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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Action Required?

"Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks." (Samuel Johnson)

Pro-active, re-active, knee-jerk reaction, responsive, due diligence, avoidance, forward looking, steadfast, visionary, moored, progressive, regressive, scattered, grounded, reform, transform, leader, followers, initiates, rebukes.   These are all terms you hear being thrown around by teachers, administrators, staff, trustees, Ministry and yes, parents and community when talking about Education.


Which of those action words are you? Am I? Should we be? At what time? During what circumstance? A question should not end with the answer. The answer should not be the end to the response. A response should not end the action. The action should end with a question.

Yes it is better to be pro-active as opposed to being re-active. But can you always foresee a circumstance? A knee-jerk reaction maybe required to defuse a situation? But what rationale/reasoning behind the decision will determine if the responsive action was the correct one. We should always be doing our due diligence to discover and avoid any pit holes that may arise before us. Are our thoughts and thinking forwarding looking or are we steadfast in our actions and thinking to change? Are we visionary and willing to explore and challenge what is before us or moored in the tried and true (known)? Is what we do progressive or knowingly (or unknowingly) regressive? Do our plans and thinking keep us grounded in our actions or are they scattered with no plan to follow?  Are we reforming or transforming our practises and mind set? Do we know when to be leaders and when to be followers? Is rebuking initiatives accomplishing your goals or just hindering those of others? 

Every thought, plan, action, happening, circumstance &/or reasoning does have an action and reaction (cliche). Does the term 'practical wisdom' by Barry Schwartz from the video Using Our Practical Wisdom come into play here? Does more knowledge whether practical (life) or academia give you more wisdom? Whose wisdom is proper? How does wisdom play into action? 



Is Action Required? Action will happen. The Who, When, Where, Why, What and How will depend on you. Where are your actions taking you?



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Contemplating the Future

This blog post was not inspired by this tweet but was the kick in the rear to write a post. I often struggle with what to write about. Is it relevant? Do I actually know enough about the topic? Am I saying anything new? Why am I writing this?



I am always reflecting/questioning my job as a Trustee, "Am I doing a good job?" and the role of a Trustee, "What is a Trustee's role?". It has been 2344 days since I was elected a Trustee. It is over a year away but October 2018 is an election year. What will I use as my criteria in determine to run again? My Job or My Role?

I looked back through some of my old posts for reference and referral. These ones seemed most applicable. Why? (Nov 2010) The Trustee Dilemma (Sept 2012) The Good The Bad The Ugly (May 2016) Others have a glimpse &/or a spark of my thoughts and motivation.

Have I learned a lot as a Trustee? Yes. My trouble is relaying that knowledge on to others

Have I accomplished my initial goals? No. That will always be on going. Improvement? Yes

Have I been an effective Trustee? Within the system? My peers can answer that question. To my Constituents? Election time will determine that. There will always be the conflict between doing right for the Board and right for your constituents. School Trustees Job Represent Constituents & Ask Hard Questions

Yes there is unfinished business.  Am I making a difference?

Depending on what happens with Bill 68, will determine how soon or late I will need to decide if there will be a box beside my name waiting for the X in 2018.

I will leave you with this article. Trustees: Perhaps No Political Office Is More Important

Saturday, March 25, 2017

MARKS. GRADES. AWARDS

Twitter these last days seems to had more talk about the abolishment of student's marks, award & ceremonies and even grades. Is today's society/mindset ready for this? You read posts by @Nunavut_teacher, @gcouros, @joe-bower and it all seems so simple.This movement even gets airplay, @MrWejr What drives students and even parents to learn and excel? Is their motivation extrinsic or intrinsic? How do they know what they know or where they are at? Is education & learning a competition with winners and losers? Here in Ontario how could a teacher, school or board move away from grading, when they all use the same Provincial Report Card? I believe this train of thought or movement has merit but I am not a convert yet.

Monday, February 20, 2017

What is Education?

After reading this article Can There Be A More Apt Example Of Trying To Do The Wrong Thing Right Than In Schools? one can be drawn into many areas of reflection.

What is the Philosophy of Education? Philosophy of Education

What is the purpose of school? What Is The Purpose of Education? It is continually changing through the years.

What is school? Instilling, acquiring, mastering &/or executing knowledge. What Is Education? Insights From The World's Greatest Minds

Is school the acquisition of skills? What skills? Eight Critical Skills of Modern Education What about 'Life Skills'? Life Skills Education I meant cooking, financial, etc. Or are those home taught skills?

These are some of the many questions circulating in the Education world. There are many more questions from curriculum & content to authentic/relative learning to assessment to technology use.

Can school be all of these? Do you choose different parts from different areas as your base? Are these questions and their answers, why education is accused of slow change? Little changes over time resulting in fundamental changes are used in the face of  'that was the way school was when I went' (status quo).

                                 

Schools are criticized for not teaching cursive writing. Maybe they should teach cursive and not printing. What other alphabet(Latin) has two written/printed forms? Which form is more prevalent?

Can you see part of the dilemma? What is Education? Or is this a look at Education from an acedemic view as opposed to a practical/in practice view?