That sigh that you just heard was from the collection of Ontario Educators on the last Friday before the Spring Break. Days like this are becoming milestones, it seems. It’s a chance to acknowledge some of the great writing going on from around the province.
For many educators, the next big milestone will be the end of the school year and the end of a career in education.
What comes next?
Getting ready for retirement is of importance to these people.
In this blog post, Peter Beens shares the times and dates for some retirement seminars from the Ontario Teacher’ Pension Plan. If you’re calling it a career, this is something that you should do for yourself as you plan your future.
“Next Steps” will take on an additional meaning!
Amanda Potts is part of the Slice of Life project and has been doing so for four years. The big event is to write once a day for the entire month of March. This is her culminating post.
I liked her philosophy about why she continued to write. I do think that bloggers are a special community. I’ve tried to build and support that community in the province here. It’s interesting when you think in terms of community; we can build it, we can interact with each other, but realistically most of us will never meet in real life.
Yet, we remain part of whatever this elusive group happens to be and that’s pretty important in my mind. I guess a tip of the cap needs to go to our all teachers who encouraged good writing skills in school. They equipped us with the ability to do this.
Amanda has a moment of inspiration in this post that I think we all need to stop and ponder for a little bit in the spring of the year. What happens when you pull back that underbrush and everything that has accumulated over the winter?
It’s a message that we all need right now.
Another Slice of Life post to be shared comes from Melanie White.
So nicely done, she gives us an insight as to why this March has been hard on her. I suspect that she speaks for so many educators. It has indeed been hard and nobody wants to switch to the news to see what sort of alternate reality has emerged on any particular day.
Melanie notes that she uses her blog and her writing to create her own alternate world at times. I really thought that that description was particularly powerful. I know that there is all kinds of frustration and worry among all. Could sitting down and writing in this new world be a coping mechanism that would be good for all?
It couldn’t hurt.
If nothing else, it would be a break in the teach/mark/teach/mark routine.
The third Slice of Life blog post comes from Lisa Corbett. She’s been doing this for, gasp, fourteen years. Wow.
March has been a challenge for her as well — wishing to write and then discarding efforts lest she get too emotional about putting her thoughts to text.
Many times this month I would sit down intending to write one thing, the thing I’d been thinking about all day, only to discover I had so many other things that needed to come out.
It got me thinking about why so many people do blog. I suspect that, for most, it truly is a cathartic experience and a real release.
I know that, personally, I use it as a way to get something free and clear from my mind. There’s something special about knowing that it’s out there so I don’t have to struggle to remember; I’ll just go back and re-read it. I know that our minds are amazing things but they have to have their own limits too!
If you’ve ever been in a classroom, you can’t help but empathise with the emotional stories that Lisa shares. We all have them and we’ve all had to deal with them.
I’ve been waiting for this post, a followup to “Part 1” from Dave Cormier.
In Part 1, he took us through his thoughts about the Chegg-ification of education. I think that we all know that the goal of education has to be more than the regurgitation of facts. Particularly in an information rich society where you can find 100 answers easily with a quick DuckDuckGo search.
So, if answers are so easy to find, then maybe we refine the question to find the “best” answer from among those 100?
In this post, Dave takes us much deeper than that. He gives us the example…
“How many watts of power does your apartment use” becomes “What is the best way to reduce the number of watts your apartment uses”.
So, go ahead and shift some gears here. I think it’s tough to argue with his logic. I think we’d all like to think that we’re teaching students to be individual thinkers and problem solvers.
All of this stems from the original premise of the “Purpose of Education” which Dave starting thinking/blogging about ten years ago.
I know that I’m stuck in my own mindset of what education and school should be like and look like. At every level of education that I’ve been in, there was a series of assessments followed by an evaluation from someone who presumably knows more about the subject area being studied than me. After all, that’s how education works. Imagine having to assess thirty different solutions to a problem. Do our sense of marks/grades have to go away and move to a fail/pass scenario?
Dave’s got my head spinning thinking about this and he promises a Part 3 to this where he takes on the notion of what a problem is and how do you present it effectively which my old mindset is interpreting “do I have to be taught how to solve a problem in order to solve another problem?”
I can’t wait for this Part 3.
Paul McGuire is back with a new partner and a new podcast. The partner is Bob Kennedy and the podcast is
I like the premise. I enjoy music from all sources and I enjoy listening to new music when I can find it. I can’t help but think about my youth and how our radios were permanently tuned to CKLW, The Big 8 where we didn’t have to find our own new music. Big Jim Edwards, Pat Holiday, Ted Richards, Charlie O’Brien, Tom Shannon, Dave Shafer, and more found it for us. Actually, they just took the top 40 and played it over and over for us. We knew every song and every lyric.
We live in a different world now. Yes, we could just turn on the Oldies station and relive the past. I’m hoping this podcast will introduce me to some great new music.
In the post, Paul points us to the Podcast and a Spotify playlist so that we can enjoy what he and Bob have been listening to. I had the playlist going in the background while typing and it was refreshing to have new music.
Joan Vinall-Cox shares a short mix of media in this post.
It’s a poem about the human body posted next to a shadowy image which I’m assuming is Joan.
I’m taken a bit by this poem and I fully understand that, for me, it’s about living in the times that we live in.
We’ve been able to heal broken bones, can fix skin problems, adjust eyesight, have a solution for the common cold, and yet the world comes to its knees with a new virus.
I’ll sign off with a wish for a restful next week for you. For some of you, the option of getting a vaccine becomes possible.
Then, follow these bloggers on Twitter.
- Peter Beens – @pbeens
- Amanda Potts – @Ahpotts
- Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
- Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
- Dave Cormier – @davecormier
- Paul McGuire – @mcguirp
- Dr. Joan Vinall-Cox – @DrJoanVinallCox