This Week in Ontario Edublogs


And, it’s another Friday. Actually, it’s Thursday morning as I write this post but that’s the way things roll around here.


Writing a SPOOKY Story!

I’ve written about Cameron Steltman’s writing activity for his students many times before. I think it’s truly unique, inspirational for both students and parents, and easily borrowed by others who want students to write for a purpose and write for an audience.

It’s straight forward.

He starts a new blog post with a theme and instructions for his students. Their job is to read and understand his post and then do some writing of their own in the replies. There’s so much right with this activity.

This time, he uses this image to inspire.

The student job? They look at the image and write a spooky story telling Mr. Steltman, their classmates, their parents, me, you, and anyone else who drops by how they interpret the image and turn it into their own spooky story!


Negative TikTok Challenges and Student Digital Leadership

The typical approach to dealing with bad things in education comes from a long time ago from the Baretta theme song .

“Don’t do the time if you can’t do the crime.”

Or maybe something more contemporary.

We know how well that works out. Jennifer Casa-Todd has a different take on things. In a school where there is one principal and one vice-principal for 1000 or more students, those enforcing the rules are really outnumbered.

Consistent with Jennifer’s message in SocialLEADia, she sees another way. Put the power of students to work to address this. I feel that it honours their leadership and an innate desire to do the right thing.

The prompt for this was the Negative TikTok Challenge and Jennifer includes them in her post.

  • September: Vandalize school bathrooms
  • October: Smack a staff member
  • November: Kiss your friend’s girlfriend at school
  • December: Deck the halls and show your balls
  • January: Jab a breast
  • February: Mess up school signs
  • March: Make a mess in the courtyard or cafeteria
  • April: “Grab some eggz” (another stealing challenge or inappropriate touching)
  • May: Ditch day
  • June: Flip off in the front office
  • July: Spray a neighbor’s fence

Her approach is an interesting turn on things and I think she may be on to something. Your school needs to have this book in their library. There’s so much wisdom here and it’s all based on the premise that people want to do good things and things for good.

Disclaimer: I did help Jennifer with advice and proofreading of this book.


Leadership and the matter of judgement:An open letter to Prime Minster Trudeau

I enjoy reading Charles Pascal’s writing and insights. Given his past career choices, he’s gone places and seen things that the rest of us in education only get to hear about third or fourth or more hand.

Many of us “could” write to our leaders and get a form letter back (or nothing in the case of around here) but taking your message public could be powerful in that we’re seeing his insights if we care to read them. And I did.

In this case, it’s an letter to our Prime Minister about his choice to go on vacation during the first Truth and Reconciliation holiday. Charles uses the analogy to baseball as commitng an unforced error. There were a lot of things that could have been done on that day. I would think that he would have been welcomed to many communities across the country to address them and the nation.

As we know, we’re just off an election that was controversial in itself. There’s some great advice in Charles’ post

Prime Minister, it is not too late to close the gap between your many worthy and important publicly stated aspirations and meaningful actions. 

Will he follow Charles’ advice?


It’s That Time of Year…

One of the powerful voices helping people understand how media works, its power and influence, and how we should interpret that media is Media Smarts. This year, Media Literacy Week is October 25 to October 30.

Anthony Perrottta is a regular speaker during this event and this year is no exception. He’s doing to give a talk about Digital Portfolios and The Power of Story.

His presentation is on Wednesday at 4:30 and you can sign up from the link in the post.

One of the advantages of COVID for professional learning is that we don’t have to go anywhere except to our computers to take in quality professional learning so do it.

The post also includes links to Anthony’s past presentations.


Talking Like a Teacher

I don’t often disagree with Diana Maliszewski and I’m not sure whether or not I do this time around.

She was asked to co-present a lecture on “Finding Trusted Sources and Evaluating Information” but was advised to not “talk like a teacher”.

In the post, she takes the time to address both the pros and cons of “talking like a teacher”. Maybe I’m narrow minded but I don’t see both sides. I replied to the post on her blog with:

Thank you for my morning smile, Diana. It’s a phrase around here when I correct my wife and kids over language errors “Daaaaad, you’re such a teacher”. I wear it like a badge of honour.

I don’t think you should ever apologize for being a teacher. You’ve devoted your life to your craft and I’m guessing you were asked to speak based upon your skills and reputation. It’s a great compliment. Consider the thousands of people that could have been asked, it ended up being the two of you. I can’t believe that it was a random choice.

My wife is a nurse and when I have a boo-boo, I go to her for her skills; I don’t rely on what I’ve seen on television.

Nobody can have it all but you can certainly relish in the parts that you do have and you will always be a teacher. That’s to be celebrated.

It’s a few days later since I first read Diana’s post, I talked about it on the voicEd Radio show and now I’m writing and I remain every bit convinced of my position.

Either way, knowing Diana, the presentation would have been fun and full of great information, I’m sure.


NETWORKING AT THE TESL ONTARIO ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Probably something like this has never been so important as it is during these days. Networking has always been an important part of conference going and was an important concept for Cyndie Jacobs and I when we co-chaired the Bring IT, Together conference in 2013 and 2014.

Dave Fraser starts off this post with the familiar approach.

When we think of “networking” at a conference, we tend to think of coffee breaks and catching up with colleagues in hotel lobbies and banquet centre hallways.

Been there, done that, and it’s a great chance to catch up with old friends from all over the place. But, that’s only part of the potential. Cyndie and I realized that there was a lot of “other” times with potential for participating in other things. In this post, Dave outlines a bunch of other opportunities that they’ve planned for other than the sessions. I think that’s incredibly important as well as the sessions and it sends the message that the conference is more than a money grab from registrations – that the organization places value in making connections to take away from the event.

It’s tough to pull off when everyone’s online but they seem to have thought through this to give attendees the chance to meet up with others with similar interests. Round table discussions would be interesting.

The platform that they’re using is a new one for me to look at and explore.


Math Links for Week Ending Oct 15th, 2021

The mathematics person is me always looks forward to posts from David Petro. I find it just plain interesting to work my way through them, smiling at his interpretation before I right click and open in a new tab so that I can return and continue my trek through his post.

This past week, regular readers of this blog will know that I was so excited with one of his curated items that I used it as inspiration for a complete blog post here.

He runs the gamut of classes and grades so not all of the links will be immediately useful for everyone except those that like to play with mathematics just for the sake of playing with mathematics and who doesn’t? There’s nothing wrong with a little side learning and this blog covers that nicely.


Please take the time to follow these great Ontario educational bloggers.

  • Cameron Steltman – @MrSteltman
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @JCasaTodd
  • Charles Pascal – @cepascal
  • Anthony Perrotta – @aperrottatweets
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Dave Frazer – @teslontario
  • David Petro – @davidpetro314

This week’s show on voicEd Radio.

Hazel


As I write this post on Sunday morning, nobody had answered this question

we don’t normally think of Ontario as being hit by violent storms but a really strong hurricane hit Toronto and places north in the mid 1950s. Do you know what hurricane it was?

The answer was Hurricane Hazel. It’s probably a nickname that every little girl in Ontario named Hazel has had at one point. There’s even one former mayor who earned the name.

Hurricane Hazel was a recurring topic of discussion from my mom as she and dad lived in the path of it, north of Toronto, at the time. There’s an interesting look “60 years later” here.

Thanks, WestonWeb.ca

When you look at it now and compare to storms that we normally see reported on in the news, you can see that the path really is bizarre. Normally, a hurricane heads east out over the Atlantic Ocean once it hits land. We normally worry about the Atlantic provinces as being the ones that would be most affected by a hurricane.

As I was formulating the questions for yesterday’s post in my mind, I was reminded of a conversation with Mom about “Hurricane Hazel Babies”. From what I’ve read, that would be babies born on or around October 16, 1954. Or were they conceived on that date? It was the topic of conception that made me wonder and, of course, the internet has an answer for everything.

On a whim, I did a search and found all kinds of conception date calculators! Here’s one of them. So, rather than using nine months, this may be a little more accurate at 38 weeks. Spoiler – born on October 16, 1954 generates a possible conception day of November 23, 1953.

So, you can tuck this little bit of trivia away for next month, the 67th anniversary of the hurricane that caused so much damage. And, yes, there’s a website to calculate that as well.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Ah, summer vacation. I hope that this relaxing period of time gives you the chance to check out these great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.


Create Safe Spaces

There’s a pretty important message in this post from Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge, writing on the Teach Better blog. It would be important if you were returning to class on Monday and it’s going to be important on the first day of school after the break. It’s going to be important going on after that.

It’s tough enough being a kid at the best of times. Imagine their pain having learned online for the past year plus and then all of the other things that are going on in society. In a normal world, the classroom may be one of the better places to address this but they’ve had to deal with it themselves and with whatever success online learning has provided.

In the post, Nilmini talks about creating these Safe Spaces using story telling and reflection. It doesn’t absolve the teacher from being a part of the conversation but, when used well, can make even more of the experience.

Nilmini also talks about using a number of organizers to help students thinking critically about issues which can be so powerful.

  • Four Squares Template
  • Venn Diagrams
  • T-Charts

If you’ve had success with these or others, I’m sure that she would appreciate hearing from you.


Before you click “End the call”

As Will Gourley notes, there will be a collective sigh across the province when the last online session is closed. We get that and you’ve already had the experience.

I guarantee that not a single soul wishes to do it over again either.

The last few days of the school year are always a challenge. Students know that marks have already been submitted so that bit of leverage has gone. In Will’s class, he lists a number of activities that he has provided for his students. This includes a little dancing. Will claims that he was up dancing with the kids, including their play list; that would make a great video.

How did you end the final days of the school year?

The post closes with a reminder of ETFO’s position about in-person learning.


Noticing and Wondering #SOL2021

This is Melanie White’s implementation of Safe Spaces where

the students were able to respond openly, realizing there was no “wrong answer”

I think this is so important. Nobody likes to be shut down and a stern “Wrong” is a real conversation closer.

Too many questions can be so school-like and academic and so she just sticks with two – “What do you notice? What do you wonder?”

The approach drove me to think – it’s only school where you have all these questions and all you have to do is answer them. In the real world, you basically start with those two open-ended questions and then proceed to find answers and more questions of your own.

Doesn’t that make so much more sense?


Drivetest: Everything That’s Wrong with Ontario

When I read the title of this post from Tim King, I started to get worried. What would an accomplished driver of vehicles such as him have against this? Did he fail a test or something?

His thoughts aren’t about licensing but more about the process.

He notes that there was a time when the Ministry of Transportation ran the show but it has since been outsourced. Same with the 407. I had a family member take a trip partially using the 407 recently and received a bill in the neighbourhood of $45.00. That’s a tank of gas.

Around here, the offices have long lineups to get in just like Tim’s. With the shutdown, things are just starting to get back online. Maybe this will encourage everyone to do their renewals online?

At the bottom of the post, there is a nice collection of links to resources to further your learning.


Top Ten Tips for Attending Virtual Professional Learning for Educators

I’m always leery when I see a title claiming these are the “top” of anything. But, Michelle Fenn has a pretty good list of things to consider if you’re up for professional learning. I like the number of organizations that respect their members and the challenges that they’ve been through and offer learning sessions for free.

Learning online is difficult – you know that. If you’ve been on the teaching end for the past while, you lived that. Imagine professional learning.

From her list, I found three that stood out to me.

  • Organize your time   
  • When possible attend LIVE sessions
  • TWEET! TWEET! (also a great way to take notes)

To her list, I would add a technique that worked so well for me. Find a professional colleague or two in advance of the event and go through the program together. Instead of having to pick between conflicting sessions of interest, have it covered by sharing the load and created a shared Google document for taking notes. You walk away with your learning and observations of your colleagues.


Google Earth Projects & Learning More About Each Other

I love the concept behind this project that Jennifer Casa-Todd writes about. Not for a specific class, but an initiative spearheaded by the Student Council.

They surveyed students looking for ideas for food and song that said something about their heritage. What a way to share your heritage with others in a unique way!

Now, I’ve only thought about doing it once. Apparently, the Danish side of my background enjoys sea food and eel. I draw the line at that – thankfully, my Dad never insisted on these as regular meals. I more identify with a culture that has hamburgers as a staple. I do remember visiting a fabulous Danish restaurant once in Toronto. They really aren’t plentiful. I’m not sure if it’s there any more. I did dig and found a non-seafood option!

But, poking around on the web, I do recognize some of the pastries that my grandparents seemed to have on hand at times.

Traditional Danish Food: 14 Recipes You Must Try


Slice of Life:
Slice of Life: done

From Lisa Corbett, a pair of blog posts. The first is untitled and the second is “Done”. Both paint a story of the stark reality that is her June.

As teachers, we all have memories of students and how they affected us during their tenure in our class. It will bring an emotional response when she thinks

These are the children who will always be in my memories. “She was in my class. That was the year we were online.” I’ll be saying when they finish high school or if I see them in the newspaper. “I taught him the year of Covid-19. Remember that?”

Closing down and marking the school year as “done” is even described differently and tugs at your humanity.

You need to read both as I suspect she’s sharing stories that many teachers are thinking and experiencing and don’t have the benefit of a blog to put it out there.


Please take the time to follow this yet again wonderful collection of Ontario bloggers.

  • Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge – @NRatwatte
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Michelle Fenn – @Toadmummy
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261

The voicEd Radio show is available here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Title double-checked. Everyone was too kind or didn’t notice but I mis-typed the title of this weekly post last week to “The Week in Ontario Edublogs”. I didn’t realize it until I did my Sunday summary post and, by that time, it was too late to correct. Because of WordPress’ naming convention, I’ve now done that four times. So, add 4 to the URL of this post if you’re interested in the number of times I’ve written this regular Friday feature.

However you look at it, it’s a chance to showcase some incredible writing from Ontario Edubloggers. As always, if you know of a blog from Ontario or you’re writing one and it needs to be added to the list, just let me know. Please.


What’s in a Name?

This isn’t a new blog post but rather a transcript of an interlude from Pav Wander from a year ago. It’s still as relevant as ever.

Every teacher deals with this. You get your class lists in advance of school and are ready to welcome these bodies to your classroom. I would go over those in advance and there always seemed to be some that look like they might be a challenge. I would practice reading them out loud to my wife for feedback. Here in Essex County, it seems like you can’t win at times. My Grade 10 French class didn’t prepare for the pronunciations that some French names had adopted.

I think I had a relatively easy name to pronounce and can recall only one time with a mis-pronunciation from a University prof who called me “Petterson”. It was a bit funny but I let it slide since, due the nature of university, it might be the only time he ever uttered my name. I still remember, though, how my head snapped to attention because it was pronounced incorrectly? A little thing? No, it isn’t. It’s my name.

In this post, Pav gives us a much different and very personal story that actually reveals why she goes by Pav as opposed to her formally given name.

Reading it, also brought back a couple more memories for me.

The first was a friend of mine who is in sales and his advice was wise – a person’s name is so personal and may be the most valuable thing that a person owns. He recommended always knowing names even if you forget other things since a person’s name is the most important thing they’ll ever own. You’ll be excused for forgetting other things as long as you get the name right.

The second is another friend of mine who reinforces that notion for me. He never, ever has said “Happy Birthday” that I know of. It’s always “Happy Naming Day”. His take goes beyond the notion of “Name Day” and makes assumptions about when you actually acquire your name. Still…

In high school, one of my friends called me a different name. I wasn’t “Doug” but became “Andy” (my dad’s name) and so many of my other friends followed. So, I guess it was a nickname that kind of stuck. A few years ago, we had a high school reunion some 30-40 years later. They still remembered me as “Andy”.

So, imagine this little girl growing up with a name that seemingly everyone mispronounces. From her past, Pav gives us a personal history, a lesson in language, and the rationale for why she changed her name to what it is today. It’s actually a little emotional – I’ve always thought of the issue from the perspective of a teacher looking over class lists but reading a reflection of a little girl who constantly had her name “butchered” was eye opening and quick frankly, more than just a little sad. Obviously, she’s a very strong woman and did something about it but it’s still not right that it had to come to that.


Bananas for Baton

Man, I love this post from Diana Maliszewski. You can always count on her to come up with an idea, a concept, a thought, an inspiration that is unique and pays back so much educationally.

Everyone in education is challenged by the new set of rules dropped on them. Yes, they’re there for the safety of everyone.

I think most people feel a connection to The Boy in the Bubble these days.

Diana was inspired by a real life passion and qualification that I had no inkling that she possessed – she’s a certified Baton Coach and through her community connections ends up with a class set of batons for her students and physical education. She was quite surprised that it was adopted so well by her class.

And, it’s not one or two batons as I ranted about earlier this week. She’s got a class set and these things don’t come cheaply.

Of course, there are more rules and that’s to be expected but I just have this delightful vision of a class in the gymnasium doing some twirling and enjoying it.

Only in Mrs. Maliszewski’s class!


Given the Gift of Choice, the Voice Soars

Given all the things that are ongoing with school administrators including the rolling of a die to see if schools are closed or open after the Easter Weekend, you’d think that class visits to see student work and presentations might not be anywhere near the top of the list for principals.

But then, you probably haven’t met Sue Bruyns!

Her description of her activity in the classroom is typically COVID. She deliberately avoided a group as she circulated a class because of the “very crowded” group around them but the teacher made sure that her promise that she “skipped, until later” was kept.

The result? You need to read Sue’s post to get the full experience. I can understand her reaction. The projects were about the journey of American slaves and how they ended up in London.

I thoroughly enjoyed this inspirational story from Sue. We need more of these to remind us that there are good things happening in our world.

Sue’s post reminded me of this article from TVO. The date reminds us of so many things…

The story of Ontario’s last segregated Black school


Developing a Sense of Exploration, Wonder, Curiosity and Adventure in your Classrooms

Peter Cameron shares with us a post with no real answers. It’s a copy of a post that he sent to the National Geographic Education Certification Community particularly focusing on the words…

“exploration”, “wonder”, “curiosity” and “adventure”

All of those are good words and, if you’re a follower of Peter, you know that he exhibits this in his class, shares to his social media, and I’ve helped amplify his voice by posting here or talking about the ideas on my voicEd Radio show.

Now, as a computer science teacher, my curriculum applicability doesn’t run the range of an elementary school classroom but I like to think I did a great deal addressing “curiosity”. At the time, I had a subscription to Games magazine and when I was finished with my monthly issue, I’d put the copy in the cupboard in my classroom. They were available for students to pull and work their way through and the type of student that ends up taking computer science likes a good puzzle to solve.

Even better, if they sit down and write a computer program as a solution, you have to be impressed. Or, they’ll look at someone else’s code and just wonder “how did they do that”.


A conversation with Melanie

Thunder Bay’s biggest Melanie fan has to be Sheila Stewart and she writes about the interview conducted by Stephen Hurley on voicEd Radio with the artist. He uses the entire hour for a discussion with Melanie.

You can listen to the show here:

Look What They’ve Done To My Song ft. Melanie Safka

It’s a nice recognition to the effort that Stephen went to host the interview. Of course, this calls for a song or two.


Growing as an Artist

It was a real treat to see Colleen Rose back in action on her blog. I think we’ve all felt the strain of winter amplified by the fact that we have to stay home almost all the time.

With spring on the horizon, I think we’re looking forward to getting a number of things back into gear again. Colleen is constantly keeping her eyes open to the world around here and also beyond.

It’s the beyond that she features in this post and is the reality for so many artists these days – online exhibitions which only makes sense from a logistical point of view. The voice in the back of my head sees this as a way for traditional exhibitions to maybe grow and feature the work of even more artists than in the past.

The other part of her post brings in some technology as she goes online to connect and learn with others. Again, I can’t help but be impressed that good folks are doing that to connect and help each other.

Sure, it was always possible but did it really happen? Has our current reality opened opportunities that might now have happened otherwise? It’s always a feel good story when wonderful people I know get a chance to connect with other wonderful people.

Congratulations, Colleen.


Wrong again

Will Gourley probably never will be hired as a textbook salesperson based upon this quote in his most recent post…

I am choosing to avoid the prescribed resources from text book companies that have grown largely culturally irrelevant and unresponsive

All of this emerges from a discussion he has in this post about anti-racism and ways that he’s addressing it personally in addition to everything else that educators have to address in these times.

our roles have now expanded to include daily counselling on issues of mental health, experts at PPE, and classroom sanitizers extraordinaire. We have also become distance learning specialists, multi-modal lesson trailblazers, fearless conversationalists about issues of race and racism, and criticial thinkers on how to overcome and dismantle systemic racism and bias.

I can’t help but think that the anti-racism stance is even more important than ever and textbooks can be excused for not seeing what’s happening in our world – just turn on the 6:00 news at night and there’s yet another sad story to report. Is it time that the traditional paper textbook is just discarded and publishers move to online so they can keep pace and stay relevant?

In the meantime, Will’s description I suspect describes life for so many well meaning educators right now trying to do the very best in a world that just seems to be out to get you at every turn.


Of course, I’m writing this on the Thursday before the Friday that it’s published. I’ve double-checked the title and am humbled after reading all of these blogs posts yet again. I hope that you can find time to click through and read them all.

Then, follow these educators on Twitter.

  • Pav Wander – @PavWander
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Sue Bruyns – @sbruyns
  • Peter Cameron – @petectweets
  • Sheila Stewart – @SheilaSpeaking
  • Colleen Rose – @ColleenKR
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley

The Week in Ontario Edublogs


Live is great but can be a challenge to make happen. This Week in Ontario Edublogs, a live show, didn’t run this week. Stephen had another commitment. It happens every now and again and previously, we’d been able to record the show and just play it back as a podcast. We couldn’t even figure out how to do that this week so took a hiatus. We’ll be back next Wednesday.


And so it begins again…….

I’m going to lead off with this good news story from Richard Erdman.

Last week, I reflected on the latest post on his blog where he’s documenting his Cancer treatment story. It was a bad news/good news type of post. Bad in that his options were becoming limited; good in that he was hoping to get into a new treatment program at Princess Margaret Hospital.

So, the good news he reports is that he got accepted into the program and continues the sharing of what’s happening in his life. It’s an interesting reflection; hospitals are a challenge at times. But, as my former superintendent was fond of saying – “If you’re going to play by the rules, you have to play by all the rules.” That means more time visiting the hospital than ever for Richard.

He’s off to this new chapter in his journey and I know that you’ll join me in wishing him every bit of success with this new treatment.


[Movie Review] Zack Snyder’s Justice League: A Story of Heroes, Villains & Redemption.

I’ll admit. I grew up with the real and true Batman – Adam West! Who could forget the Batusi?

Actually, as a fan, I do like going back and watching Batman and Superman sequels from the 1940s. YouTube has them all!

I’ve also followed the genre? (is it really a genre?) up to today.

In this post, Anthony Perrotta introduces us to the latest in the long set of media, Zack Snyder’s Justice League. He comes across as a real fan in his writing. I haven’t watched the movie yet but I, too, have seen the talk about it on social media.

It will be viewed in the future at my house.


Join me at OAME 2021, May 17-21

Andrea McPhee is presenting a couple of sessions at the upcoming OAME Conference. Like many online conferences, it will be offered online. She’s doing one session live and one that’s prerecorded.

On the left: 20... 21... OAME Toronto. Equity Counts. On the right: Fidgets and Forks: Modelling Periodic Behaviour in Real-Time, Andrea McPhee, Jarvis C.I., TDSB, @Ms_McPhee. OAME/AOEM Annual Conference May 17-21, 2021. OAME2021.ca #OAME2021 #AOEM2021 Presenting on: Thurs., May 20 @ 4 PM

I can’t help but think back to a blog post that I wrote earlier this week about the need to change presentations to reflect these times. Over the past year, teachers have mastered the art of sit ‘n git and are ready to move on to better things.

It looks like Andrea will address this and her descriptor talks about all kinds of activities that she plans to talk about. Fidget spinners, tuning forks, … all of this could be presented in a play along format.

I wish her all the best and I hope that others are looking to present active learning events addressing so many people’s current realities, at a distance.


Some key priorities for education’s new normal

Charles Pascal’s newest post will have you thinking

Imagine it’s 2041 and a group of publicly educated 20-year-olds from across Ontario have been asked how they feel about the years they spent in school. The conversation is animated and positive. They say school made them feel like they belonged.

In the post, he addresses what he feels needs direct attention now and going forward. He starts with fighting racism and ends with the concept of a new plan for leadership and how that works.

In the middle are many other well thought out topics. When you look at them in their entirety, it reminds you that education is such a complicated enterprise. There is no one simple solution that we see in the media so often. You really do have to blame the media for their short summary clips and the politicians who play to it “We’ll spare no expense” – except in the most recent budget.

Many of Charles’ points can absolutely be addressed and they should be. They need to be addressed by highly aware teachers and leaders who refuse to accept that the current reality is good going forward.

In attention to his well presented topics, the comments including one from a former Education Minister, expands on his original premise. They add value to an already great post.

This post may well be the best educational reading that you can do for yourself if you are indeed concerned about where we’re headed. Do it.


What Are Your Magical Fairy Moments?

OK, so Aviva Dunsiger tagged me in this post which kind of made me want to read about it. She’s a kind person so I wasn’t worried that it was going to be bad but I do have a reputation to uphold! She tagged one of my blog posts. It turns out that the post was from 2016. Wow, she remembered? Either her or Google…

As Aviva always seems to do with my posts, I’m going to go off on a different tangent. Not that this isn’t a wonderful post full of pictures and thoughts but I can’t help but think that so many of us can be negative at times and it’s a piece of cake to do that these days.

Somehow, Aviva always manages to find the positive and in this case it’s a reminder of some of the great people that she’s had the chance to work alongside. In a time and era when it’s so easy to find problems, she looks for and promotes the great things.

Some of those great things were attributes that people just do because they’re genuinely good people. I want to meet them someday. But I’ve also had my share of genuinely good people in my career. I’m struck by Aviva’s use of the term “magical”. I’d be willing to bet that if someone approached these people or any educator for that matter and asked about their magic, they’d just get stared at.

I’ll bet that they don’t see what they’re doing (they’re just being themselves) as magic. It’s the effect that others see where the real magic lies. And that’s amazing in itself. I think of teachers who have worked their magic on me – I see the magic; they probably just thought they were doing their job.

Maybe everyone’s job is magic and it takes a post like Aviva’s to realize it.


Birds of a Feather….

From the ETFO Heart and Art Blog, Velvet Lacasse takes us on a flight.

Into Spring.

After a long winter, we’re ready to warm up and get on with the nice weather headed into summer. Velvet was looking for a way to incorporate that via dance in her classroom or whole school community. She came up with “flocking”.

Flocking is a type of movement improvisation, where the whole group mirrors each other’s movement. Students can be organized in a straight line or in the shape of a diamond. In flocking, there is one student who leads a movement, which is followed by the other students.

She could have stopped the post there and it would have been very inspirational. But she goes over the top when she ties it to Land Acknowledge and Indigenous application of gratitude.

She explains the Thanksgiving Address, Bear Song, and Medicine Wheel teachings and what it means to her. It’s an inspiration read for great thinking and took me to places I didn’t expect.


The 500 – #378 – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? – Oasis

I’m so glad that I found John Hodgkinson’s ongoing series of blog posts talking about the greatest 500 albums of all time. The list and his discussion take me back to great music that I hadn’t run across for a while. This post is from Oasis.

Back I went to enjoy some great music.

I love this stuff.

Better, I enjoy exploring the original music videos on YouTube. Even better than that, I really appreciate reading John’s reflection on the songs and artists.


Even though we didn’t have the radio version discussing these blog posts, you can still click through and enjoy them.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Richard Erdmann – @rerdmann
  • Anthony Perrotta – @aperrottatweets
  • Andrea McPhee – @Ms_McPhee
  • Charles Pascal – @CEPascal
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Velvet Lacasse – @velvet_lacasse
  • John Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher