This Week in Ontario Edublogs


I always hated this particular week since it’s the middle of August. Educators know that it’s the beginning of the end. It’s time to whip out that summer to-do list that’s been on hold while relaxing in July.


Recently, Ontario lost an outstanding teacher-librarian. While I never was a teacher-librarian, we had one of the best when I started teaching. He would listen to my needs as I struggled to fill those gaps that you never know about at Teachers’ College. He always seemed to have a book or other resource to fill that. I was constantly amazed that he had it, not being a computer guy. I’ve come to appreciate over the year that teacher-librarians network and learn with people all over the province and they are smarter together than they are apart. They have no qualms about reaching out to a colleague when needed.

This past week, two regulars here wrote blog posts as tributes to Caroline Freibauer. Both are powerful posts but I had a sense that they could provide something more personal and reached out to each to provide an audio clip to extend the message from their blogs. There was no question and it was done almost immediately after my request. I used them on my voicEd Radio show and I know enough of my own emotional limitations to not lead but rather close the show with them. I’m honoured to featured them both here at the top of this post.

For Caroline… Thank you.

Elizabeth’s was the first post that I had read. As the current President of the Ontario Schools Teacher-Librarian Association, she used her post to inform us all of the passing.

The post contains so much information in the teacher-librarian context but, to tell the truth, it’s great advice for anywhere in the profession.

I lost it at the end of Elizabeth’s audio clip when you could hear that she was struggling to finish.

Elizabeth’s Audio Clip

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zlxVUk_CQSFNKzOP_EkT49Y6qjG0NHhe/view?usp=sharing

Remembering Caroline

Then, I read Diana’s message. She talks about a panel discussion for something called “TLLP @ your LLC”. No buzzwords here; but buzz abbreviations but when your audience understands, …

Diana reflects on a number of achievements that involved Caroline. It was always good for the province. The impact from across the province is captured and shared in Twitter messages at the bottom of the post.

I lost it at:

One of the final gifts Caroline gave to us, posthumously, was the reason for us to reconnect in-person. COVID and circumstances had separated us, but Caroline got many of us back together again.

Thanks, Diana

Diana’s Audio Clip

Diana’s reflections –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pGuNrcv3V5ZCpEmKfN88R5aL0FiAHftT/view


Life Long Learning with Stephen Hurley

David’s latest effort was the penning of The Principal Chronicles. I’ve mentioned this effort before and I bought the digital version when it became available because I couldn’t wait for the print one. If you go to the bottom of the link above, you’ll find reference to where you can obtain your own copy.

During the voicEd Radio show, I just sat back and listened to David and Stephen talk about the learning that went into the latest spin from the book. With Stephen’s guidance (and editing), David is recording the stories and making them available as podcasts. All of the podcasts are available here.

David admits that he’s catching up on the technology creation side of things but appears to be doing nicely. He’s purchased some new gear and is doing a great job of recording those podcasts. I like the way that they’ve broken them down into easily listened to morsels.


On Anti-Racist Educating Provoking Bullying of White Kids

Bullying is an ugly thing. I can speak from this with experience. In elementary school, there was a guy who would wait for me at lunch just off the school property and we would physically go at it. It did have a happy ending though and we became close friends at secondary school for some reason. But I went for a while just dreading the bell.

After a bit of bullying history from Marie, she describes an activity that I can absolutely see happening. Someone goes to a workshop and they do the activity on a Friday with the intent to replicate it on Monday. The privilege walk is intended to separate students rather than bring them together. You’ve just got to believe that it would amplify any differences outside the classroom and that’s not a good thing.

What I found particularly depressing was Marie’s reporting of how marks for the exact same assignment differed because of the white-ness sounding of a child’s name. Think about that for a second. This is not new. It did take me back to a course I was taking at the Faculty of Education. We don’t seem to be getting better at it as a profession.

This is a powerful read and will hopefully help you adjust your practice a bit before school resumes next month.


Endurance Project: Democratizing Space

This is another of those “Damn, they never had that when I was in school”. I’m old enough to remember gathering around a small television to watch space travel events. That’s so antiquated to what’s going on here!

Marc, his school, and Fair Chance Learning along with IBM Space, SpaceX provide a simulation experience for students that is second to none. I found this to be a fascinating read. And, this is Grade 11 and 12 students.

Anyone who might be getting set to provide a conference message whether it be a session, day long workshop, or keynote address needs to take a look at this. Hearing about this real experience makes you think that it could be replicable for more classrooms and that’s always a good thing.


Twitter Through The Ages — Is It Time To Go Back To The Days Of Old?

I loved reading this post from Aviva. It brought back so many good memories.

She takes us back to a different time and a different type of Twitter. There was far fewer people involved and there seemed to be a great deal less noise at those times. My involvement predates Aviva and I bought the definitive book, Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts book and we had Will speak at the Western RCAC Symposium plus do a full day workshop for us the following day. You can stop laughing now at the concept of buying a book for social media. Hey, it was in early times.

Once, I got the IT Department to unblock Twitter, it became my go-to for advice and daily learnings about education and technology. It remains that way today. I’ll joke to anyone that I’m very noisy between 5 and 6am. But, I’m all alone doing some self-directed reading and learning.

My inspiration from those days was Rodd Lucier who reminded us to be creators and not just consumers of information to make it the best of learning experiences. He was so wise. Thanks to his encouragement, I started this blog and keep hacking away at it.

Aviva takes us back a bit and celebrates the learning and the way that we used social media then and gives a present day example. It definitely has changed by today’s use and I’m not convinced that it’s for the better. I think that we need to remember that it’s an educational platform for us but a business platform for the Twitter company.


Sports Books for Middle School

Man, Kristy’s post takes me back.

In what we would call Middle School today, our library had a difficult time keeping sports books on the shelves. There were so many of us that wanted to read them and maybe a dozen that were actually available. (Doug’s memory may not be completely accurate.)

I do remember desperately wanting to read The Jim Thorpe Story. It was never on the shelves to borrow. It wasn’t at the town library either. I was fortunate enough to complain loudly enough that my parents bought me a copy for a Christmas present one year. I think I might have it around here somewhere still. Maybe finding this is a weekend project.

In Kristy’s post, she shares a list of books that you might helpful. There are affiliate links involved.


It was another great week of good reading for me. I hope that you can find the time to click through and read these blogs in their entirety.

Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • David Garlick – @garlickd23 
  • Marie Snyder – @MarieSnyder27
  • Fair Chance Learning@FCLEdu
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca
  • Kristy – @2peasandadog

This Week in Ontario Edublogs on voicEd Radio

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Will Gourley was kind enough to join Stephen and me for Wednesday’s show. I think we could have talked all morning about various things inspired by the writing in these great blog posts.


track and field

As we try to do when we have a guest host, we pulled in a post from Will. The nice thing about going live is the ability to put people on the spot and I did, asking Will why his titles are always in lower case. And, we got an answer to that and about his own abandoned blog.

I enjoyed reading his take on Track and Field day. Typically, it’s held in the Spring of the year when it’s great to be outside and hopefully not raining.

In his post, Will made reference to Track and Field being a great idea for distance learning. He started with the concept in the post and then expanded on it during the show. While I’ve never run any marathons, I’ve swam in some and certainly walk marathons with the dog every day but had never made the connection like he did. I can now tell you that I totally agree with him; I’d just never put it that way.

The good news is that Will plans to continue writing and sharing his thoughts on the Heart and Art Blog going into the fall.


In Search of Work

There are jobs available everywhere. Diana’s done her research and includes a link to the post which is an interesting read.

Sure, there are jobs everywhere but employers are looking for applicants with experience. Therein lies the crunch. Once you have the experience for your resume things are easier.

Diana takes us on a discussion of her employment life and it is rich. From odd and unrelated jobs as a student to a teacher in search of full-time employment to a teacher who is fully employed, it’s all there.

She’s looking for a job for her youngest; if she lived around here, I could get her one in a heartbeat but the commute would be pretty rough from where she lives. If you can help a person out, she’s all ears.

Speaking of ears, nobody wears a set of ears like Diana.


The Cross-Curriculum Power of the Shapegram

Marc is usually good for some posts about “The 500” and there are a couple recent ones to check out:

The 500 – #308 – Songs For Swingin’ Lovers – Frank Sinatra
The 500 – #309 – Willy And The Poor Boys – Creedence Clearwater Revival

But, that’s not the point of this post. Marc introduces us to the way that he uses Shapegrams in his classroom with success. There are a number of links to student work at the bottom of the post to see how it’s done in his classs.

Particularly these days, every post seems to have a graphic to enhance the writing. You can’t even create an Instagram post without one. Having grade appropriate ones are important.

Reading this post reminded me of my time on OSAPAC and our licensing of the Canadian Clipart Collection. Where is OSAPAC these days? This sounds like a worthy piece of software to be evaluated.


…Referencing Matters…

This is a post that is far too short. It’s depressing to read and I suspect that there is more behind it than Rabia shares.

She’s learning from her PhD about the importance of citing sources. I learned far earlier than that; I’m thinking Grade 7 where we got a zero, no questions asked if we didn’t quote our references and importantly, do it correctly.

Her observation:

“Too often Black, Indigenous, racialized and other marginalized people’s work is used and not referenced properly.”

It’s not just the formal writing and Rabia talks about it as part of general conversation. At the bottom of this post, she gives a number of sentence starters that are worth reading and use.

I’m paraphrasing my Grade 7 teacher here but I still understand her intention “if the resource is good enough to use, it’s good enough to use properly.”


Je n’ai pas le temps

This is a post that should be part of your summer inspiration. Over the past couple of years, professional development (I prefer the term professional learning) has been hard to find, hard to attend happily, and even harder to implement with classes through online meetings or later with social distancing rules.

Though it’s not the big message from the post, you need to find some way to get over the malaise that we’ve all fallen into.

Joel’s post is a strong message for the need to learn at the best of times and he addresses what you can do if you’re in the spot of not attending because you don’t have the time. You need to find the time and now that there’s a quasi-return-to-normal, you need to find some way to make it happen personally.


Ten Resources to Learn About Queer and Trans History in Canada

There isn’t much commentary that I can add to this except to bookmark this resource. There may come a time, maybe not today or tomorrow, but at some point, you need to have a quality resource.

This isn’t just a random collection of things that Google offers up; Krista offers workshops on “gender and queer identities” so she knows of what she speaks.


The New Dawn

I got a request from Peter on Sunday afternoon after I had written a scheduled a post for Monday already. He wanted to write a guest blog piece and have me host it. How could I say no? I didn’t even know the topic but I knew that a request like this would be for a good reason.

And it was.

He used the opportunity to write about an original piece of artwork that he had purchased from Colleen Rose and wanted it posted. Of course, I agreed. It didn’t go all that easily. Google Docs and some of the formatting that he used didn’t copy/paste well into WordPress. Then started the revisions – he wanted a picture of my painting and then we went back and forth wordsmithing things. It wasn’t until about 2 in the morning that I finished it on my end and it went live at 5am. It’s a great post about a wonderful person and talented artist. Kudos to Peter for writing it.

A rose between two thorns, thanks Colleen Rose

As always, read these great posts and then follow the authors on Twitter.

  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Diana Maliszewski – @MzMollyTL
  • Marc Hodgkinson – @Mr_H_Teacher
  • Rabia Khokhar – @Rabia_Khokhar1
  • Joel McLean – @jprofNB
  • Krista McCracken – @kristamccracken
  • Peter McAsh – @pmcash

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Michael Frankfort joined Stephen Hurley and me as a guest host for the voicEd Radio show on Wednesday morning. It lent to a great conversation about the five blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers that we featured. Read on to see them and a couple more bonus posts.


Family Reunion

Don’t we all have family reunion stories tucked away in our memories? I remember the first time I took my wife to ours and her comment on the way home. “It’s hard to imagine that you’re all related.”

On my mother’s side, it was a big summer event, more often than not landing on my birthday but nobody brought presents. We did bring millions of butter tarts though and had to be there pre-6:00 so that Dad could go to the golfing tournament and the rest of us slept in the car until people started to arrive at 9 or so. Dad’s family reunion was a big gathering just before Christmas which changes the entire mindset. Instead of being outside and enjoying the weather, we’d rent a hall and go inside to avoid the weather.

Despite all that, we were within a couple of hours driving to get to the events. I can’t imagine doing what Amanda did (read the post) just to get there. Then, there’s the whole mixture of her family and I’ll bet that everyone has stories about their own personal mixtures. Her family has mine beat.

I loved the post and it made me think of faces and names from reunions so long ago and how so many of them are no longer around. Despite it being such a lovely story, it was a great reminder to remember the current moments because they are so special.

But, 18 people in one house for a week? You’re a strong woman, Amanda.


Fighting Disinformation

In the beginning, disinformation was easy to spot and actually kind of fun to explore. One of the more famous ones that I remember was the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

Over the years though, the concept of the fake website has skyrocketed and taken off in a very sad direction.

We’re now in a time and era where everyone with an internet connection and the desire can put up a website for whatever the cause. We have so many of them, some consistent with our beliefs and others not so much. Some, after doing a bit of digging, can be debunked.

The ones that I personally have trouble with are those who have a dissenting opinion and do their best to create a plausible story from their perspective. Finding the truth used to be so simple; just go to the library and grab the encyclopedia. Not so anymore.

Then, throw into the mix the concept of a second or third language learner doing their best to research. If we as English First Language people have problems at time, imagine their situation.

Jennifer shares some great thoughts on the topic and the bottom is a wonderful collection of resources that can be used to help determine if something is truthful or not.


Reflections on “Sometimes it is enough to look back to see the Future clearly” presentation by Dr. Georg Marschnig

I’m really enjoying Paul’s doctoral work and how he’s openly sharing his work and his research. This is a very personal post about his own thinking. He organizes things and discusses each.

  • How do schools frame notions of citizenship;
  • What kind of relationships in schools and in educational decision-making processes foster real learning;
  • How do power structures affect learning? – Paul’s question
  • How were race, class, gender differences framed in the event?
  • What connections can you draw with readings, lectures, and discussions we have held in the class?
  • What creative ideas or astute analysis about education did you encounter in the event?

I enjoyed reading all the sections but the section about power structures affecting learning was a real thought generator for me. Like you, I grew up in a school environment where the teacher was always right. My parents came to their defense all the time when I’d challenge facts or other things. Later on, I came to realize that it was the game of school and you had to play by the rules. It sure made the day easier to handle.

Of course, like all things, we’ve got better at it all and we’ll continue to get better. On a personal level, I’ve made a note to learn more about “Youth Participatory Action Research.”


Slice of (Experential) Life

I’ve mentioned it many times; they don’t pay teachers of our youngest students enough. This blog post will have you laughing, smiling, and being thankful that you don’t teach the youngest. Or, if you do, you’ll be nodding your head in agreement throughout this post.

It was a 20-minute bus ride to the field trip location. For some of the students, it might have been a three-day road trip as they got out and looked around and remarked that they were in a different world!

Now, before I get too righteous, I enjoy community dog walks and there are always new things to see and explore even though I’ve lived here for 45 years.

I will be adamant though; we still have the same water tower.


Experience Sustainability

Our guest on Wednesday had written and shared this blog post to the STAO blog.

It was about a Webinar that Michael had co-delivered with Teresa Huang about organizing an eco-fair at your school. The post comes with appropriate resources to replicate the same activity at your school.

The concept is unlike the traditional science fair with its judging and ribbons that I remember. This was about doing good by doing good. (one of my dad’s favourite expressions that I’ve always tried to keep in mind) Today’s students can be more socially aware and responsible and this post honours that.

Look for links to replay the webinar and a slide deck packed full of ideas, resources, and connections to the Ontario Science & Technology and other subject areas Curriculum.


Our month in Bordeaux, France (June 2022 –FINAL month!)

There’s probably a fine line between being a stalker and an internet friend.

I’ve been following Sylvia’s adventure as she’s headed to Europe and shares so many pictures and stories on social media. Does living vicariously equal stalking? <grin>

I can’t imagine how long it took Sylvia to assemble this piece. There are so many pictures and she uses her technical skills to provide a mapping of routes for us.

Food, wine, and the biggest croissants I’ve ever seen are highlights. It really does look like it was a spectacular event for her.

Don’t read and look at the images on an empty stomach!


Math Links for Week Ending Jul. 8th, 2022

Finally, David always has lots of cool mathematics things in his weekly post. This week, he shared a couple of wonderful visuals.


Thanks to all of the above for sharing their learning and thinking. Regular readers know the routine – read these posts and follow these folks on Twitter.

  • Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
  • Jennifer Hutchison – @TESLOntario
  • Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Michael Frankfort – @mfrank_76
  • Sylvia Duckworth – @sylviaduckworth
  • David Petro – @davidpetro314

voiced Radio Show

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Summer is officially here on voicEd Radio. Every show during the summer, we invite an educator to share a microphone and their thoughts on the show. We kicked off with Vicky Loras, long-time blogger, now podcaster, and working on her PhD. Here are the posts that we chatted about along with a couple bonus ones.


Borders #SOL2022

If there was an exhibit for “things they didn’t teach you at the Faculty”, this would be a candidate for it.

Melanie and a group of student leaders (Diverse Student Union) had planned an event this spring. The planning wasn’t easy and she shares some of the conversations and debates that happened in the process. It was deep and something that could only happen in a public school system embracing all students.

She saw the challenges before the event and shares her message to the planners and the caveats that they might now have seen or realized. I found it an emotional read and I’ve got even more respect for Melanie than I already had.

Doesn’t this speak to education planning though – you do everything, cross every T and dot every I to make sure that you’ve got everything covered – until a tornado warning hits…


Reflecting on Identity Boxes

Arianna collaborates with other educators in her school with the use of technology and this topic, suggested by a colleague, deals with a variation of Joseph Cornell’s Box. I’d done similar activities but didn’t realize that it was a formal thing and a walk through that website is worth it.

Equally worthwhile is working your way through this infographic about Social Identity Self-Assessment.

There’s another huge piece of advice that I think is timely. Even though students have been using technology with varying levels of success this past year, it doesn’t mean that skills shouldn’t be explicitly taught. Amen. Don’t make assumptions about their abilities.

She talks about something as simple as centring text on a computer screen. Now, I’m old enough to know that on a typewriter, you move the carriage to halfway and then backspace once for every two characters. It was like magic when I got a word processor and there was a button to click and do the deep. Some of the students she noted haven’t got that far and still centre by eyeballing it and pressing the space bar. Yeah, they need to be taught the skills as they get involved with a deep project like this.


tracked and filed

Speaking for every teacher everywhere, Will describes that special end-of-year feeling with the completion and filing of report cards into student OSRs. His use of the word “bittersweet” tells me so much about him; even in the most administrative of tasks in education, there is a recognition of the connection and the joy of teaching of individuals.

 a system incapable of seeing the brilliance of its youth each and every time we file another set of report cards

It’s a time to look at assessment and Will’s post is dated June 29. He’s already thinking about September. Heck, he hasn’t even had his first nap on the patio.

I totally agree with his discussion about the collection of evidence and how it turns into reporting material. I sat down with three little guys’ report cards intending to read them from beginning to end. I got lost in the edu-babble and to make things worse, I recognize some of the comments from comment banks from so long ago.

I steered instead to the actual grade. After all, that’s what counts.

If some educational research institution is looking for a good research project, talking to parents and care-givers about report cards and how they’re handled would generate interesting results, I suspect.


Doctors Explain How Hiking Actually Changes Our Brains

Walking the dog is a three times a day, recurring event in my calendar. I know that it drives my wife crazy but both Jaimie and I come home just a little bit happier. So, there’s no question in my mind of the value of these statements.

On the voicEd Radio show, Stephen talked about his proximity to some great trails and Vicky had both of us all beat by walking and looking at the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland.

There is a great discussion of four things here.

  • “Hiking in Nature Can Stop Negative, Obsessive Thoughts”
  • “Hiking While Disconnected From Technology Boosts Creative Problem Solving”
  • “Hiking Outdoors Can Improve ADHD in Children”
  • “Hiking In Nature Is Great Exercise and Therefore Boosts Brainpower”

I was sold before reading the post and am even more so after reading it.

My favourite from just down the road – https://essexregionconservation.ca/location/chrysler-canada-greenway-caesars-windsor-community-entrance/


My Learning and Leadership this School Year

My superintendent was a big fan of this type of reflective activity. His instructions were to use it completely differently from what Rolland does. His advice was to indeed write it but keep it to myself.

At the year-end performance review, use it as the basis for a formal summary and a guiding document for a discussion with him.

The casual reader might have trouble reading it because it’s “I did this” and “I did that” but if you understand, you know that that is exactly how it should read. From reading it, it sounds like Rolland had a great year with a great deal of personal fulfillment.

And, who could not like this in the year 2022

I collaborated my guts out


My PhD Bookstack: Sociolinguistics / Sociophonetics

Our co-host for the show has created a new blog for herself. In this entry, Vicky shares with us some of the scholarly books that she’s been reading during her research.

As I am researching Indigenous Englishes and in particular, Inuit English for my PhD, Sociolinguistics and Sociophonetics are most probably two of my favourite aspects of Phonetics/Phonology.

She’s also using other elements of social media.

Instagram conversations – https://www.instagram.com/tv/CfrgnI_KdP8/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

The PhonPod Podcast – https://open.spotify.com/show/0etevVxC6GlpxhW2vc6Cuf


Virtual Goodbyes

Melissa closed down the year as a virtual Kindergarten teacher. This may be the saddest post you read in a long time.

I think of last days at my school. We ran on a modified timetable so that we could meet with every class one last time. We were instructed to do something strongly educational so that phone calls from parents could be handled professionally. Generally, we talked about summer jobs and vacations. But it was human to human, there were some hugs at the end, there was supervision in the hallway, supervision at the buses, cleaning up my desk, going to the Michigan for one last official school debrief, going home and taking the family out to supper.

I can’t imagine being a virtual teacher ending the school year by closing a window on your computer. That truly is just so sad.

Melissa indicates that this will be her last post on the Heart and Art of Education Blog. I wish her all the best wherever she decides to go.


Of course, you know what to do now. Read their post and then follow these great bloggers on Twitter.

  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Arianna Lambert – @MsALambert
  • Will Gourley – @WillGourley
  • Michael Frankfort @mfrank_76
  • STAO – @staoapso
  • Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
  • Vicky Loras – @vickyloras
  • Melissa Turnbull – @missmturnbull

voicEd Radio Show

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


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


Leadership Lessons from Baseball

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Gulp.

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

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

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


Ode to our Guest Educators

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

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

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

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

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


What you think you know

Cal’s post will have you thinking.

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

That’s just in the classroom.

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

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

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

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


Create Safe Spaces

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

She addresses areas where stories can be used.

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

Last Day of Teaching – Ever!

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did she hold it together?


Looking Back Over the Year

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

He identifies

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

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

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


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

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

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