My good friend and colleague Jon Orr (@MrOrr_geek) challenged me to reflect on the good things that happened last year. You can read where this originated here and also see one follow up from @MathManAnusic here
Without further ado (spelled: adieu?), my #10goodthings from 2014.
1) I (we) successfully built and developed a Learning Space (Learning Commons) at school full of bean bag chairs, mobile devices, collaboration and critical thought.
2) We threw out the hat rule because we couldn’t answer the “why” (if you know why this rule exists other than “respect” please let me know).
3) I began working on @edmettle (www.edmettle.com) – A social network and feedback management tool for teachers and students to leave positive messages for each other based on the Ontario Learning Skills / Work Habits. Teachers, you can add any skills you wish to the class. Check out the promo video below:
You can also take the tour here:
4) I was hired as a Consultant by the Ministry on Education for eLearning Ontario to lead a team of k-6 teachers in making an electronic resource for coding in the curriculum (stay tuned – we are still working!).
5) I began using Estimation180 to provide students an opportunity to discuss reasonable answers in math.
6) I began moderating #csk8 – Wed nights 8:00 pm EST. Coding in elementary school.
7) I met some new friends at #ECOO when we collaborated and discussed assessment in math. They challenged me, made me think and shared many ideas. (Thanks @MatthewOldridge & @MrSoclassroom )
8) We planned, implemented and ran @edcampSWO (our third annual) with special guest George Couros. (Thanks @cowpernicus, @mrswideen, @mrwideen)
9) @mrsaspinall and I sold our house in three days and moved to the country.
10) We toured each other’s schools and collaborated with @mrbillforrester, @jcorbinh, @PaulClemens5 from #hwdsb which gave us an opportunity to see beyond just our school board. It’s important to get another perspective on #onted.
Thanks, Jon. It feels good to recognize my personal achievements and share them with the world – both personal and professional. If I mentioned you above, I’m challenging you next!
2 Responses for this post
Wearing a hat when entering someone’s house many years ago showed them trust and respect. if you kept your hat on, it suggested you were entering a poorly built house in which you thought there was a good chance of something dripping on you or even worse, something falling on your head! If you removed your hat, it meant that you were sure the house was up to a certain standard, and so that is why removing your hat continues to be a sign of respect.
Personal feelings and opinions aside, someone could argue where video games, TV, and rules in general have come over the years in regards to censorship. Changing with the times has it’s merits, but at what point do we keep some tradition in order to protect the children. Perhaps the hat issue is a minor example, but it does provide something to think and talk about.
Mark, thanks for taking the time to read and reply.
I was told once hats are about respecting and trusting you won’t get your head wet, and you have clarified it again – so I’m sold! I wonder why woman never wore them – or maybe they did? And when did this idea disappear? What about hoodies?
You make some excellent points and I completely agree that our decisions (and rules) should be in our student best interest and definitely safety. Censorship has been changing for years from smoking on TV but no kissing or holding hands in the 60s – to where we are today with “anacondas”, twerking, and everything else seen in a Miley video . It seems bizarre and we can’t protect anyone from that as hard as we try. But I also think those are teachable moments. Less protection and more conversation. Life is about choices.
I also agree tradition is important. But like I said in this post. “Why?” If it is a question of safety – absolutely! It the question cannot truly be answered, lets have a discussion around it. I promise our school’s roof won’t leak tomorrow. If is does, we will deal with it.
For me, it is not about the hats. Its about the discussion and conversations we should be having. Our kindergarten students will see the 22 century, yet we teach them with 19 & 20th century practices, beliefs, traditions and ideas. I’m not sure what changes are necessary, I just like to use “hats” as the metaphor because it is easy to target.
I hope we can continue this conversation as we continue to learn and I encourage others to post their thoughts.