Let’s Rethink Teacher Retirement

I recall vividly the first few years of teaching and attending retirement events for my colleagues. As a small district of 15 or so schools, they held these events altogether. I remember hearing tributes and watching skits of people I either only knew from that year or other teachers I never worked with or heard of. I recall laughing along with inside jokes I didn’t really get. I teared up as a younger teacher shared how much they appreciated the mentorship of their colleague. A could clearly feel a sense of community among these veteran teachers. I was looking forward to continuing my journey to belong. Seeing them be celebrated and honoured for their work made me proud and excited to be a teacher. To think that one day I might be honoured and would be carrying with me so many memories of times with staff and students seemed to be a nice way to spend a life.

As our district amalgamated and times changed, these large celebrations and gatherings dissipated. Many teachers opted out of being celebrated in this way. It seemed like a lot of work and effort to put on these events.

Today I see many of … Read the rest

2017 #Deanie Awards

At the same time, it’s my way of saying thank you to those that do little and sometimes big things to bring a smile to face throughout the year”

Like my video of the year I wasn’t planning to do my #deanie awards this year. Mostly because it’s so random I hate the thought of someone being upset about being left out. The key is not to take them too seriously. I don’t. At the same time, it’s my way of saying thank you to those that do little and sometimes big things to bring a smile to face throughout the year.

In case you missed it, here are all the winners:

Update: Because Storify is pooched and Alan Levine pesters me to own my own stuff, I abandoned the third party and share and host my own tweets:

Read the rest

Sandlots and Outdoor Rinks

I played a lot of sports as a kid growing up in southern Manitoba. Hockey in the winter, baseball in the spring, golf in the summer and football in the fall. In all cases, I played in leagues but I also played them without adult supervision or organization.

In Canada, outdoor neigbourhood rinks are as prevalent as sandlots and baseball fields. I remember being about 7 years old and taking my skates and stick to the local outdoor rink, tieing my skates in the heated shack and heading out on the ice. There were kids, teenagers, and adults. Everyone played. You tossed your sticks in the centre of the rink and divided them up. Then you played. If the teams seemed uneven, you’d make a quick adjustment but mostly you just played. You learned to play with kids who were way better than you and kids who were worse. Some kids certainly had the puck more than others but you just played. While you did keep score, it mattered little as the next day you showed up and totally different teams were formed and usually a slightly different crowd.

In the summer, a similar experience happened on baseball diamonds and … Read the rest

The #deanie Awards

Last year I started this on a whim.

I decided to make it the second annual #deanie award.

 

I stated much of what was behind these awards in that post from 2015. Let me add to that a tweet I made for David Truss as he develops a twitter guide for educators.

I likely won’t remember a link or idea you shared. What tends to remain for me is who you are as a person. It’s why when someone shares something a bit unusual or personal, it grabs my attention because I get a sense of who they are and it becomes the basis of a continued connection. The reason I post things about golf, naps or other goofiness is the hope that it might connect me to someone with the same interests, brighten someone’s day or just break the endless stream of edusharing. I’m not opposed to sharing links and ideas, but I don’t know we need more of that. I’m trying to fill a void and spend time focusing … Read the rest

Joy and Love

This past week was Discovery Education‘s annual summer institute affectionately known as DENSI. 150 educators from all over the world spend 5 days together at what really can’t be described as a conference or professional development. It’s something different. The affection I feel for the people I just spent the last number of days with is hard to articulate. Just watching people learn and play and laugh is intoxicating. It’s particularly amazing to see folks from other countries cross-cultural barriers to simply connect as educators and humans.

The theme for this year’s event was joy. In education words like “joy” and “love” are often reluctantly used. We have historically left those ideas for other institutions to manage. Learning can happen without them but when you include them, the idea of “community” takes on a whole new meaning and learning goes to another level.

Yesterday for our final celebration event folks came dressed in whatever outfit/costume brought them joy. A group of community members decided to dress in colored pants and a Canadian t-shirt as a tribute to me. I was humbled and slightly embarrassed at this gesture. Sheila organized it all and represents the quality of people in … Read the rest