Rebirth of my daily blog

In July, I decided to (re)start my daily blog, coined Daily-Ink. At the time of my original attempt, I was a regular reader of Stephen Downes OLDaily, and a fan of one of my student’s blog name Wandering Ink. Thus ‘Daily-Ink’ seemed a good name.

So what prompted the rebirth of my daily blog? I wrote this on my Daily-ink:

“For years, I’ve been explaining to people that daily blogging is an extraordinarily useful habit. Even if no one reads your blog, the act of writing it is clarifying, motivating and (eventually) fun.“ ~Seth Godin

I enjoy writing, but I’m slow at it. So, when I get busy, I don’t write. This has really hampered my sharing on my Pair-a-Dimes for Your Thoughts blog. At one point, I was constantly thinking in blog posts. I enjoyed this. I would think of a concept or idea, expand it in my thoughts, then wrap it up on my blog. But I’ve written less and less and so that ability to create a full narrative around an idea has faded. I miss doing that.

So, what can I do to get that back? I need to practice writing; to practice thinking in story; to make writing a routine and expectation – not just something I wish I did.

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Looking at my Pair-a-Dimes home page I can see my last 10 posts, and the 10th one, ‘How far would you go?‘ dates back to almost 2 years ago… that’s 5 posts a year, and hardly what I would consider blogging. Now that I’m back at it, I’m writing more about education along the way, and I think over time I’ll share some of them here too. There is another post that I hope to rewrite and update here as well, but I won’t link to it until I’m ready for the rewrite. Meanwhile, here are snippets from a few short posts that I think relate to the kind of things I usually share here on Pair-a-Dimes.

At the end, I’ll also share some links to some of my favourites so far, even if they aren’t specific to education.

Here are the snippets, click on the titles to see the full post, which in most cases would only take a 30 seconds to a minute-and-a-half more to read:

Some kids are easy to like. They make an effort to connect with you. They want to do well. They seek your approval.

Ask yourself, if you aren’t getting the answers you want, are you asking the right questions?

Vocabulary is a currency in our world.

One of our middle schools in the district sits on the edge of a steep hillside. There is a large set of stairs, and to the side of that, a long wheelchair ramp. Between the stairs and the ramp is a steep grassy wedge. There is a huge forested area with trails nearby, but three boys, two with GoPro cameras on their helmets, are riding up the ramp, and riding down the grassy embankment as well as the stairs. You can see a trail down the embankment from continued use… use that was never intended.

Yesterday on Twitter, I read this tweet by a first year teacher, Ms. Beatty:

Recently got the advice of, “Start off hard, you can always get softer,” in terms of student relationships at the beginning of the year. What do you make of that? Is it good advice? Or misguided?

This was my response: …

This is one of the most puzzling statements a teacher can make, and yet some teachers wear it like a badge of honour.

This time of year, the word ‘potential’ resonates with me. There is so much potential in a new school year! What will be accomplished? What surprises await?

I think we need to soften some of our edges in education:

• School isn’t its own entity. We need to soften the edges between living and learning; Parents as teachers, sharing expertise, and; learning happening in our community… as part of a student’s school day.

• Assessment isn’t formative or summarize, it’s both, it’s continuous, it’s self-reflective, and it can be conceptually/curricular based as well as competency based.

• Subject lines need to be blurred. How can we learn about the biology of crisper without talking about philosophy and geopolitics? (Should scientists be altering the human gene code? If we don’t think so, who in the world should decide? And do we have the ability to stop research in other countries? Will we create a different class of humans?)…

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Those make up the posts I’ve tagged education so far. Here are a few favourites that I also want to share:

I was not a swim coach. I coached water polo and I did a level one swim coaching course, and there I was coaching the season’s first swim practice at a high school with over 10 years of back-to-back championships. It was a small 25 yard pool with 5 lanes, including the diving board lane that didn’t have a diving block. 124 students showed up.