Thursday, December 29, 2011


A lot of what is taught to students bores them because it has no relevancy. If it has no relevancy, the message is lost. Many feel like Peter Griffin.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

An education like this nobody needs. Kids need to learn to think for themselves.

Another Brick in the Wall

“We don't need no education
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!”

An education like this nobody needs. Kids need to learn to think for themselves.

Monday, December 26, 2011

They couldn't be bothered

I shot these two pictures today while I was shopping. They are signs for two different businesses. My question is simple: Why were these signs allowed to be posted without some editing? I guess they couldn't be bothered.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It does not have to be this way?

-Shouting teachers

-rows of desks

-tests based on memorization.



-flipped classroom

-lack of teacher input on decisions

-lack of student input on decisions



You may agree with some and disagree with others. However, it is good to challenge and question your beliefs regarding education.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What is good PD in 140 characters or less.

What is good PD? I asked that question using Twitter and received many responses. The responses are posted below. Can you detect any common themes?

@JPPrezz: Good PD is engaging, relevant, and participant-driven

@runfardvs: IMO good PD is aimed at classroom practice, adaptable for each teacher's situation, and has follow-up

@skipvia: A structure for providing your own PD. No institution can provide everything every teacher needs.

@mountainteacher: individualized and convenient with time to apply and reflect

@nathanpitt: interactive activities (have people DO something) and opportunities for "projects" that last beyond time of PD "class."

@erringreg: Good PD is relevant, purposeful, pushes you beyond your comfort zone enough to shift your thinking. My MEd was good PD.

@monicaannebatac: Conversations reign supreme.

@northeagles: Simple: educators spending time together discussing kids/education/professional practice-then setting goals 4improvement

@ShawnMcCusker: good PD helps teachers deliver an improved classroom experience to students.

@sonicgeekette: Good PD is learning from other educators in Twitter!

@christensen143: Brian I think good PD ties in Technology. I'm biased as the Tech Dir but we throw so much tech at teachers with little PD.

@erniec: job embedded, inquiry based, purpose driven

@techyturner: PD that is relevant and timely.

@Michelle_Horst: One that interests and motivates you as a teacher! Perhaps one chosen, and not prescribed? Ask: Will I learn as a result?

Thanks to all who responded!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Guest Post: When you REALLY Reflect Upon Awards by Chris Wejr @MrWejr

I recently read an excellent blog post by Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp titled, "Awards for All Means Students Still Lose - No Matter How Well Meaning They Are." I read the comments on the post and the comment that most aligned with my thoughts was made by Chris Wejr's @mrwejr. I asked for and received permission from @mrwejr to share his comment as a guest post. He wanted me to do a little "tinkering" so that it would be a partner post. I have added a little but the bulk of this post is his. Thank you Mr. Wejr.

When you REALLY Reflect Upon Awards by Chris Wejr @MrWejr

Awards are always a hot topic. As you know, Kent Elementary School ended our awards ceremony in 2009. When you REALLY reflect upon awards, it is quite silly what we force our kids to sit through. Most awards ceremonies highlight the achievements of a select few (mostly the same students each year) and force others to sit and watch. Those that watch are NOT recognized for their efforts and this further disengages the watching majority.

When we tell people that we have ended our awards and that we honour each child throughout the year, people assume we give awards to everyone. Since when do we need awards to honour? Speaking publicly about or privately to a child about their strengths is what we do.... without tickets, prizes, medals, or trophies.

As soon as you offer an award, the focus goes directly to that. We get parents and students fighting for this honour chosen by teachers. Furthermore, teachers often argue about who should be chosen for said award.

What are we trying to teach kids? To go for an award? ...or... To see the value of working hard to complete a challenging task? Indeed, student achievement is not the same as student learning.

We do not give awards nor do we have a honour roll or student of the month. Our "marks" are still great for those who previously did well... and we still have those who struggle. We have not seen a significant change in academics since the ending of all of this. BUT - we have seen a HUGE shift in school culture where it is ok to take risks. More academic risk taking will create conditions for more learning.

It is far easier to give an award or many awards than it is to honour a child's strengths and challenge them to be better. So if our "top-achievers" (and students that would have won an award) do just as well AND we have improved culture since we ended awards, why would we have them?

In closing, when we praise students we need to make sure that it is meaningful, relevant, and effort-based (growth mindset). Awards most often put the focus on results (fixed mindset). If everyone gets an award, they may not be as harmful in the losing factor but they lose meaning... so again, why have them at all?

Be a child's coach - praise them for their efforts and challenge and support them in areas of their struggle.

November 22, 2011 9:22 PM