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

Do We Have to Draw it That Way?

My wife teaches grade 2 and has all her students choose their own theme day. She spreads these days our throughout the year. Earlier this month one student chose Legos to be the theme. My wife had her students draw themselves as Lego characters. She had them use this image as a pattern.

As her students started to work, some of the girls asked if they had to draw it that way. My wife wasn’t sure what they were asking but soon some of the boys completed their drawings and she understood their question better.

There’s a lesson in here somewhere, just not sure what it is.


On a side note, this post was prompted in a weird way by my friend Steve‘s return to blogging. Steve was one of the very first blogs I followed back over a decade ago. Back then, educational blogging seemed more niche. People wrote about new tools and apps and conferences. I have to admit, I soon began to see these kinds of posts as less important. I tended to gravitate more towards posts that appeared to have more depth. Knowing Steve as well as I do and having the privilege of … Read the rest

How to Become a Brand. Or Not.

Becoming a brand takes intention and thought. It is by definition a marketing approach. In our current era, this is not exclusively for products and organizations but individuals. Educators, specifically are often encouraged to “build their personal brand“. I’ve seen others, incorporate strategies that have led them to successfully creating a brand. Let me share a few things that may help you to build your personal brand.

  1. The majority of your tweets should be links to other sites. A tweet without one has no value. Bonus if you auto-tweet them all day long. Make your brand 24/7.
  2. Never post personal content. No one wants to hear about your naps or golf game or shopping excursions with your wife. The more you tweet about yourself as a human being, the more your brand loses its focus. People use twitter for information, not your silly natterings.
  3. Blog like an expert. Your blog posts should be stand-alone artifacts of authority. Questioning your practice or showing ambivalence makes you look weak. Write as if you’re the smartest person in the room.
  4. Never engage in conversation on twitter. When people question you or reach out to you, ignore them. It’s a time and
Read the rest