I heart convention

Quebec’s annual teacher’s convention kicked off last night. I didn’t attend the opening sessions because I was just too darn tired out from parent teacher interviews…but I’m so looking forward to today!

I love going to our funky ‘Palais des Congres‘ that everyone makes fun of but I love for its colour. I love seeing teachers I worked with 10 years ago who I get to see in person once each year at convention. I love the gift bag we receive at registration and the goodies available in the display hall. I love the passion around learning that I can taste in the air.

So I’m off for a day of connections, learning, and gift bags!

 

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Today, one of my students…

…I swear, I could start a million sentences with that phrase.

Today one of my students told me that no had ever told her they missed her before today, when I was letting her have it for the attitude she was spreading around the room. I told her that if it continued after 2nd recess I’d have no option but to ask her to leave and I didn’t want to do that because I would miss her insight during our daily meeting. And then she told me that no one had ever said that to her before, that they missed her.


image from: http://www.inmagine.com/single-images-photos/imagezoo-izs002

I’m thankful she focused on that and not the wahn wahn wahn Charlie Brown teacherness of the rest of the message I was saying.

How do you Get Things Done?

I recently read Scott Elias’ page GTD in Education, where he demonstrates how he Gets Things Done, based on David Allen’s action management method called Getting Things Done (GTD).

I do not have an explicit system for getting things done, and I think I am cheating myself because of it. On top of teaching and program planning this year, I will be starting a PhD in educational technology in January. All very exciting, but I will need to develop a method for GTD in order to stay sane.

How do YOU get things done?

MyBlogLog Disappoints

Nov. 17 –> I have decided to discontinue my use of MyBlogLog. Not only do I find this contest wrong but I posted a comment to their thread about the issue (evidently I am not the only one who takes offense) about 3 or 4 days ago and it has not been approved for posting. When I am not comfortable with a company’s services I stop using them.

This silly contest was the first thing, then either not posting a comment because it criticizes the contest OR being negligent in responding to a community member’s criticism on their own forum was the second.

So not impressed.

From Nov. 12 –> Here is a note I recently wrote to the MyBlogLog staff:

I have met bloggers on this site from all over the world. I myself am from Canada. I think that your decision to open up a contest only to US citizens is disrespectful to all of the other bloggers out there who use your services.
Really bad decision on MyBlogLog’s part!
I am thinking of leaving this community. It is not one that welcomes all of its members :(
Tracy Rosen
ps – oh, and I am blogging about this…

What do you think? Am I overreacting? I think contests that are advertised on sites that cater to an international audience should be available to that audience. It is a generous contest that asks for participants to work at building up their communities. Sites like MyBlogLog are participatory community sites. Wouldn’t it be lovely if all of the members of the community were considered as equal participants?
bah.

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reflection on Steve Ransom’s words: integrate or integral

This morning I decided to pay a visit to Steve Ransom’s blog since it had been a while and I found these words of wisdom in Integrate or Integral:

So, I think the work that still needs to be done is to help bring
vision back to teachers who have lost it, to help teachers no longer
excited about learning new things find that spark, to rekindle their
desire to connect with students, to help teachers take risks and to
make failure safe, to reward collaboration and innovativeness, to
foster a community of practice… I think THIS is where technology
becomes integral. Any less, and technology, at best, is integrated. At
worst, tolerated.

Steve got to the heart of what I think to be integral for education reform in this paragraph.

Lately I’ve been spending time reading and reflecting on Pete Reilly’s blog as well and I have read similar thoughts there.

In essence, education reform needs to be humanistic, focusing on the human relationships that can be cultivated amongst teachers, focusing on real needs.

As I’ve quoted here earlier,

“…classroom teachers are the only real agents of school reform. It is
teachers who translate policy into action; who integrate the complex
components of standards, curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment into
comprehensible and pragmatic instruction; and who balance an
ever-changing array of political, economic, social, and educational
factors while trying to meet the individual needs of children.”~Ending the Silence by Donna M. Marriott (2003)

Address the real needs of teachers and the needs of students will in turn be addressed. I guarantee it.

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