXX and XXXXXXX on their Grade 8 graduation from XXPS! 🙌🏻 10 years in the making!

I’m sure that also the kids will get a DVD or a link to the presentation that they can enjoy for a lifetime. I sure wish I had that to look back at.


And on to LongCovid

“Masks are all but gone in my neck of the woods.”

Ditto here. In the past while, I’ve had an optometrist and doctor appointment and I’ve worn a mask. The sign on the door says so and I know that these are occasions where you’re going to be closer than ever to someone not in your immediate family.

We also wear masks to the drug store where it’s about 50/50 with staff and Walmart where the ratio is less. I’ve convinced my wife that self-checkout isn’t bad because you don’t have to stand really close to anyone.

I’d like to go with the sentiment that it’s all over. But it isn’t, by a long shot.

  • A good friend, wife, and inlaw all got it
  • Friends on Facebook have checked in with the sad news
  • Baseball was cancelled because they couldn’t field a team

Then, there’s the concept of longCOVID (longCovid) that Marie talks about in the post. It’s not pleasant and she doesn’t sugar-coat it.

Somehow, so many have bought into the concept since vaccination centres are shut down and there isn’t a frenzy to get a jab.

I had to smile a bit at her thoughts about style. Like so many, I just wish we could get to the point where it’s not here and we don’t have to worry about writing about it. We’re not there yet.


They haven’t the foggiest

I’ll give Doug some cred by pairing him with Monty Python.

Hey, Doug

If you’re looking for a little smile and some play on words, this will be your Friday morning read.


Please find some time to enjoy these posts. Then, follow the authors on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Bonnie Stewart – @bonstewart
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Doug McDowall – @dougzone2_1

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Sit back and enjoy some writing from great Ontario Edubloggers.


Becoming a Better Person for Others: Faith into Action

I really appreciate when bloggers are so open and transparent. In this case, Rolland shows the best of this. He takes a look at his role as re-engagement teacher and marries it to his understanding of social justice.

In particular, he identifies four things in his role.

  1. Dignity of the Human Person
  2. Call to Family, Community, and Participation
  3. Rights and Responsibilities
  4. Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

With each of these, he analyses making connections to his job and to education. Then, for each he provides a next step for himself. I couldn’t help but think that blogging about it and making it public really makes himself accountable for these changes to his approach.

The word “brave” kept running through my mind as I was reading.


Learning from Each Other — Destreaming Across Ontario: Waterloo District School Board

This is another very brave and open post about learning and planning for action. Alexandra thinks that there are three things that will make destreaming effective.

  1. Smaller class sizes to support students
  2. Equipping teachers and administrators with the correct tools and professional development
  3. task force to “inform the design, implementation and monitoring of de-streaming

Ultimately, any success will result from the practice and acceptance of classroom teachers. After the past two years, it’s going to take a great deal of effort to do the necessary learning and then implementation of new approaches.

Alexandra shares her notes and thoughts from a Google Meet conducted by Jill Hicknell and Jillian Waters and some reading to support their thoughts. A big takeaway is a Google Resource site and a Twitter handle to follow.

Check it out.


New Twitter Communities: Will this better our Twitter experience?

Do you ever have one of those moments where you’re thinking something but you keep it to yourself and it’s only when someone else notes it that you realize you’re not alone?

I had that moment as I read Jennifer’s post. There are times these days when I feel like I should be getting more from my Twitter community than I am. It was somehow comforting to note that she felt the same way.

Lately, I have been a little dissatisfied with my Twitter feed to be honest. Unless someone tags me, I feel like I have been missing out of many of the powerful voices I once had access to. And whereas I felt like my own voice reached many before, I feel like unless I tag people, they rarely see my tweets either.

At about the same time that I started to feel this way, Twitter rolled out the concept of Communities. I took a look and felt it was too much like the Twitter lists that I’ve been curating. But, again, Jennifer takes it a bit further and offers a way that we may fall back in love with Twitter again.

Nicely done, Jennifer.


Self-Reg Havens

The big takeaway for me from Susan’s post was that her concept of a haven isn’t necessarily

 just a location

For the longest time, a safe haven for me was a place to think and I guess I’d always put it in personal terms as a location. With a busy life, often the thinking was done in my car commuting to and from work.

The post is a look at what that haven just might be and Susan takes us to these attributes

  1. Safe
  2. Rooted
  3. Balanced
  4. Capable
  5. Trusted

If nothing else, it will give you lots to think about.


OBSERVATION IS A NEW REFLECTION!

From Wayne’s World…

I think that most of us did our quality observation as student teachers having placement with an experienced teacher. I don’t know about you but it was one of the first times that I thought that maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher. Thankfully, I persevered.

It shouldn’t stop there and Setareh talks about observing a colleague in their teaching. I did that a couple of times and I think that you get a new lens when you are in the profession. Setareh talks about observing a very extroverted teacher, knowing that that would be a real challenge and maybe an impossibility.

Still, there are lots of things to learn and we should never stop.


Coding Fireworks!

From the Fair Chance Learning blog, Barb offers a project (along with a solution) for creating a program that will emulate fireworks on a Micro:Bit.

Now, if you’ve already done something like this for Victoria day, you might want to move along.

Or, how about setting off some fireworks to celebrate the end of the school year?


Importance of Context and Concrete Manipulatives From Kindergarten Through Grade 12

Kyle shares a wealth of information here that’s applicable to all grade levels.

I like his start and confession. We all had it. When we started teaching, we wanted to be copies of the very best teacher that we ever had. If you’re honest, you’ll realize that their classroom often doesn’t resemble the successful rooms we have today. We’ve learned so much about effective teaching and learning and it’s just not the same.

This is a long resource but well worth the read and thinking. We want the best for everyone after all.


Please take some time to enjoy these posts and then follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
  • Alexandra Woods – @XanWoods
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Susan Hopkins – @susanhopkins5
  • Barb Seaton – @barb_seaton
  • Fair Chance Learning – @FCLEdu
  • Kyle Pearce – @mathletepearce 

This Week in Ontario Edublogs Show

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Welcome to the end of the week and just another week closer to the Summer Break. Hang in there and get inspired by some great blog posts.


The One

I found this post from Sue to be incredibly emotional, bringing back all kinds of memories of students that I had that could have been my “one”.

You know, the kid that’s not fitting in or has daily challenges in the classroom.

In Sue’s case, this student was a visitor to the office for a number of reasons and a special relationship was created there.

Then the student moved schools.

Then COVID hit.

Sue had made a promise to this student to visit in the new location and made good on it. Folks, this is another strong reason why only the best become teachers.


Slice of (Moving) Life

Lisa’s educational career is so different from me. Never mind the fact that we were in different panels but she chronicles a career of moving to different schools and different classes.

I was hired as a Computer Science teacher and did that for my entire career. I had no real desire to change schools; our had air conditioning which is so important in Essex County! Plus, it was possible to not just just teach three programming courses, but since I was the only game in town, I could teach a three year program with students from Grades 10-12. Then, there were the OAC years.

Sure, I think we all looked at the job postings when they came out; it was a great time for department room chat about retirements and people who were moving schools. There was the odd person that would change schools but I remember a mostly stable teaching complement.

I had to smile when Lisa said that requests for transfers were largely not done but felt happy for her when hers was. And, the big thing is being able to walk to work. I could have done that but it probably would take the better part of a day.

I wonder if more and more teachers are considering a placement closer to home these days of rising gas prices?


Leadership & Student Elections

Before reading Jennifer’s post, I guess I thought that running a school election at the same time as a provincial election might be a cutesy thing that you do in your classroom and then compare results.

She thinks BIG here! Their school had the gym for the provincial election and she had her resource centre for the school election. Students in grades 1-8 all voted; she had student helpers who were sworn to secrecy; it sounded like a great event.

The results were not what I had expected. Growing up north of London, I always considered the city a pretty conservative type of place so it was interesting to compare the student vote from the adult vote.

It’s another great vote and a testament to why schools need to have that special teacher or two or three that do big things to really enhance what is happening in classrooms.


My June To-Do List

How’s this for a post that’s open and vulnerable. Melissa shares a 10 point to-do list for herself. It was an interesting list to run up and down.

Glad to see that she was planning to vote.

I’ll bet that an educator would scan that list and totally agree that what’s important for Melissa is important for all educators this June. I had to shake my head when she talked about sticky notes. There was a time when sticky notes were all over the place here. My problem was that they would dry out, fall off, get blown under the furniture, and for a million reason would go missing.

Years ago, a good friend of mine convinced me to take a workshop on planning and priorities and one of the buy-ins was giving up on traditional routines and going full speed with the system. I did and never looked back.

But, I’m sure that the sticky notes are just a side note for Melissa. June is like no other month for teachers and, unlike so many other professions, there is no extension allowed for the major deliverables for your job. When June is done, so are you.

I enjoyed reading her list and wish her all the best meeting all of her priorities.


The 500 – #315 – Damn The Torpedoes – Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

I’m a big fan of Marc’s walkthrough of the Top 500 and enjoy all the posts. This week, for This Week in Ontario Edublogs, I found out after the fact from Marc that I chose the wrong post.

Those would have been equally as good ones but I went with the Tom Petty one. And, for a couple of reasons – I’m a fan of Tom Petty and, for the past week, YouTube has been recommending this one Tom Petty concert. I’m smiling because I played that concert while getting ready for the TWIOE podcast.

The post had some intriguing points that made it particularly interesting for me. One was Christmas shopping at Devonshire Mall complete with a picture of the old Sears store. The other was working a bit of a side gig for a Petty cover artist. When I spent so much time reading and enjoying the post, I just knew that I wanted to include this one.

Marc is creating a playlist as a result of this series of posts. This would have been a tough call – he went with “Here Comes My Girl”. That must have been a rough call over “Refugee” or “Don’t Do Me Like That”.


Uvalde Is In Our Bones

Writing has become my own therapy.

I can most certainly get behind that statement from Matthew.

How did you hear of the tragedy in Uvalde. How did you respond? I’ll admit that I had some profanity of my own and Matthew did the same thing in this post.

I wrote a post of my own about the incident. I never thought of it as therapy but I guess it is. I did write it from anger.

As Matthew notes, we’ve been here before. Sadly, many times. We’ve been in this situation – albeit it watching from a distance but we are drawn together. By good fortune, this time it didn’t happen to me, you, or Matthew.

I hate the title to this post. It’s just too damn true. I admire Matthew’s understanding about how he feels and is impacted by this. I hate that he feels that way. We all entered this profession expecting to change the world, or at least the little part of it that we can.

None of this was in our job descriptors. I’m thankful that, for me, it was a paragraph or two in the teacher handbook and a drill that interrupted a class once in the fall. None of us expected this.


Living near an edge #SOL22

I read Melanie’s post and it brought a great deal of emotions out in me. That seems to be happening a lot these days. Her post is a story nicely told about her father who is living with her.

I’m jealous that she has that opportunity.

Melanie shares a story of a man who came to Canada after service in World War II and some of the severe challenges that he endured.

Since my father was born in Canada, I would have had to go back to my grandfathers to get the type of immigation story that celebrates such a major move. The opportunity to hear those stories never happened as they passed when I was so young.

Melanie gets philosophical, inspired by the thinkings of Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen and it’s specially important as we come up on Fathers’ Day 2022.


Make sure that you’re following this great list of bloggers!

  • Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Jennifer Aston – @mmejaston
  • Melissa Turnbull – @missmturnbull
  • Marc Hodginson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

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

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