This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Melanie White joined Stephen Hurley and me on the radio show this week. It was a great opportunity for discussion and, just like her blogging, her thoughts had me thinking afterwards. That’s always a good thing.

Here are the blog posts that we chatted about on the show and a couple bonus ones.

Resonances #SOL2021

It was a week of vacation and then Melanie White and colleagues were back at it, lesson planning. This time, they’re working on a Grade 9 destreamed grade 9 English classes. I think we’re all aware of what’s going to happen with Grade 9 Mathematics and, if successful, the concept will probably extend to other subject areas and English certainly would be one of them. As I read this, I thought they were just getting ahead of the game.

Then, her discussion turned to music. I initially thought that was a strange twist until I realized that I’m listening to music as I type this. It’s how I work best so why not others. It resonated with Melanie:

To resonate is to vibrate, to reverberate, to carry across, to understand.

She closes with an interesting thought about the sounds of music and voice and how they resonate with her. I couldn’t have said it so eloquently and I think she totally nailed it. In the show, we touched on the difference between digital and everything else when it came to music.

The power in gathering 

I’ve heard and used the expression, “when you get the right people in the right place at the same time, amazing things happen”. I don’t know who to attribute it to but it rings so true to me.

For Ann Marie Luce, it started online with a group of “bad-ass women leaders striving to disrupt and change the landscape for other women leaders” and she describes the process that ended up in a face-to-face meeting.

Their focus?

  • Challenging the status quo
  • Making room at the table for other women 
  • Mentoring women of all ages
  • Empowering women 
  • Sponsoring women
  • Asking difficult questions
  • Getting uncomfortable 
  • Pushing limits, boundaries, and thinking
  • Wanting more and demanding more
  • Speaking up
  • Using our singular and collective voices. 
  • Gathering with other women in the community.
  • Journeying together
  • Being vulnerable 

It’s such a powerful list. The one that really struck me was about “gathering with other women in the community”. Years ago, through a partnership with IBM, we sponsored a “Women in Technology” program for Grade 7 and 8 girls. They were excused from their regular class to work with a group of women from the community. The product was to produce a webpage but the real magic happened just with the discussion amongst them with their mentor. My part was in the organizing and to bring the snacks. Then, I left. The feedback from teachers, mentors, and the students themselves was overly positive. I did have an inside to what was going on; my daughter a university student at the time, shared her experience. She felt it so overwhelmingly positive.

So yes, Ann Marie, continue to collect these bad-ass disruptors.

Decodable Texts and Other Reading Programs? What is the difference?

I learned so much from this post from Deborah McCallum. I think I knew much of the basic concepts going into the post but I’ve never taught in this area so it was really at a cursory level.

In the post, she explains how decodable texts work as well as leveled reading programs. Somehow, I guess, they were all tied together but it’s much deeper than that. I can understand now Reading is an additional qualifications course.

There are some links in the blog post to free decodable resources if you’re looking for them.

She had me thinking about my own process of learning how to read. I don’t recall any particular issues but I learned how to read better when I bought a book at Coles that taught me how to speed read. Deborah’s post had me smiling when I thought about this; I haven’t heard anyone talking about speed reading for years. Maybe it was just a fad that I jumped on at the time?

Melanie left this link in our show notes – it’s long but a good read –

Le check-in: stratégie indispensable pour le leader

I’m not sure that I have much to add to this post from Joel McLean except that he absolutely nails it.

Personally, I had a supervisor who was absolutely terrific with this. We would meet as a group of people from our department and then he and I would meet one-to-one and discuss exactly what Joel outlines in the post.

  • What are your priorities this week?
  • In what ways can I help you?

I value those meetings. It was the first time that I felt that someone else was sincerely interested in what I was doing and that he had the power (and budget) to make it happen. This included sending me to leadership opportunities as well.

In his retirement, I still get together every now and again for a coffee and darn if he doesn’t include these questions as part of our discussion. It was a special bond that we have and I’ll be eternally grateful for it.


Writing on the TESL Blog, Svjetlana Vrbanic offers some insights about how to get away from work and move to vacation.

In a regular world, it might be a great deal easier. After all, you see the school in your rear view mirror and head to the comfort of home. This past year has melded those two environments. People have purchased more technology and comfy workspaces for working at home and you can’t get away from them!

In the post, Svjetlana offers some suggestions for all to transition to vacation. It’s a good list and well worth the read.

Then, she shares with us a series of pledges to herself for how she’s going to handle her own vacation. This is a very personal post and yet I think she speaks for just about every educator in the province! They’re all in roughly the same boat at this time.

Ideas for the First Week of School

As Jennifer Casa-Todd notes, now that we’re into August, thoughts are or will be turning to the return to school. Of course, there are some schools with a different schedule who are already back at it.

I’ve heard rumours of the mindset that Jennifer talks about about “not smiling until Christmas”. I hope that it’s just that – a rumour.

Instead, she offers a better solution.

I have come to learn that serious learning can happen even if (or better if) you develop a positive relationship with your students instead.

So, how to you do that?

In the post, Jennifer offers seven suggestions and she’s looking for you to add to the list. I’d encourage it if you have some great ideas. Together, we’re better when we share.

If you’re not in the return to work mindset yet, and there’s nothing wrong with that, bookmark her post for inspiration once you’re there. It’s inevitable.

Comic Strips: Side effects

In addition to being an educator, Paul Gauchi is also a comic strip author.

I’m a fan of comic strips, particularly those that poke their finger at current events and politics. We do need more outrageous politicians this side of the border to help generate material though!

For July, Paul takes on vaccinations…

I hope that you can take a few moments and click through to read these terrific blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • Melanie White – @WhiteRoomRadio
  • Ann Marie Luce – @turnmeluce
  • Deborah McCallum – @bigideasinedu
  • Joel McLean – @jprofNB
  • Svjetlana Vrbanic – @lanavrb
  • Jennifer Casa-Todd – @jcasatodd
  • Paul Gauchi – @PCMalteseFalcon

This Week in Ontario Edublogs – August 4

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Elizabeth Lyons, president-elect of the Ontario School Librarians’ Association and co-host of the Read into This podcast was the guest host on the voicEd Radio This Week in Ontario Edublogs show. Besides a nice conversation, she was able to share a teacher-librarian perspective to the five blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers that we featured on the show.

One Word. My Word.

We started the show by looking at Elizabeth’s personal blog. You’ll recall that instead of a #oneword for a year, she’s elected to choose one word per month. It’s interesting that others have agreed with her rationale for doing so and have followed her lead.

Except for June. She picked a word but didn’t share it with us or blog about it.

Moving to July … her word is “Listen”. Now, we’ve all heard this word used ad nauseum in education and I was kind of expecting a familiar spin to the use of the word.

Boy, was I wrong.

She bravely turned the post into a personal story of her teaching life from the last year and the challenges she had as she listened to herself and took action.

I don’t use the word “brave” lightly. You’ll know why when you read the post. Quite frankly, I anguished over whether to include this post but she’s pinned it to the top of her Twitter timeline. She wants to share the story. Do it for her. It’s sad to think that there may be all kinds of other educators who are in the same boat but don’t have the same release or network for support.

Wiki Wondering

There has been this group of post-secondary educators who are really pushing themselves into a new world with technology and then seeing how it fits into their professional life.

This blog post is a collection of wondering about wikis from Helen DeWaard. In particular, her focus is on the greatest of wikis – Wikipedia.

I’m old enough and experienced enough to recall when Wikipedia was a four letter word. Use of it as a scholarly source was forbidden. And yet, here we are today and often this is the first result you get from any internet search. Such is the value. The amazing part is just how it got that way and Helen addresses that so nicely among other things.

Personal wikis were interesting to me at one point too. After doing about a million Dreamweaver workshops and creating a lot of static and ultimately stale webpages, there were wiki creation sites that came along and let you create a presence in a matter of minutes. I used ultimately as a repository for many of the materials for my workshops. It’s still there and I poke around a bit but I’d have to do some real work to update it. Eight Weeks to Web 2.0 was a course that I put online for teachers to get up to speed with social things over the summer. The topics are still valid although my former employer dropped the use of FirstClass which was the tool I used for a few of the tools.

I spent a lot of time on Helen’s post. It’s rich with links and resources. She’s done a lot of work getting this up for us. You need to read and explore.

Her wonders?

  • about wiki education?
  • how to connect wiki education to your teaching?
  • what’s behind the Wikipedia curtain?
  • who’s behind the curtain?
  • what I did?
  • where this is going next?

Slice of Life: The farm

I know that Lisa Corbett thinks that this was a unique story about her family and it probably was. But it isn’t much of a leap for me to think of places around here where I could and have taken my family to do many of the same activities.

I’m sure that you could add to the list. It is an amazing family outing.

What makes Lisa’s post so particularly delightful is that she and her family can now actually visit these wonderful places, pick fruit, do family things at the playgrounds and more.

The thing that really intrigues me from Lisa’s post are Funnel Fries.

I’ve never heard of them before but if I ever see them on a menu …

Reading List for National Indigenous History Month

This is a timely post for educations and teacher-librarians who are working hard to get caught up on things that were never part of our education.

Jessica Outram has been collecting texts from Indigenous authors for over 25 years.

In this post, she shares what she would like others to read from her collection. In the post, she gives us 30 titles to consider.

If you’re looking for a starting point or just want more, check out this post.

While there, check out her Hummingbird podcast and Poetry sections.


From Alanna King, a concept not specifically this particular post.

On her blog, Alanna shares with us the titles and her thoughts about the books that she’s reading and researching.

I could see a couple of uses for this.

  • it’s a way to record her personal reading and research to bring back later. We all know that we learn better when we create something
  • it’s a way to engage a community of educators who are looking for new titles and don’t necessarily want to start from scratch

I see a great deal of value in both uses.

Myth of Hybrid Multitasking

I was tagged in the announcement of the release of this blog post from Deborah Weston. I think we all know what inspired her to write about this at this particular point in time.

We’re still waiting for the current government to let us know what education will look like in the fall. I know that many are fearful for the notion of hybrid teaching – simultaneous online and face-to-face and the challenges that that provides. Personally, I think that the whole issue goes far beyond the concept that a teacher may have students in two places

Deborah has done some research into the notion of multitasking in general and I like the specific inclusion of the research about the smartphone that she includes.

I don’t buy into the concept 100%. For example, I’m writing the blog post while a John Fogerty concert is playing on YouTube and I’m humming along. I’ve always worked better with music in the background.

Even the whole notion of teaching – forget the hybrid component for a second -isn’t a singular task. Any teacher will tell you that you that there are always various tasks that you’re juggling just to get the job done. We’ve always joked with students about having eyes in the backs of our heads. If the goal is to talk about two modes of teaching happening simultaneously, that would be an interesting discussion. Managing all that is happening or should be happening in one mode can be overload at times. Doubling that is the real issue in my mind.

Drone Sunrise #0303: Three Different Styles

So, Peter Beens now has a drone to add to his collection of things to explore and play with! I wish I had his money. I’ve learned so much from him about photography over the years.

In this case, he sent his drone skyward to take a picture of a sunrise and then applies a number of filters to it and asks us to choose.

I’m impressed that he was able to find water this calm and reflective first thing in the morning.

Drone Sunrise #0303 - The Original

In terms of his question, I prefer the first of the three images. The other two look too altered to me. In the post, he doesn’t tell us what he did to the images. That would have been interesting to know.

Please take some time to click through and check out all these terrific posts.

Then, follow the authors on Twitter.

  • Elizabeth Lyons – @mrslyonslibrary
  • Helen DeWaard – @hj_dewaard
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Jessica Outram – @jessicaoutram
  • Alanna King – @banana29
  • Deborah Weston – @DPAWestonPhD
  • Peter Beens – @pbeens

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is live most Wednesday mornings on voicEd Radio. This week’s show is located here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

On Wednesday, Brad Hughes was the guest host of the This Week in Ontario Edublogs show. It was great having him as part of the discussion. He brought a principal’s perspective to much of the conversation.

Mathematics Doesn’t Get a Pass on Racial Justice Reform

If you read one blog post about the post/yank/delete/repost issue with the new Mathematics Grade 9 curriculum, it’s this one from Jason To.

In the post, he researches and shares the critical educational issue behind the issue and does share a Toronto-centric map to support his message from the Ontario Science Table. I found it fascinating to explore, given my limited understanding of Toronto from my one year of living there.

I found his analysis very thoughtful and I left this post just a bit smarter. And angrier.

The anger comes from his research into the media response which preceded the pulling and editing of the document.

OAME released this statement on the issue

The Grey Zone: The importance of empathy & evidence in learning about colonial genocide

Discomfort is a theme that runs through this latest post from Charles Pascal.

We are seeing many extreme measures on all fronts over current issues falling from the discovery of bodies of Indigenous children. Unless you are completely void of compassion, it’s so tough to read about this and broadcast media certainly has put faces to the pain which amplifies the message.

Charles does give a good analysis of what he’s seeing on a regular basis.

He offers advice which is always good and even more important now than ever.


I will continue to try to follow my own advice hoping more and more people will feel more comfortable in that uncomfortable grey zone where respectful listening is more common.

How Do You “Lead?” Unpacking My #OneWordX12 For July.

Aviva Dunsiger has followed Beth Lyon’s lead and, instead of a one word for the year, has opted for a one word for each month. It keeps blog readers busy at least once a month reading it.

So, for July the word is “Lead”.

It’s an interesting word and inspired by her summer work at Camp Power. I smile when I hear the word; education has so many books about leadership. I still have a few on my bookshelf here. Being a Chrysler type of town, we’ve heard Lee Iacocca talk about leadership using Patton’s phrase “Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of My Way”.

Leadership, I suspect, means different things to different people. There are people who rise in leadership positions but somehow lose the spark. There are others that don’t aspire to rise within their organization and yet inspire all the time with their actions.

Aviva gives a nod to a former principal and provides a number of thoughts near the end. The one that inspires me and should be the root of all things in education.

Kids are always worth fighting for

Getting Past a Gatekeeper

I struggled with whether or not to include this post from Noa Daniel in this post. It’s overly personal and describes what would be a low point in her professional career.

But, I did decide to include it. My rationale was that it was obviously important for Noa to put her thoughts to words and a blog is a platform for all kinds of people to land and read. So here we are.

I won’t dwell on Noa’s personal story. You can click through and read if you’re so inclined. I’m intrigued with her message of principal being a gatekeeper, allowing those in their school the opportunity to move forward or to keep them behind.

It would be nice if we could live with the Dyer quote that Noa includes.

If you do worry, you can drive yourself crazy. So often, opinions can be driven by first impressions or pre-conceived thoughts from others and can be difficult to change.

Where does that leave you?

You can wake up every morning hoping that the world has changed but that’s highly unlikely. Ultimately, you need to be true to yourself. You can hope that the gatekeeper moves on or you can make your own move and get on with your life.

Once you’re a dad…

Writing on his own blog, Will Gourley writes a blog post describing the joys and challenges of being a father.

It’s a powerful post and I think that all fathers will be nodding along as they read it. Then, he replies to his post in the form of a letter to his son.

I particularly like the comparison of fatherhood today to the fatherhood that our fathers had. It was completely different; there was no self help books, social media advice, or YouTube videos about how to do this or that. It was just our fathers doing what they thought best. And taking no guff!

And it’s not a bad thing.

All of us fathers hope we do the best. You see the results when your kids strike out on their own and make their own success. Yet, it all comes back to home when they return and immediately go to the cookie cupboard.

Teacher Professional Development Podcasts

I loved reading this post from Kristy and I couldn’t find her last name. Her Twitter handle will be listed below.

I totally agree with the essence of her message. I’ve been to many professional development sessions where the topic chosen was something from a presenter’s catalogue and may or may not have been updated to reflect the current world.

With podcasts, you don’t have the costs or travel to sit and listen. When you chose wisely, the content can be as up to date as this morning and you can listen while walking the dog, writing a blog post, or just lying back on your bed. It’s personal learning at its best.

Kristy provides a list of podcasts, by subject area, that lets you immediately increase your ability to learn. Of particular interest for the summer, you might be interested in the Teacher Emotional Support section.

Luca: The Importance of Seeing Fully

I’ve been a fan of Pixar works.

According to Anthony Perrotta, it started with Toy Story and here we are today with Luca. I’ll confess that I haven’t seen Luca yet. Toy Story, many times – the DVD was a Christmas gift…

This could have been a quick and easy post to read but it isn’t. It’s actually a very complete lesson to you, dear reader, about media literacy and what you could be and should be seeing. There’s a tie to current events and how we need to be doing a better job of understanding.

There’s also a nice link to a PDF download of activities.

I hope that you can take the time to read and appreciate the wisdom in these posts.

Then, follow them on Twitter.

  • @brad_hughes
  • @Jason_To
  • @CEPascal
  • @avivaloca
  • @iamnoadaniel
  • @WillGourley
  • @2peasandadog
  • @aperrottatweet

This Week in Ontario Edublogs is live Wednesday mornings at 8:45. This week’s show is found here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

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

Create Safe Spaces

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

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

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

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

  • Four Squares Template
  • Venn Diagrams
  • T-Charts

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

Before you click “End the call”

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

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

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

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

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

Noticing and Wondering #SOL2021

This is Melanie White’s implementation of Safe Spaces where

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

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

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

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

Doesn’t that make so much more sense?

Drivetest: Everything That’s Wrong with Ontario

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

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

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

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

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

Top Ten Tips for Attending Virtual Professional Learning for Educators

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

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

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

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

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

Google Earth Projects & Learning More About Each Other

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

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

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

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

Traditional Danish Food: 14 Recipes You Must Try

Slice of Life:
Slice of Life: done

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The voicEd Radio show is available here.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

Welcome to a special Friday. If you’re a teacher, you know why. If you’re not, ask a teacher. It’s a time to share some of the awesome reading that I did this week from Ontario Edubloggers.

Thoughts about white supremacy

Those that are regular readers on this blog will already have read this post. David Garlick had written a collection of Twitter messages and I took the time to read them all. The process showed the shortcoming that Twitter does have with its limit on the length of messages. I offered to put them all together in a blog post and David agreed.

It’s a collection of his personal thoughts and are most definitely worth the read and ponder by all.

Please do so, if you haven’t already.

Finding the Fuel to Excel

Rolland Chidiac really expresses his thoughts here…

“Since March 2020, I have been in a hyper state of reflective practice.”

It has been a painful year with major events that impacted all of us. Rolland used this blog post as an opportunity to be open and honest with us all about his personal feelings.

His anchor, in terms of leadership, is the Catholic Leadership Framework which has provided the support and direction needed.

It’s pretty easy to beat yourself up at this time and nobody would you fault for it. But, the fact that it’s the last school Friday in June today and you’re here, you may wish to get strength from his closing paragraph.

As I approach the end of this very interesting and unprecedented school year, I am walking away from it feeling successful

Slice of Life: Glitch

Lisa Corbett is always good for a smile when she’s writing like this – I call it a bait and switch post.

She starts out talking about squirrels and ends up in personal time management. Along the way, we witness her story of disconnectedness that I think that we all have been feeling at times these days.

But, back to the squirrel – I’d never noticed but this morning’s walk took Jaimie and me past a couple plus a couple of rabbits. Given Lisa’s description in her blog post about squirrels, I took the time to observe the same type of reaction.

I wonder what they saw in us?

Reading Challenge: Centering Muslim Characters

This is an important resource that all educators should click through and take a look at. Rabia Khokhar had let us know on Facebook that she’d been interviewed on CTV about a collection of books that she had curated for readers where the central character is a Muslim character.

I elected to highlight this resource on a post on this blog earlier this week. You can check my thoughts about her content there.

As you know, you can elect to follow your message as others favourite it or share it with other. Her resource struck a note with educators and it’s been shared all over the globe. The message is that this is a resource that educators want and maybe have been waiting for.

Rabia provides it for them. I hope that educators continue to share this wonderful resource and that it finds its way into so many classrooms this summer and onwards.

Final Reflections from a Remote Teacher

When I read the title from Kelly McLaughlin writing on the ETFO Heart and Art Blog, I sincerely hoped that this would be the last time that she would be forced to use the term “remote teacher”. For some bizarre reason, we won’t find out officially until July.

In the post, she includes an open discussion of things that she’s personally learned

  • Saying hello to each student in the morning
  • Morning music until the announcements start
  • Discussing current events rather than hoping they didn’t hear the news 

and thoughts from her students

  • Not getting distracted 
  • Improved on tech. skills 
  • Being nice 

I’ve included some snippets here but make sure you click through and read the entire post to get them all.

What will we bring back to in-person learning?

Terry Whitmell appears positive that schools will be back to in-person learning for the fall. I think we all hope that she’s right.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a principal in these circumstances. In normal times, any room or class is just a stroll away. Now, they’re a click away and we know that they’re different and that people are doing their best to make it as good as they can for students.

For the fall, Terry predicts the following

  • Learning Management System
  • Student-to-Student Digital Collaboration Tools
  • Increased Differentiation
  • Transparency and Structure
  • Greater Professional Networking

and fleshes them out in detail. It’s a good read and Terry promises a followup when she meets with staff.

Thank You Caregivers, Students, And Families!

And, what a way to end this last Friday of the year post with a reference to this one from Aviva Dunsiger.

It’s been a challenge for everyone and Aviva takes time to acknowledge them all.


  • Thank you for logging in even when there are a million different things going on, and you’re trying to balance your own work with school.
  • Thank you for your upbeat attitude, daily smiles, and friendly hellos, even when all three might be hard to do.


  • Thank you for coming as much as you do, even though other things might be taking your attention at this time of the year.
  • Thank you for filling our day with laughter, stories, and new learning.


  • Thank you for reminding us that online learning is about more than just the kids in the class.
  • Thank you for increasing our conversations and having us reconsider what learning looks like with all that you contribute.

What a way to end this blog post. Make sure you click through and read all of Aviva’s thoughts.

Please take the time to enjoy all these posts by clicking through and reading. Then, follow these folks on Twitter.

  • David Garlick – @garlickd13
  • Rolland Chidiac – @rchids
  • Lisa Corbett – @LisaCorbett0261
  • Rabia Khokhar – @Rabia_Khokhar1
  • Kelly McLaughlin
  • Terry Whitmell – @TerryWhitmell
  • Aviva Dunsiger – @avivaloca

The Wednesday This Week in Ontario Edublogs show.