This past week, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Debbie Donsky and also read a terrific post from here. It’s your digital daily double.
Writing and publishing has never been easier with social media tools. This may put you in a spot at times. Debbie shares this bit of advice including the resource from her district.
At this point, every board will have Social Media Guidelines for Staff. Here are the guidelines for my board. These guidelines stress that there is no personal vs professional social media accounts. As educators, as cited from the Ontario College of Teachers guidelines, we are always held to the highest moral standard. We will always represent our school, board, and system when we post. We must be mindful of board polices as they relate to human rights, equity and inclusivity as well as character education. We must reflect the board’s mission, vision and values.
There are so many angles to all of this. As always, the high road should be the road sought but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy. By promoting some progressive thought, others might see that as a professional slam against them. Only in education would you write potentially for an audience who does professional judgement and assessment for a living.
Another area that has always had me wondering was the writing of textbooks and other resources to make a few extra bucks. I know the standard answer is to do 100% of it on your own time which only makes sense – you’re working while at work. And yet, there are the resources and learning that you’ve had from your day job. Should your employer get a piece of the action?
That strays away from the original premise of Debbie’s well reasoned and presented thoughts. They definitely are great advice.
As we know, Lynn Thomas is blogging her way through the alphabet and this post finds her at the letter K – for knowledge.
I was really interested in here thoughts about this. In many circles, “Knowledge” is a four letter word with some.
Firstly, we have too often thought that knowledge is somehow inferior to critical skills or creativity. This notion is reinforced in the minds of so many teachers by the lazy, but ubiquitous, use of Bloom’s taxonomy pyramid in teacher training, where knowledge is at the bottom of the pyramid.
It’s sad to read this; obviously the comment comes from someone who hasn’t thought enough of Bloom’s work to understand it well.
Read Lynn’s post to understand her interpretation (which I agree with and I think was Bloom’s original intent) about foundations and not rankings and you’ll be off to a good start.
As for Google, it’s not the answer to everything. Just this morning, I went into the back of my memory for some reason and wanted to know the context for “Conquistador Boots”. Think I could find it? I was sure that it came from WKRP in Cincinnati. And, I was wrong. Even 10 pages into Google, I couldn’t find it.
p.s. dog walking helped bring it forward
p.p.s. of course, once I remember, I had forgotten why I wanted to know this in the first place
Tim King provides a nice list of ways to make Elearning work and are at the bottom of the post which chronicles his experience with learning at a distance. Some of the examples that Tim includes like Correspondence Education, I don’t put in the same category as Elearning. My own experience in this field was being called in and out to organize and support things with my old district.
We had our own collaborative that used the Ministry’s LMS of the day but were able to offer our own professional learning opportunities differently because we were smaller. Reading Tim’s summary, I wonder if we happened to be in the same room at the same time with this.
Tim does give a reasoned approach to his logic but it fails when you try to think it through. Plain and simple, his plan is too expensive. The stated goal by the Ministry is increased class sizes rather than face to face and the method of delivery is still open to speculation.
He offers some great suggestions but I don’t see them happening in my crystal ball. I hope that I’m wrong.
Actually, we could start by all agreeing to use Elearning, eLearning, e-Learning, E-learning as the name for this beast. Then, make sure that it’s implemented correctly.
Maybe the powers that be will read Tim’s post for inspiration.
One of the things that I really enjoy when reading the musings from Sue Bruyns is that they’re often a reflection of the culture of her school and those who surround her.
She takes us on a trip through the book “Culture Code” and shares some examples from the book and some of the actions that she’s taken this summer as a result.
Page after page, I was drawn to the stories of leaders, who throughout history all found themselves at a turning point where they needed to create, cultivate or change culture. I found myself filling the margins with notes, exclamation marks and/or question marks. Phrases and sentences became underlined once and in some cases twice. So much of what Coyle penned resonated with my current practice.
It’s nice to read a professional journal/book that agrees with your current practice but the value comes when the examples push you on to bigger and better things.
Sue’s school is experiencing a growth in population; at EdCampLDN, she shared that the portable classrooms were on the way.
I like the way that she views this as a challenge to “get into this together”. Hopefully, there will be inspirational moments from this book to help her and staff move along with this.
In the eyes of Aviva Dunsiger, it appears to be evidence of learning.
If you follow Aviva, you know that she’s forever taking and posting pictures. In this case, she went back into her Instagram account and leads us through a series of photos of read kids doing real things.
Before you skim and say “ya, ya, kids…”, check out her running commentary. Aviva asks probing questions to get you to see and appreciate what she, as the teacher, saw.
It was a very interesting and much fun activity. Indulge yourself.
I hope that you can take a few moments and work your way through the original posts. There is a nice collection of good thinking and reflecting.
Then, make sure that you’re following these people on Twitter.
This is part of a regular Friday series of great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers. You can read them all here.
And this version appears on Saturday. Friday was a travel day for me and I figured that I’d get time when I returned home to write the post. But, we were on the tarmac at Sky Harbour Airport and that sure takes the energy out of you. Plus, I was in the second to last row on the airplane and everyone seemed to want to take use of the washroom. A laptop on a dinner tray doesn’t work well for me.
But, I managed to get this written on Friday to appear this morning. Enjoy the latest from Ontario Edubloggers.
I think that many educators who have called it a career at the end of the June by their own decision or externally would benefit from this post from Paul McGuire.
There comes a time for all of us to close off the teaching gig and then move on.
just finally relax
take on another job
become supply teachers
or other things
There’s lots to think about. What do you plan to do with life after teaching?
This is wonderful advice…
This is OK if you realize you need to make a transition to another stage of life. You can’t be like the man on the plane or Charles Darwin lamenting that your best years are behind you. You have to remake yourself.
Aviva Dunsiger was inspired by another blog post to dig into this topic.
As a secondary school teacher, I’m unable to empathize with the actual details and the process that Aviva describes with her younger students. I can tell you though that there are moments with teenagers where you go through the same situation.
I think most educators could identify with a moment like that.
It’s how you respond and handle it that will mark the successful resolution to a situation.
I’m also mindful of the power that we have as educators. Recently, I flew back and forth from Detroit to Phoenix to the CSTA Conference. In both cases, I had the honour of sitting across the aisle with children that were having a tough time. I’ll be honest; sitting for 4 hours and then 6 hours made me squeamish as well. And, I knew what to expect in terms of the noise and ear popping, etc. Not so, my travel mates.
It was interesting to see how the parents handled it with their escalating techniques which, as escalating towards the end, would have landed a teacher in trouble.
But, ever the educator, I had a few fun/younger applications on my iPad that I could share and give the parent a break for maybe 15-20 minutes. I found the struggles described in Aviva and Andrea’s posts interesting. In all cases, we were constrained somehow. One of the young ladies on the plane had some developmental challenges as well. There was nowhere else to go so it had to be handled en route.
Heather Lye describes an end of year thought process that I think many can identify with.
In the classroom, there really isn’t any coasting. You’ve got your foot on the pedal the whole time and then it’s the end of the year and everything stops.
Heather notes that this year is different.
It is hard for me to admit that I am struggling with the idea of summer this year.
While the end of the school year goodbyes are typically, “Goodbye and see you in September”, for many this year it won’t be. Because of what’s happening provincially, the “deck” will be substantially shrunk and shuffled way more than in any other year.
You absolutely should visit her blog and respond to this comment.
Today we watched the first graduating class of our school cross the stage. But we also watched the system, as we currently know it, walk out the door at the end of the day.
Welcome to the last TWIOE in June and the school year. As always, there is some inspirational content written by Ontario Educators. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to start or re-start your own blog this summer if you’re not already a regular writer?
File this post from Laura Bottrell on the Heart and Art Blog under “maybe I’ve been doing things wrong all this time”.
For many, it’s been a month (or more) of counting down until today. I even remember a colleague who shared the countdown on his blackboard for all to see.
Laura reminds us that this countdown may not necessarily be exciting for everyone in the class.
I always thought that celebrating the end of the year was just adding to the fun and excitement of summer. I’ve always had a fun countdown for my class. Lately, I’ve been wondering if this is just adding stress on some of my students. It really hit me last week when I announced that we only had ten school days left and there were at least five children in my class that crumbled to tears.
Her suggestion turns the table and has you thinking about treating things differently. A little late for this year perhaps but … it’s nice to have a reminder that things aren’t always what they seem.
With apologies to Jim Cash, I read the title to this post a little too quickly. Instead of “Why”, I read it as “What” and thought that it might be about some new things to code!
However, using the word “Why” changes everything. Jim summarizes his thoughts in this graphic he created.
It generated some interesting comments when Jim announced the post on Facebook.
I understand his message but I also wonder if I’m on the same page with him because of having a background in programming. As Jim correctly notes, there’s a certain bandwagon effect about coding that has people jumping on because it’s felt that it’s important or someone is keynoting about the cool things that kids are doing.
Coding goes well beyond the mechanics of getting the job done. (Blue side) Until you’re looking at the big picture, you’re not doing it justice. (Green side)
It would be interesting to find out how many people get pressured to “do coding” because it’s the latest thing and yet they may be doing it without a suitable background in coding.
And the winner in the “Who gets David Carruthers added to their staff” raffle is …
It looks easy enough to get to. (at least by driving)
Getting to the actual school placed David in a series of job interviews and he shares his reflections about that process in the post. I can understand the need for standardized questions for all applicants for fairness.
But, the school really needs to be prepared to take advantage of the skills that David has refined over his time as a learning coordinator.
Maybe instead of “Go Magic!”, should read “Get ready, Magic”.
And, then there’s the whole Plugged-in Portable thing? I guess we’ll find out in the future.
I read this post from Stepan Pruchnicky a few times and I absolutely understood his message.
In Language, it’s important to read and understand different texts. The concept of reading a script was a new spin on it. But, as Stepan digs into it, it has to potential to go very deep, rich in understanding and empathy for characters to be played in the script.
It was during the radio version of This Week in Ontario Edublogs and Stephen Hurley’s comments about the connections to David Booth and Stephen’s own experience that really put me over the top with the concept.
I’d suggest putting Stepan’s post on your list for summer reading. This is an idea that could really generate mileage for you. Perhaps a future post would recommend suitable scripts?
Joel McLean reminds us that this comes up too often when people are wondering about taking charge of their own professional learning. I suggest that it’s an easy answer and often given to avoid things.
I also am reminded about my Covey training. The first rule – schedule the important things first. Then, let all of the other stuff fill your time for you. Goodness know that, in education, there’s no danger of that not happening.
I remember also returning from my training and explaining the approach to my supervisor. We still meet for coffee every now and again and he notes how this changed his professional life. (Not my comment but after my experience, he went and took the course himself.)
There was only one caveat to my own implementation – I was never allowed to allow my priorities to supersede his priorities for me! I shouldn’t have encouraged him to take the course.
Maybe Joel has some advice for how to handle that!
You know, I’ve “exited” a number of jobs of various sorts but have never had an exit interview that I can remember. I think we all take a job and like to think we’re going to leave things better off than they were before we started. And, probably things were never finished and we had plans on how to improve and make things better for whoever follows us.
I guess maybe it doesn’t happen because it takes a courageous person to conduct the interview knowing that all of the comments might not be positive.
Ann Marie Luce is having a turnover of 20 teachers at her school and she isconducting exit interviews. Each is given 40 minutes for the interview so if you do the math, it’s a pretty big commitment.
In the post, she does describe her philosophy and reasons for doing this, as well as the questions used to frame the discussion.
I hope that the experience gives her much rich feedback to enable her to create an even better learning experience for her students.
Sort of related to this is this post from Terry Greene at the PressEd Conference. Terry describes the open patchwork project and how it’s used to collect thoughts from post-secondary students as they handle their time at school.
I couldn’t help but reflect on my own post-secondary experience. It was anything but the environment of today’s student. We weren’t connected; we didn’t have open courses; we didn’t have instructors that were putting their learning online as they were teaching.
We were, I guess, what you would call pretty traditional. Our resources involved textbooks, professors, and teaching assistants. They certainly weren’t available 24/7 and just a click away. You had to make appointments for consults and it was for a specific time.
All of this was running through my mind as I enjoyed the curation of student content that Terry did for this. We’re anywhere but in Kansas anymore!
A highlight from this post was this great graphic by Samantha Pitcher.
I keep checking in to Lynn Thomas’ blog as she’s working her way through the alphabet. Recently, she’s celebrating H.
Her take was that “H was for Happy”.
The whole premise was that happy students and happy environments make for the best learning environment. I think it’s difficulty to disagree, especially when you look at the opposite – what does unhappiness in the classroom or your life bring? Certainly not the desire to learn.
Turns out, it has far more to offer than a sunny disposition and feeling contented. Parents are right to want happiness in their children albeit it is unlikely they know the science of why.
Her approach goes way beyond scratching the surface and brings into play research into happiness. There are lots of links to lots of resources to make it worth your while – including lesson plans and resources for teaching happiness.
There’s nothing quite like a look into someone’s library. Beth Lyons takes us inside hers. Take a peek.
By itself, a picture or two may not tell the whole story and advocating for her learning space is the major focus here. Beth shares a couple of custom infographics that she created to share with everyone the great learning and the great opportunities that are there inside Mrs. Lyon’s library.
I can’t help but think that those infographics should be posted in every classroom in the school to help students as they turn to assignments and projects and they’re wondering where they might begin.
There’s much to enjoy about this advocacy post. Obviously, the infographic, but the social media connection is right there. This library won’t get lost!
I suspect that the quick and easy answer is “Of course, we are unbiased.” Read on with this long discussion from Debbie Donsky. Her school did more than skim the surface on this question.
It starts with caterpillar problems offered to different classes.
The series of questions shared with staff were:
K-1: A kindergarten class needs 2 leaves each day to feed 1 caterpillar. How many leaves would they need each day for 3 caterpillars?
Grades 2- 3: A third grade class needs four leaves each day to feed its two caterpillars. How many leaves would they need each day for 12 caterpillars?
Grades 4–6: A fifth grade class needs five leaves each day to feed its two caterpillars. How many leaves would they need each day for a) 12 caterpillars? b)15 caterpillars?
The questions were given and observations with discussions during a debriefing are shared in this post.
Debbie shares a deep analysis of the process and the discussion. It wouldn’t be fair for me to try and capture that here; you’ll have to click through and read it in all its original context on the post.
I have been thinking about my experiences online and on social media in the past few years and what has impacted my experiences and participation. There is a lot of pondering: “Is it just me, or is it the web?”; “Is it the world, or the web?”; “Have ‘things’ changed, or have I?”
I guess I can take a bit of the credit for starting this thinking on a recent blog post but I was originally inspired by the writing of Bonnie Stewart. To answer Sheila’s questions, working and interacting on line have definitely changed.
And, I mean working and interacting in the most literal of meanings. When the sample who were online and connected was smaller, I think that people were more devoted and focussed about what they were doing – and were serious about it.
Today, there are more people than ever connected and they bring abilities and mindsets from all over the place. It’s easy to see a few (I was going to use the word “bad actors” but that’s maybe not fair) different actors use the technology and its abilities to do things far differently from what we did. As I said in my post, people seem to need to shock and scream loudly to get attention focused on them. Whatever happened to collaboration? Maybe that’s a topic for a Sunday.
I’ll bet that a read of Sheila’s post will have you scratching your head and coming up with your own theories.
I hope that you have time this Friday or through the weekend to take a few clicks and enjoy these posts in their original locations.
This Week in Ontario Edublogs is a recurring Friday morning post highlighting some of the great blogging happening in Ontario. Are you an Ontario blogger that I don’t know about? Let me know! I’d love to add you to this collection. There’s a form at the link above to add your details.
Charles Pascal tagged me in this op-ed piece he wrote for the Wellington Times. He had me hooked at the first paragraph…
A growing number of Ontarians are being hurt—and our shared future placed at risk—by the moment by moment uninformed decision-making by the current government at Queen’s Park. Led by an unthinking premier and enabled by a spineless cabinet, we are in the midst of a very damaging period in our political history.
Charles’ passion for society and education come through loudly and clearly as he challenges many of the assumptions that the current government has made as it has been making the cuts that we seem to hear more and more about each day.
There is an important message that shouldn’t go unnoticed in all of this. It’s easy to see the impact of cuts on students in the classroom but Charles points out that a child’s life is more than just going to school. Cuts can have the impact at many other points.
Set aside some time to read and understand the important message he’s crafted in this article – and then pass it along to colleagues and friends.
A title like that doesn’t tell you much about the content so I had to read the balance of Sean Monteith’s post to find out.
In education, time is such a precious commodity. When you think about it, it’s the one common element that everyone deals with whether it’s time allotted to a quiz, time spent on a bus, time to be spent on various subjects, time to do homework, time for sports, time for major projects, or even time to build a new secondary school!
In Keewatin Patricia, Sioux North Secondary School opened
Sean notes that he’s packed 10 years of work into the six years that he’s been at the district. Opening a new school is a pretty deal.
Check out the guest list.
And yet, in one day we will welcome the Minister of Education, the Deputy Minister and Assistant Deputies; Grand Chiefs and First Nation Leaders, nationally renowned artists, students, former Directors of Education and retired staff. We will welcome the former Premier of Ontario, and the former Minister of Education as well, and numerous politicians. I am particularly pleased that Tanya Talaga will be joining us; and of course our kids, the entire reason we ask ourselves what is our human obligation, to young people…yes, they will be there too
What an amazing group to have join the celebration!
Stephen Hurley and I discussed this post from Martina Fasano during our radio show earlier this week. Stephen asked me if a particular teacher had stood out in my mind. I immediately thought of Mr. Cook but the moment that his name came out of my mouth, I thought of so many others.
Growing up and living in a small town has its advantages and certain disadvantages. There’s nothing like your parents getting in a lineup at the IGA next to one of your teachers. Or, meeting up with them at Kinsmen or Kinettes. There was no waiting until parent teacher night; feedback was everywhere!
In retrospect, I was lucky to have had the opportunity to be in their classes. I think that’s why I enjoyed Martina’s post so much. The faces and names may have been different but the personalities were much the same. It impacted her.
I could not help but think to myself that if I could be the caring adult for even a handful of students throughout my career, that I would have done a great job of being an educator.
You can’t help but think that sentiment would be a good message delivered at any Faculty of Education.
Martina’s post leads so nicely into this one by Jennifer Aston. There most definitely is a learning environment angle for students but this is mostly about teacher to teacher.
Jennifer had a colleague pass on a collection of books upon her retirement with one provision – Jennifer had to use the books ever year. And she did. I love the way that she worked “admire” into the conversation about the colleague. From that, the respect necessary to follow through on her promise only made it that much easier.
Jennifer has a true passion for the profession; I had a wonderful and colourful conversation with her at EdCampLdn. There’s no question that she honours the profession and is constantly looking for the best resources to use.
More than just using the books, Jennifer passes on a list of ideas for how to use it in her classroom and, consequently, this wisdom is yours just by reading her post. What a wonderful way to pass things along!
The question arose from an interaction from a student who was creating a Raptors stadium. (What else these days…are the Blue Jays even playing, what is it … baseball?)
With video, she answers her own question and I agree with her.
I wonder though, is the operative word in her title “equity” or is it “understand”. My feeling is that it’s probably true that kids notice how different students or situations happen at any age.
While they may notice, do they truly understand? I suppose that there comes an age and experience where they do. But, Aviva’s post, sadly has me thinking of those children in cages at the US/Mexico border. I’m sure they recognize the inequity; do they understand it though?
But, back to Diana – how did she celebrate Digital Literacy Week?
TDSB Professional Library held its second TDSB Teachers Read event
Denise Colby and I had a return engagement on the VoicEd radio show “Mediacy” with Stephen Hurley TDSB Professional Library held its second TDSB Teachers Read event
Today (Wednesday, May 29) was the “reunion” for the Media Literacy AQ participants from TDSB. TDSB Professional Library held its second TDSB Teachers Read event
Tomorrow (Thursday, May 30) will be the 3rd anniversary of the #tdsbEd chat. I haven’t missed an anniversary celebration yet. TDSB Professional Library held its second TDSB Teachers Read event
On Friday, May 31, the seventh annual Red Maple Marketing Campaign will take place at the Malvern branch of the Toronto Public Library TDSB Professional Library held its second TDSB Teachers Read event
Of course, she breaks each of these out in detail well worth your reading. I guess we can cut her some of that slack for missing her Monday deadline.
Please take the time to click through and read each of these wonderful posts. You’ll be glad you did.
Then, make sure you’re following these folks on Twitter.