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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

As a long time supporter of our current provincial government, I am bewildered beyond belief with the current situation we face.  Should I be proud of our OECTA federation in making a deal as an isolated unit?  Well, they are as they say, crazy like a fox….taking advantage of a government that was so desperate to save money (to pay for small size classes – which by the way, NO research supports as beneficial to learning!) and full day Kindergarten (which research DOES support!) that they gave away the farm in so many other ways.

To take away the choice to hire the best and the brightest is SO bizarre – we now have to hire based ONLY on seniority – and I am sorry occasional teachers, but there is a reason why some of you are being passed over in the hiring process!  Qualifications and skills MUST account for something!  Who in this world, cannot hire who they want besides administrators in education???  Truly bizarre…but kudos to the federation who identified the soft underbelly of this beast.

Even worse, because after all, we can now set the bar so high on TPAs for new hires, that we can toss out the dead wood even faster than before…but now, our students will suffer because of the change in how we do diagnostic assessment.  Who goes to the doctor and says, “I’m not feeling so good” only to hear the doc say, “hey, no tests are needed, let me take a wild guess as to what the problem is…”  How would we feel about that??  The learning “health” of our students is equally important.  How can we honestly say we know where our students are, what are their gaps, where should we address their needs through interventions and differentiation without diagnostic testing?  I would demand no less from my doctor, my car mechanic, my home repairman.  God knows, home schooling is looking better every day…

Venting is good for the soul I hear…..

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

A New Beginning – Again

Here we are again, waking up to Labour Day with the usual anxiety pangs about the start of a new school year. I know, I know, my role means a very different type of anxiety from that of the teachers and students who are anticipating the work of the first day.  As a system administrator responsible for system and school programming, my summer meant many days at the office cleaning up files, completing reports, answering Ministry emails, and planning for the next year’s budget.  But all done at my own pace and much of it done at home.

So my first day of full-speed action is tomorrow – meeting with my team of consultants and special assignment teachers with system responsibilities – revisiting our goals and planning how to reach them.  Long days, hectic days, stressful days – same for the teachers, but still very different.  What this year will look like is anyone’s guess now that we are facing turmoil with the contract mess.

In the meantime, we surge forward with optimism since I know that our teachers will put the kids first.  I look forward to the Blended Learning expansion, the BYOD expansion, the professional learning network we will continue to build with our secondary administrators and department heads, the increased focus on mathematics  and disciplinary literacy.  I am greatly disturbed by the cut in our professional learning funding from the Ministry – that is the only way we were able to fund Collaborative Inquiry projects for every teacher…how we will continue to support professional learning is beyond me right now.

My presentation for our August Administrators’s meeting was about the role principals play in monitoring the Blended Learning in their schools.  Just as they monitor the level of instruction and student work in the f2f classroom, they need to login to D2L to see the action in the online classroom. We need to overcome the myth that a low level task can become high level just because it is done with technology.

So tonight will be the night when every educator tosses and turns all through the hours of darkness – worrying, rehearsing, revising, imagining everything that can go wrong, and excited for everything that can go right.  After tomorrow, we will all wonder how it happens that summer seems so long ago!

All the best for tomorrow – students, teachers, administrators, and parents!

Creative Commons image courtesy of capl.washjeff.edu

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized