This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Happy New Year!

I’m happy to note that we’re off to a great start for 2021 and blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. I hope that you can take some time to enjoy these.


The Value Of

Maybe the best part of 2021 will be an opportunity to reflect on 2020. In education and society in general, it was awful.

Beth Lyons takes a look back at the value of various things that are important to her.

  • hug
  • partner
  • network
  • passion

Hugs to you Beth. This certainly was an emotional post to start 2021 off for me and not only is that OK, I think it’s appropriate.


Presents and P3s

A real tribute comes when someone borrows a great idea and turns it into something special for themselves. This was the case for Diana Maliszewski. She had participated in a P3 for Noa’s podcast and used the concept with her own students. I had done that as well. It was fun and makes you think very carefully about your choices because Noa plays them and then probes you to explain your choices.

I had to do a scroll through Noa’s Wixsite in order to look for it since there’s no search function. Normally, I would back out to DuckDuckGo and let it find things for me. But, this little side venture showed me the who’s who that Noa had participated. It turns out that I couldn’t find it there but did find it on the voicEd site and the link is above.

I couldn’t help but think that there would be incredible value of doing this with students as I scrolled through Noa’s list. I know some of these people and some other’s just by reputation, and some not at all. Despite the level of knowing, they all had interesting stories to tell. So, why not do it with students.

It made Diana’s effort seem extra worthwhile.


Preparing our New Teachers

The title from Terry Whitmell’s post indicated that I had to read this. After all, how the heck do you “prepare” teachers in this day and age.

I was “prepared” in better times and was cocky as heck going into my first placement while at the Faculty. After all, I had a Bachelor degree and some of the best lecturers and computer environments in the world. I could dumb it down a bit and still be terrific.

Of course, I was completely wrong and humbled by the experience. Later, teaching at a Faculty of Education myself, I knew that you could never explain that to students until they had their first placement. They got it then.

In this post, Terry reminds us that the stakes are far different these days. Teacher candidates face:

  • teach fully online
  • traditional classrooms
  • hybrid settings
  • and the most challenging – physical and health education

It’s an interesting discussion. Learning to be a teacher is a challenge in normal times; I can only envision the challenges of today.


Friday Two Cents: Comic Strips: No Smoking

I remember doing a lot of research (and it was a great deal of fun) working with Comic Life when we were considering it for licensing during my term on the OSAPAC Committee.

We eventually ended up recommending that the Ministry purchase a license for Ontario Schools and it was received incredibly well by teachers and students. In many cases, it became the go to story retelling tool and it also made for terrific graphics for presentations.

Paul Gauchi shares with us his enjoyment of creating using comics and shares a December comic about smoking.

If you’re not using comics in the classroom, maybe it’s time to reconsider during these crazy times.


5 Ideas for Making Spirits Bright

This post, from Jennifer Casa-Todd, was released before Christmas and I’m sure that the ideas that she shares were inspired just for that.

  • Personalized Holiday Wishes
  • What I Like About You
  • Help Others in Need
  • Soup
  • The Masked Educator

As I read her post, I am truly understanding of the topic in context of the holiday season. It comes during a time of the year when people typically need a pick-me-up.

I can’t help thinking though that there’s no harm in extending this into 2021. Particularly around here, it’s been dark and lousy days; the type I remember going into work not seeing sun and leaving not seeing sun. In my mind, the inspiration that Jennifer uses in these ideas could easily be used right now.

She also uses the post to launch her new podcast.


Capital “H”, Hybrid #SOL2020

I absolutely love this post from Melanie White. You should read it and really think deeply about what she’s saying.

It actually dovetails nicely with Terry’s post above.

I will admit that I actually have a pretty good collection of computer skills, amassed over the years. It helped me in my job and I was able to focus on other things – not computer or technical things – but just how to teach better, recognizing students differences, etc. I can remember working them into presentations and one hurtful comment when dealing with a non-technical issue “that’s easy for you to say because you know computers” from a participant that had taken exception to me working on something other than a computer thing.

As with all of Melanie’s excellent post, you’ll read it a few times and pick up something new each time that will give you some insights.

But, the big thing in Melanie’s message about Hybrid teaching is just what you should consider the “H” in Hybrid to mean.


ODE TO OZYMANDIAS – KITCHEN RENO 2020

Confession – I had to look up “OZYMANDIAS”.

Alanna King is always worth a good read. She often takes you into places that you had no idea that you might enjoy.

This time, it’s a about a kitchen renovation.

It’s a lovely read and comes complete with pictures.

I just hope that she gave the contractor a little more specific details because this could end badly if not!


So, we’re off and running with great content from Ontario Edubloggers for 2021.

I hope that you can find time to click through and enjoy these posts. As always, there’s so much inspiration there.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Beth Lyons – @MrsLyonsLibrary
  • Diana Maliszewski – @mzmollytl
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Melanie White – @whiteroomradio
  • Alanna King – @banana29

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I know that there’s a big sigh of relief across the land for today. Congratulations for all the effort that it has taken to get this far and I wish all readers the best for the holiday. As usual, here’s a great collection of recent writing from Ontario Edubloggers.


The Journey Continues

I’ve followed Beth Lyons all year with her one word that she’s taken month by month as opposed to the year long choice others have made.

She wrestled with a word for December

  • teacher
  • decenter

And gives really good reasons for not selecting them.

Sadly, she questions her effectiveness as a teacher-librarian in these days as things are completely different. Things have changed a bit and she’s being called into action a little more so feels good about that. But, my dear Beth, everyone is feeling challenged and frustrated at every turn. I think we all know that you’re giving the same 125% that all educators are and that should never minimize your feelings about your impact. It’s different for everyone.

Anyway, click through to read the word that she finally chose for the last month of the year.


Writing in front of them

Man, I loved this post from Amanda Potts. I’d like to meet this Torin who missed out!

Beyond that, though, we’ve all had embarrassing moments that have us turning red in front of students. Amanda’s story is done in the best of educational pedagogy and yet had an interesting turn.

She could have turtled but decided that she’d gone too far to turn back and became very frank in front of her students.

The result? She claims that her students turned in some of their most honest writing work. You’ve got to like that.

And, you can’t help but think that the same results would never have happened if her lesson had been the sort of contrived activity that didn’t result in embarrassment!


LearningInTheLoo: Scan to Email

This will bring a smile to your face.

Given a loophole in the use of washrooms at her school, Laura Wheeler was back at providing professional learning activities while taking care of things when nature calls. I’m making a leap here assuming that people don’t go to the washroom just for the PD.

The activity is something that every educator should know.

A networked photocopier can do more than print copies to paper.

In this case, Laura shows staff how they can scan to email and then take care of content electronically. Not only is it an efficient way of handling things, think of the paper that can be saved.

And, managing files can be easier than binderizing sheets of paper.


Earth Day: Call for Submissions 2021

As a result of this post from Jessica Outram, I’ve added a new word to my vocabulary.

eChapbook

It’s an initiative that she started last year and it marries the concept of poetry and Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Learning from the Earth”.

Click through to read about the initiative, how to participate, and the rules with timelines.

I can’t help but think that there might be huge interest in this so help a colleague out, read the post, and share it with others.


Overjoyed – A Christmas Tale with an Ed-Tech Twist

Like Amanda’s post above, there are things that prove that teachers and students are human after all.

Terry’s post brought back some memories of my own as a student and as a teacher when it comes to Christmas assemblies.

The memory in this case – overhead projectors and Christmas song lyrics. Somehow, the classic “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night enters the picture!


Treadmills Near Me

It’s a gazillion dollar industry so you might find it bizarre that there is a person that doesn’t like a treadmill. Other than me, there’s Matthew Morris.

I’ll be honest; we had one in our bedroom and it became a place to hang clothes. It was purchased with the best of intentions for getting fit. Or, at least getting moving.

Quite frankly, it’s boring and my bad knee just became worse from using it. We ended up giving it to my daughter along with our best wishes. I should ask her how it’s going.

If you ever wondered if someone could paint a story about a treadmill, you’ll be interested to read this post from Matthew.

I wonder what he feels about dog walking. It’s an exercise that you can’t put off. At least three times a day.


In the Midst of Life . . .

Slow death and muffled grief

Joan Vinall-Cox shares some writing and an image that really hit me emotionally.

It hit at close to the same time as the news of the issues at Schlegel Villages.

Joan, this is a powerful piece and I know that you didn’t write it with me in mind but you hit me right between the eyes.


Please take some time to click through and read these wonderful blog posts.

Then, make sure that you follow these folks (and their blogs) on Twitter.

  • Beth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
  • Terry Greene – @greeneterry
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Joan Vinall-Cox – @JoanVinallCox

This post is from:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I’m still saddened by the lack of Hallowe’en things in parts of the province as laid out by the Premier last week. Hallowe’en is the last fun event before Christmas and was always a day that I looked forward to as a child. Even in areas like around here where we aren’t the recipient of the mandate from him, everyone is encouraged to find alternatives.

Since it’s a Friday, I’d like to share with you some great blog posts that I read recently and would encourage you to check them out yourselves. As always, if you’re an Ontario Edublogger, let me know; I’d love to add you to the collection.


Why “Time” Matters …

If you follow Aviva Dunsiger on social media, you know that this time of year, she follows the “Snails Across the Curriculum” resource. Amidst all this, she shares a story about the importance of time and how she and her partner are reminding each other to slow down so that students have more time on task.

It’s an interesting piece of advice but I’d like to see it further extended that their classroom.

Personally, in these COVID days, I find myself rushed all the time. And for no particular reason. In normal times, I linger while grocery shopping and I impulse buy; I like to browse the aisles at the LCBO; and, as I’ll talk about later, I’ll spend all kinds of time wandering bookstores when we’re at the mall.

These days, though, there’s none of that. I’ve got the floor plans of any place I’m going in to memorized and I’m basically in and out with what I had planned to do. Nothing more or nothing less. I haven’t even experimented with a new wine.

Aviva’s post and her stories about snails have got me doing a personal reality check. Maybe it’s time to slow down a bit and think about what I’m missing while I’m in such a rush. The things we learn from snails.


Month 1: Done

For Lisa Corbett, the month of September flew past. I’m hearing the same thing from all kinds of people. With all the angst that abounds, schools are now in the second month of the educational year.

Time flies when you’re having fun!

She shares some of the ways that she plans for curriculum – on her own and with personal experiences – and some of the things that have been covered in the mathematics classroom. I was a bit surprised when she talked about the use of manipulatives; many others are finding more pen and paper ways of doing things. But, we know from past experience that there’s so much more insight that can be had with hands-on activities. Yet, it’s not life as usual with them as she describes the nightly routine that she goes through to make sure they’re disinfected for the next day.

Next up – robots from the Education Centre. I wonder how you sterilize a robot?


How are you doing? Making time to check in

As I read this post from Jennifer Casa-Todd, I was reminded of an incident in my first or second year of teaching. I was walking outside the English hallway and met one of the teachers.

Me: “How are you doing?”

Him: “Why? Do you really care?”

I don’t recall what my response was but I hope that I was nice. I shared the experience with a colleague who left me know “Oh, that’s so and so”. He’s like that.

For me, it was never like that before or since. The moment still sticks with me as a result.

I still will asked people how they’re doing when I run into them. I do kind of care.

Jennifer’s post reminds us that it’s important to do these check-ins and they’re obviously much more serious these days. She shares her thoughts about the importance of doing this and also a Google document template that you can borrow and modify to make it unique to you. It’s certain to take on more importance as more classes go online. She’ll even take you to the level of mindfulness and its importance.

I hope that it’s reciprocated and that friends and colleagues are also checking in on Jennifer.


Cataloging and Comprehending

I felt compelled to include this post from Melanie White since she mentioned me! and also came down on the side of Elizabeth Lyons and centred writing!

But, I’ll be honest; I’ve read the post probably a dozen times and I’m sure that the message that she intends still eludes me.

Despite that, there still were some takeaways for me – I now know the word “chiasmus” although I’m not sure how I’d use it – and I really like the paradox that she talks about with her Grade 12 students and

the ability to intellectually hold two contradictory ideas which can both be simultaneously true;

That pretty much sums up two party politics in a nutshell.

Maybe if I’d become a librarian, I would have had some better insights to the rest of her post!


Impact/Moments

Speaking of Elizabeth Lyons, this post outlines another cheat of hers in the “one word” for the year activity that many educators take on. She’s already diverged by insisting on “one word” per month for 2020 except for October where she’s taking on the two words in the title to the post.

And she rationalizes it nicely.

Imagine being a teacher-librarian in a school. In a normal year, you’re fully booked with classes coming in for research, book exchange, readings, technology, and teachers coming in for curriculum planning assistance.

The traditional isn’t happening this year but Elizabeth is still trying to make a similar or better impact this year. The opportunities may not be as scheduled or as planned but moments that they become available are her opportunity to make her presence known.

So, the combination makes absolute sense here.


How to be an Anti-Racist in a Bookstore

This post from Matthew Morris might have been about me. It was his observation of an older white man in a bookstore. Matthew shared his thoughts about just what this man might be.

I checked so many of the boxes.

  • blue jeans. Absolutely. I don’t know that I actually have any others anymore except for some really dressy ones for fancy occasions. Except, my wife would never iron my blue jeans
  • plaid shirt. Maybe, although since the weather is cooler these days, it’s more likely a sweatshirt but definitely something comfortable
  • grey hair and glasses – check
  • cottage – no
  • mid-size sedan – does a Ford Fusion count? Check? I bought mine used
  • football – yes; golf – not for years – a real divergent here
  • green lawn – yes, but by dumb luck; I don’t water
  • retired – check

Matthew was surprised to see this man in the “community and culture” section. That could be me. For me, book stores are a place where I can go without an agenda. It’s just a nice place to spend time and just wander aimlessly throughout just looking at book titles and covers.

The part that I think that went missing was that Matthew didn’t stop and talk with the man as it sounds like he wanted to. I can’t help but think that that was an opportunity lost for both of them.

But that would be too judgmental. I put myself in Matthew’s shoes and I could understand standing back and doing nothing.


Unpacking the Invisible White Backpack in a Time of Black Lives Matter

Matthew’s post brought back a memory of this one from Deborah Weston. I’m wondering that if my comments about Matthew’s post don’t come from within my own personal Invisible White Backpack.

My knowledge of my family tree doesn’t go back very far, nowhere near what she describes in the post. I know where three of my grandparents came from – Denmark, Germany, and Great Britain and that’s about it. It never occurred to me in my younger days to dig deeper and maybe that’s because it didn’t matter. I was born in Ontario and I like to think I fit in nicely into my community.

As Deborah’s husband notes:

 He knows that White people have more privilege and “it has always been that way.”

I found it interesting to read Deborah sharing her heritage and her understanding about appearances and fitting into society. A great takeaway from her post though are the activities and resources about the topic that she shares.


Please do take some time and read the blog posts from these great Ontario Edubloggers. There’s so much there.

Then, make sure that you’re following them on Twitter.

  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Matthew Morris – @callmemrmorris
  • Deborah Weston – @DPAWestonPhD

This post appears on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Greetings from my remote location – in my house. If you’ve listened to the voicEd Radio show on Wednesday mornings, you’ll know that I’ve been bumped from Studio A to Studio B because of a bathroom renovation. I’m on a different computer, different network, but I did bring my chair to sit at this relatively small desk. So, I’m good to go but am staring at a wall instead of looking outside on this beautiful Fall day. Here’s my weekly wander around the province looking at Ontario Education blogs.

The voicEd Radio archive of This Week in Ontario Edublogs podcasts is located here.


Teachers Are Still Rocking It-

It’s easy to read about the challenges that Ontario (and everywhere) teachers are having as school buildings re-open in the time of COVID. It’s less easy to find something motivational but Michelle Fenn does in this post on the ETFO Heart and Art Blog.

It’s great to read that educators from her district are interested in refining their technology and pedagogy abilities on their own time during the summer and now continuing into the evenings.

She draws a parallel in education to a series that she watched on Netflix about an exploration to Mars and the unexpected things they found. I’ll bet that describes your classroom.

It’s a good read and she mentions something that needs to be repeated and repeated. It doesn’t lessen our opinions of doctors, nurses, firefighters, grocery and other store and service workers but

Every educator is a front line worker, doing their best, making a difference, being brave beyond imagination and truly an inspiration.

I challenge all readers to repeat that on social and other media often.


A Dichotomy of Words

Elizabeth Lyons gives us a lesson in language in this post all tied to education’s current realities. As she notes, “dichotomy” is a word that we don’t use all that often. But, it was the inspiration for this post as she shares what she sees as dichotomies in our current reality.

  • Masks or no masks?
  • Physically distanced students or collapsed classes?
  • 1m vs 2m?
  • Online learning or face-to-face?
  • Hand sanitizer or soap and water?
  • Google Classroom or Brightspace?

Then, she takes off and gives her interpretation of each.

It’s an interesting read and important that it’s from the keyboard of an educator. We see these terms used casually by those in politics and on the evening news. Their true meaning goes much deeper.


“Somewhere the Hurting Must Stop” – Terry Fox

Patti Henderson is an incredible photographer and a valued person that I’ve met through my social connections and I’ve had the chance to meet her in person a couple of times.

I will apologize up front though; I went to her blog and looked at the pictures and was captivated and blown away with what I saw. I’ve mentioned it many times that artists like Patti see things that I miss. Certainly, this sticks out for me in this photo essay.

It wasn’t until I got to the bottom and saw the map that I realize that this wasn’t some sort of random collection of images. She had participated in a Terry Fox run/hike and took pictures along the way. I even thought that she had taken a picture of the set for Kim’s Convenience until I realized that there are thousands of corner stores in this world.

The pictures and her corresponding commentary puts the whole experience into perspective. Thank you, Patti, for doing this.


Body Breaks at Your Desk – for students too!

In a perfect world, there is so much movement in the classroom. Even when students are writing a test or a quiz, you’re up and walking around. This is certainly not a perfect world and people are supposed to sit at desks for the most part of the school day.

Laura Wheeler takes on this notion and lets us know that there are things that can be done to get the blood moving even in the current reality.

In the post, she explains why it’s important to have some movement in the classroom and shares a playlist of activities she’s curated to be done during breaks.

This is yet another example of how educators are seeing puzzle pieces strewn on the classroom floor and are taking the time to put them all back together. Using this metaphor, I think that it’s important to realize that you may have to smack some of those pieces to make them fit at times.


The 500 – #404 – Dr. John’s Gumbo – Dr. John

I really enjoy this series of blog posts from John Hodgkinson as he takes us through a list of great 500 albums. I hadn’t through of Dr. John for a while and when I do, I think naturally about

The song would be so important in our current time and place. If nothing else, turn up the volume and play it loud.

It’s not on this album (Iko Iko is) but there are great tunes nonetheless.

John gives us a description of the influences in Dr. John’s music including the connection to voodoo. It’s an interesting read and, he’s inspired to think about how to greet students in his classroom.

  • Everything is an influence for good or bad. I’ll remind my young charges to be mindful of the world around them and tap into its inspiration.
  • The teen-years are a fertile time for passionate pursuits…pursue your passions.
  • I will continue to foster the academic and artistic pursuits of my students. Unlike Mac’s Jesuit teachers, I’ll never give them an ultimatum.
  • Persevere and Adapt. Challenges are opportunities for greatness in disguise.
  • Quirky, flamboyant, wild and weird are positive descriptions. Be what you are meant to be … Let your freak flags fly!

Some inspirational thoughts here. Could you use them?


Networking in a Pandemic (key to survival)

OK, I love anything that Zoe Branigan-Pipe writes and when I’m in the first sentence of her post, I’m over the top!

My favourite Beauty and the Beast photo from a OSLA Superconference where led the Great OSLA Faceoff

I’m glad that I wrote that reflection post about my experience. In her response, Zoe takes us through her network and the value that it brings to her. I’m impressed with how our networks overlap.

If you’re new to networking or if you’d like to tweak your own network, take an opportunity to “meet” those in her post. You can only get better connected when you include them in yours.

In closing, hi Zoe, you’re not the only one to read your post and we’ll hold you to your promise of blogging at least once a week!


Commiserating With Others Over Their Technology Woes

Finally, back to the Heart and Art blog and a post from Tammy Axt.

This is another photo essay – about teaching this time. Technology works well except when it doesn’t.

Tammy is teaching in a hybrid environment and so is being observed with a couple different set of student lenses and everything just needs to work.

What happens when it doesn’t? It happens for all of us. I can just image the Help Desk at her district when she sends in these images to report problems.


I hope that you will take the time to click through and read these terrific blog posts. There’s great stuff there for all.

Then, make sure you’re following all these people on Twitter.

  • Michelle Fenn – @toadmummy
  • Elizabeth Lyons – @MrsLyonsLibrary
  • Patti Henderson – @GingerPatti
  • Laura Wheeler – @wheeler_laura
  • John Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Zoe Branigan-Pipe – @zbpipe
  • Tammy Axt – @MsAxt

This post appears first on:

https://dougpete.wordpress.com

If you read it anywhere else, it’s not the original.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Not surprisingly, there is a focus on teaching in these troubled times on the posts from Ontario Edubloggers. I’ve tried to bring a bunch of them together for your Friday and weekend reading.


One Size Fits All, Even When It Doesn’t

Tim King leads off with a confession that he has a big head. I hadn’t noticed. The point of Tim’s post was that he requires a medical mask and couples that with sinus issues to make things ugly. The mask isn’t sized to accommodate him and that makes for an uncomfortable day.

Couple that with the life of a technology teacher in a warm shop area setting up and dealing with the tech and you get the picture that he’s trying to paint.

The plot thickens as the topic turns to computer technology and his need to fix things so that his students have a place to work. Renewed Computer Technology of Ontario may be part of the answer to his dilemma of getting parts these days.

Then, there’s the whole concept of the long, extended class periods and the need for a break …

I suspect that Tim speaks for hundreds of educators across the province.


I’m on the phone

Amanda Potts tells of a story that I can only interpret as loneliness in the days of school building re-opening.

So, we know that social distancing is the rule these days but this is how it plays out for an LST.

“Hello, this is Amanda Potts, calling from Canterbury High School. I’m your child’s Learning Support Teacher this year. Is this a good time to talk about their IEP?”

It’s just her and parents on these calls when she gets a request from a colleague. Of course, it’s from a distance but can’t be entertained as she’s setting the stage for her parents and the students she’ll be supporting.

Although I’m sure that it adds another level of concern, I like the fact that she’s concerned about family life as she calls to talk to parents.

I just have this vision of going into B41 and working on things in the summer all by myself. A school or a classroom without students is really a lonely place.


School Online – Journal – Day 12

Terry Whitmell has a collection of blog posts that’s documenting her experiences and observations for re-opening in her part of the world. She is one of a team of principals for online learning in Peel.

I think we’ve all read and heard about stories of teachers who didn’t have classes or timetables ready to go. Here’s a look from the other side.

However, with student timetables a priority, the entry of teachers next to courses didn’t begin until near the end of the day, and is ongoing as I write.

I used to help our principal and vice-principal with timetabling and conflicts can be maddening. Sometimes, it takes a second set of eyes to see something that was staring right at you! She also takes into consideration teacher preferences. It’s an interesting read – particularly if you think that it’s all computerized and all that’s necessary is to click on GO to make the magic happen.

Of course, there are all the technical nerdy things that students will have to learn like the choice of LMS and video conferencing software – I can’t believe that the system offers a choice. Despite that, her wish is for community building first.


Friday Two Cents: Be Grateful

Lest we think that it’s just teachers and principals that are affected with everything that’s going on, Paul Gauchi reminds us that there are others in the system too.

He’s a long term occasional teacher and has been watching the comments coming from teachers in the classroom.

However, the more I read posts on social media and hear stories from them, the more I cannot be silent.

He’s taking on those who have complained about:

  • having to wear PPE
  • having collapsed classrooms
  • teaching a new grade level

and reminds us that there are many out there still looking to get hired.


Managing virtual and in-person synchronous instruction

I’m not the only one who uses dog-walking time to do some thinking. Jennifer Casa-Todd recently did the same sort of thing. She’s collaborating with a group of teacher-librarians to provide a resource for their teachers, doing their teaching online. I’m hoping that she looks at the resource that Elizabeth Lyons created (and I shared on this blog earlier this week). It would be a nice product to replicate and provide additional local resources.

She brings into the conversation a number of technical solutions, all the while in typical Jennifer style, keeping students at the centre of the conversation.

  • Peardeck
  • Padlet
  • Jamboard

Those are leading products in their genre but certainly aren’t the only ones.


Why Do We Share As We Do?

I enjoyed reading this post from Aviva Dunsiger. It’s a question that people asked “back in the day” when social media was new as a way to justify diving in.

In her post, Aviva shares her reasons for sharing

  • We share this way because it allows kids and families to benefit from each other’s thinking and learning
  • We share this way because it encourages the social
  • We share in this way because it helps us remember and celebrate the positives!
  • We share in this way because of the implied message that it also sends
  • If all thinking and learning is just kept private, what do our actions say about our beliefs?

I actually read her post when it first came out – because she had tagged me in the announcement (I do appreciate it when that happens) – and I had written a reply that I continue to stand by.

We share because it makes us more observant to what is going on and we share so that we don’t forget.

To me, the proof lies in the actual implementation. Right now, I just picked up my MacBook Pro and I’m in search of a Twitter message that I shared this morning about the new Safari so that I can poke around. I was using a Chromebook when I read the original message.

My original share may not mean anything to others but it’s a chance to share my learning with anyone who cares to join me and now I get the benefit myself by going back and finding it.

There was a time when I would just bookmark it and go back but I’ve learned that that approach teeters on selfishness. If it’s good for me, it has the potential to be good for others.

That may have been the first time ever I’ve used the word “teeter”.


Push & Pull

Finally, from Alexandra Woods, a post that will break your heart. It’s not unique to her; I just happened to read hers first. It’s from the perspective of a mother and teacher.

She had a moment with her son that caused her to pause and focus on what’s really important.

Teaching is all-encompassing and professionals are doing their very best to make sure that it’s going to be positive for students. Kudos for that; that’s what good teachers do.

And yet, there’s another factor in all this and that’s the family at home. Those of us who are parents know that we turn over these little ones to someone else for the time spent at work teaching. In a normal world, the time spent not teaching is easier to manage but many teachers are observing that teaching and planning to teach is creeping into that time not officially devoted to working.

There’s always this sense that you should be doing more and sometimes a wakeup call to reality is needed.


Please take the time to click through and read these posts in their entirety. There’s great inspirational stories there from a number of different members involved in education.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Tim King – @tk1ng
  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Alexandra Woods – @XanWoods

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