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

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

This Week’s voicEd Radio Show

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

And a Good Friday morning to all readers. Check out these great posts from Ontario Edubloggers. The first five were talked about on the voicEd Radio show and the other two are bonus posts.

Does everything have to be a lesson or is everything always a lesson?

I hate that Elizabeth had to write this post. It’s happened to all of us; someone (in this case, Elizabeth) drops into a class to see some unpredictable behaviours. In this case, it was conversations happening between students and the regular teacher felt compelled to apologize for it.

She didn’t see things as out of control but, in teacher form, shares with us a list of things that were happening in the classroom from her perspective. I hope that she shared them with the teacher or that the teacher drops by her blog to read.

All of this was beside the point that got me hooked on the post. It was about a student who needed to be a helper in the library and was often there to sort the Legos. Even if the activity wasn’t necessarily needed, she would do a job on them so that there was a task for the student. That brought a smile to my face. Nothing like that appears on anyone’s job descriptor but sometimes things like that are absolutely necessary.

And sometimes, kids just need to talk to each other.

Money Saving Tips For Teachers

Who doesn’t like to save a few bucks here and there? These days, with inflation and most certainly gasoline prices, this is a post worth the read to get some inspiration from some of the fifteen ideas contained in there.

The ideas aren’t limited exclusively to teachers and, if nothing else, it will give you a chance to do a partial inventory of your spending habits and see if there’s something in there that speaks to you.

There are some smaller ideas (bringing your own bags) but then there are some big ideas that could save a whack of money – like evaluating how many paid streaming services that you have subscribed to. Sometimes getting out of commitments can be a hassle but, in the long run, if it ends up with more money in your pocket, it’s worth it.

I was pleased to see that I’d already done some of the ideas but there are a few that will take some consideration. I like extra money in my pocket.

Questioning our Current School Calendar

But we’ve always done it this way.

How many times have we heard that. In the post, Amy takes a look at three difference scenarios for timetabling a school year, taking into consideration many things but certainly driven by religious days.

  • normal
  • balanced
  • inclusive

Is it time to shake things up a bit? I found it to be a nice discussion and yet there are so many things in place that make the “normal” school year pretty difficult to change. When you have school districts sharing busing for example, that makes two of them that have to be in agreement on any change.

I thought that her demographic display and information was worth the read even if changing the entire year turns out to be difficult.

But, not impossible if there is a will…

What Blogging Can Lead to…

Magical things.

Remember my post about getting some manicotti?

The life of a teacher can be hectic. There’s working all day; being a parent before and after school; lesson planning, etc. And yet, Jen has been able to do these and to sit down in the evening to do some additional writing as a little side hustle.

The post is a nice teacher story and yet she leaves us hanging and wanting to know how this story ends. She doesn’t follow the job to a conclusion, leaving it for others.

It also brought back memories of me writing for someone else only to have editors and proofreaders go through and butcher my masterpiece.

Life is so much easier when you write for your own blog and live with the errors or go back and edit things later!

She nails the value of blogging with

Here, I just write like how I talk

The Power of “Thank You”

When I saw Melissa’s title, I thought that she was going to write about saying “thank you” to members of her educational community. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

It’s about when people say thanks to you, personally.

Sometimes it’s vocal but other times, it can be a card or a gift. A wise person told me once to collect all those things and bring them out to look at when you feel that the world isn’t treating you properly. They can be a reminder that you definitely had a positive influence at some point.

These days, you just might want to take a look through your own portfolio and use the artifacts as a pick-me-up. It’s a simple concept but Melissa’s thoughts will make you feel pretty good.

After all, teachers do good things and sometimes it’s really appreciated by others.

The Arts

Art is powerful. Whether through music, dance, drama, or visual arts, it has the ability to take us to other worlds, giving us a glimpse into the experiences of others.

I couldn’t agree more with this statement from Arianna. Even geeky old me has dabbled into the arts to the level that I have the ability for. There is just something motivatingly different about picking up a guitar and noodling around.

In the post, Arianna shares with us two upcoming opportunities for classrooms.


We all know that reflection is good at the end of any task. Often, it can be personal and something that you and your inner self come to grips with.

In this case, Mike shares his thoughts openly in a blog post. It wouldn’t be fair for me to comment on any of his thoughts since reflections are meant to be personal. But they are interesting.

There is a deeper message that affects all of us and that’s taking on something new and innovative over the past couple of years hasn’t been easy. Somehow, that needs to be factored into any reflection and, in Mike’s case, it’s more than just COVID.

Please take some time to read and enjoy these posts. Then, follow these bloggers on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Kristy – @twopeasandadog
  • Amy Bowker – @amyebowker 
  • Jen Aston – @mmejaston
  • Melissa Turnbull – @missmturnbull
  • Arianna Lambert – @MsALambert
  • Mike Washburn – @misterwashburn

The voicEd Radio show can be listened to here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Please take some time to enjoy these wonderful posts from Ontario Edubloggers. You’ll be glad you did!

Getting Ready for Destreaming

These are the show notes for podcast 81 from the EduGals. Before I get to them, a big acknowledgement needs to go out to appreciate their podcasting efforts. They’re now two years into their efforts putting out interesting content regularly. That’s pretty impressive when you consider they both have full time jobs.

I was drawn in by the title. As all know, Mathematics was destreamed for Grade 9 this year and Science comes next this fall. That’s four months in the future.

I was disappointed that they didn’t have insights and specific things to deal with with the new curriculum. Truthfully, it’s not their fault; the curriculum hasn’t been released yet. At this point, it’s just speculation about what might be coming. In the podcast and the show notes, they do talk about some of the best of breed techniques that will go far to supporting people in these new classrooms. It’s not just science; it’s good stuff to apply everywhere.

I thought there was huge value in the list of people and resources to reach out to so that you’re not starting from square one in the fall.

With COVID, we haven’t had much discussion about these topics so I was really pleased to read and listen to the podcast. They are doing their best to stay on top of things. Join them.

Attention and Focus in the Classroom

It was awesome to see Jennifer back at the keyboard. As she notes in the post, there have been other things that have been keeping her off her game. I hope that melting snow and more sunlight can really help out.

What I think is so powerful is that Jennifer doesn’t lecture us about focus and attention but rather shares her personal observations about her own classroom. Your mileage may vary.

She identifies what’s happening when students aren’t paying attention and what’s happening when they are and shares strategies that she’s using to have more success with the latter.

I found that it’s a reminder that the most important person in the room is the teacher who does her best to set the stage for quality learning situations.

I like to think that we’re all thoughtful and reflective but I’ve always maintained that you take it to the next level when you share it publically. There’s just something so powerful about putting your reflections into words and sharing htem, hoping that you get feedback and make yourself better by doing so.

There’s your challenge to read her post and connect with Jennifer.

Food Or No Food? Re-Thinking Our Fairy Bakery.

If I had to relive my kindergarten years, I think I’d want to be in Paula and Aviva’s class. Not only do they set the stage for innovative play, but they do it thoughtfully considering all kinds of external things.

Into the discussion this time around, Aviva brings in the concept of fasting which has impacts on students and classrooms and can’t be ignored. Even though they have no students celebrating Ramadan, it is forefront in her mind as she embarks on this unit.

The centre for this discussion is the “Fairy Bakery” which includes a provocation dealing with doughnuts and she had pictures of Krispy Kremes. Is there such a thing in Ontario at this time? I know that there was one store in Windsor a while back but it’s now closed. And, after further checking, there are still a few in Ontario –

That side diversion took me away from Aviva’s post for a bit but I did come back. In typical Aviva fashion, there are lots of pictures of this activity and a great deal of her thinking that will inspire you as well.

…and in this corner

Writing on the ETFO Heart and Art blog, Will shares some of his thinking about how the lifting of the mask mandate has affected his school. It must be satisfying to see that most of his students continue to wear masks.

Sadly, we’re not getting official figures from the Provincial Government. I suppose the political thought is ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Yet, all that you have to do is turn on the evening news and you’ll find out that there are other ways of testing and reporting numbers in the province and these reports tell us that the numbers are not good.

The removal of required masking, limited cohorting, mandatory hand sanitizing protocols, and social distancing have not provided me with the peace of mind that the return of such “freedoms” pretends to promise.

I’ll admit that I truly was hoping that things would return more to normal two weeks after the March Break but it doesn’t seem to be happening with the speed that would make one feel comfortable.

I’m betting that Will speaks for so many teachers that go into that situation every day. At least in the Public School system.


Vera’s post took me back to my days at the Faculty of Education where we spent time drafting out own philosophies based upon years as a student and a couple of weeks out practice teaching. We were experts. Not.

We were told that it was a personal thing and would drive up professionally. So, I did some sort of naive gesture and tucked it away in a binder. I think we all develop our own philosophies and they will evolve over time. I will admit that I used to turn to it in preparation for a new school year or an interview. I found that it did indeed ground me.

I felt for Vera as she said that she was asked about her philosophy during an interview. I could just see myself stuttering ‘ba ba ba ba’.

The experience inspired her to revisit things and she shares it with this blog post. The nice thing about blogging is that you can also include comics!

Outdoor Education – Resource Guide, 2022

Just in time for some exciting outdoor education possbilities.

If the snow would ever just give up, there are amazing things to be seen and smelled outside as spring comes in. It’s my favourite time of year.

For TDSB educators, this post automatically takes them to resources that are collected and that’s a good thing for them. For others, maybe check to see if your district has licensed them or make a suggestion that they go ahead and do so.

The 500 – #323 – Ghost In The Machine – The Police

I’m a big fan of these top 500 albums blog posts that appear on Marc’s blog. He’s taking me to places that I hadn’t though about for a while and I truly appreciate that.

This post was a big different – Marc didn’t write it but one of his students, Austin, did.

What would a student know about Ghost in the Machine?

I made the connection to his observation immediately. I hadn’t thought of that computer game for a long time but Austin’s insight clicked.

This brought a smile …

My age at release: Mr. Hodgkinson was 16, I wasn’t born

Just because you were late to the game doesn’t mean that you can’t do a review and I thought that Austin did a great job. What a writing inspiration!

I wonder … would other teachers let students post to their blog?

Please take the time to click through and enjoy these posts and then follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Edugals – @EduGals
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @JCasaTodd
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Vera Teschow – @schlagzeug_usw
  • TDSB Professional Library -@ProfLibraryTDSB
  • Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher

This week’s voicEd show…