The Bloggin’ Blues

Fell off the blogging horse. Fell off it bad.

Used all the energy that I ever had

on other things that mattered, though I forget what.

The creative part of my brain remained tightly shut.

Then along came Kristi (along came Kristi)!

Yeah, along came Kristi (along came Kristi)!

She knew how to get me out of my lazy funk

with a challenge to get me full of mental spunk.

She wants to hear me share so here it goes.

She asked me a question and this is what arose.


Those that can’t write music, teach, I suppose.


Kristi Keery-Bishop was challenged, and she in turn challenged me, with the statement below:

“Please join us.  When it comes to education, what are 5 things that we have to stop pretending?  Post on your blog, tag 5 others, and share using the #makeschooldifferent hashtag.”

Here’s her blog post.

I’m Irish, stubborn Irish, and therefore, challenge was easily accepted.

Here goes…..

When it comes to education, we must stop pretending that wherever we are in our professional journey, it’s good enough to stay there. Note that I didn’t say “it’s good enough to be there”. Whether it be dipping our toes in the inquiry pool, wrapping our heads around 3 (or 4) act math or using iMovie like a ninja, it’s okay to be at that point. What’s not okay, is to stay at that point. As educators, we owe it to our students and ourselves to be lifelong learners. Moving forward, getting better, improving. We expect that of our charges, and we should expect that of ourselves.

When it comes to education, we must stop pretending that we can do it all. Educators are great at feeling guilty about not doing enough. If you’ve got a comprehensive PLN, then you’ve probably had this feeling before. You see and hear about fantastic things going on in other classrooms and you start feeling inadequate. I feel this all the time! But I do know this: it’s better to do few things well than lots of things passably. Your students don’t know what’s going on in other classrooms, but they are fully aware what’s going on in theirs, and if it’s just adequate…… But you do one thing really well, your students will remember it forever.

When it comes to education, we must stop pretending that the words “I can’t use technology” are okay. Avoiding technology by saying things like “I’m too old to learn about it”, “students need less screen time” or other excuses, are just that….excuses. When used responsibly, creatively and thoughtfully, technology can break down classroom walls and expose students to things we never could otherwise. It is their future. You are doing them an injustice by NOT incorporating technology into your program.

Along side that, when it comes to education, we must stop pretending that we need to teach students technology. Students have been raised with much of what we are using. They are comfortable with it, often much more comfortable than us. Leave them alone to explore an app and they will be experts at it in no time. Teachers rarely need to teach students how to use an app; show them the basics and let them fly! They’ll surprise you, no doubt, and more often than not, they’ll be doing things you never dreamed possible. When a colleague asks me how to use an app, I send them to my students. They know much more than I do, and I’m okay with that. Of course, all this does not mean students don’t need to be guided through the maze of digital citizenship and footprint, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Finally, when it comes to education, we must stop pretending that we can work in isolation. Hopefully, you have a wealth of knowledge and support from teaching partners and other educators in your school, but within social media, you’ve now got the opportunity to collaborate, share or just chat with educators from all over the world. I can’t imagine planning, assessing, finding new ideas and learning on my own. It would be exhausting. My PLN is crucial, number one in my “Teacher Survival Kit”. Not only do I need them, but I hope they need me, too. It’s utterly mind boggling to me how teachers can do good things and not want to share that with others. Be loud! Be proud! Let others steal learn from you!

Now to nominate others for this challenge!

Brian @brianhwdsb

Michelle Fawcett @michellefawcett

Michelle Cordy @cordym

Aaron Puley @bloggucation

Heidi Siwak @heidisiwak




4 Responses to “#makeschooldifferent”

  • adunsige Says:

    First of all, I think your musical intro is awesome! So glad to see you back, blogging. Thank goodness for Kristi & the challenge.

    I loved your five points as well. It was the first one that really resonated with me. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others. We don’t all need to be at the same point, but we can always be reflecting and making changes to better meet the needs of our students. Maybe this is the reason that “one size fits all” PD doesn’t work. We need differentiation as much as our students. So how do we make this more of a reality?

    I’m excited to read more posts of yours (hint, hint 🙂 )!

  • kkeerybi Says:

    Thanks for taking the challenge, Adele. Your blogging voice helps me think. While the whole thing is awesome, the part that I want to stand up and applaud is the idea that we need to stop pretending that the teacher guilt is ok. We need to stop inflicting it on others and more importantly ourselves. That’s a hard one for me to remember sometimes. I want everyone to keep moving, getting closer to ideal, try new things, try good old things and innovate their practice. Everyone still should do that, but maybe not all at once or on my timeline. I have to balance encouraging growth and change while not pushing people into guilt. I need to remember to support their vision for change and not my own. Thanks for that.

  • astanfie Says:

    I’m thrilled, Aviva that you made that connection! One of many topics covered in EdCamp Hamilton this past weekend! As teachers, we differentiate because it’s good for our students. Shouldn’t differentiated PD be the best thing for educators? We all have our own entry points, and we all have the right to learn and move forward. Good PD has all that (and some fun too!). Thanks as always for your comments!

  • astanfie Says:

    Thanks Kristi. I suffer horribly from teacher guilt. And I’ve gone through stretches where I’ve heard about an awesome thing someone else is doing, quickly jumped on it and it didn’t turn out very well. I’d love to say lesson learned but it’s not the case. I still do it! I am learning to settle down with that and not jump on everything that sounds fantastic. Hard though. It is a fine line between encouraging others to move forward and them feeling anxious and guilty because they have enough on their plate. Thanks for that leadership POV.

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