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Love First

The thing about our closing schools and staying home is definitely a loss of social interaction face-to-face, a chance to sit beside our students to listen and provide feedback, but mostly to encourage. And classrooms which are communities of learners and learning are ones that focus on encouragement and support by teachers and students as well as continuous learning of content.

Classrooms and hallways are filled with conversation and even shenanigans, and each person from school misses that.

Yet, teachers have stepped up and provided lessons to meet the needs of students in different and new ways-- often with only a week's notice. We thank our teachers and staff for their steadfast dedication to their students and their learning.

Today, Kevin Hodgson was able to return to school to gather up the possessions of students left from those days in March. His reflection shows the effect of silent emptiness echoing the hallways and classrooms, a loss felt deep within each teacher's heart.

Take a look: Pandemic Poem from the Classroom: Broken Pencils

I wrote a response:

Those pencils.
So many.
All sizes.
Broken tips.
Just sharpened.
Blunt, ready to be.
Thoughts held in
a distant memory
Lost words
not erased,
just unwritten.

This post is so heartfelt; lost school hallway conversations — where are they now?

And so, I repeat from yesterday, this, about moving forward:

“Love first, design later.” — Maha Bali 


If you're a teacher looking for online resources, there are many out there now that do not require paying a company or person to show you how: find those who have already been teaching online for years. 

The important thing to remember is the heart of teaching starts with relationships. The learning comes with the pedagogy of teaching and learning, not the technology.

That said, the technology implemented from a pedagogical focus provides teachers and students with the how of learning remotely.

A few people who know a few things about remote learning:

Laura Gibbs: Online teacher using blogs as hub

Edublogs-- a platform for classrooms and blogging with excellent support

Michelle Pacansky-Brock
Hybrid Pedagogy -- a group of thoughtful educators
Sean Michael Morris
Larry Ferlazzo -- Classroom Teacher and Author -- Blogs on Edublogs platform
Scott McLeod-- former principal and teacher; leader in educational technology
Thomas C Murray
Jennifer Gonzalez: Former middle school and pre-service teacher 
The above resources discuss pedagogy and specific practices that encourage online learning and student agency and engagement. I've found blogging and Google Classroom to be most adaptable to pedagogy that promotes improved teaching and learning.  Here are resources on using the technology-- but remember, it's the pedagogy that makes the difference to learning.

Catlin Tucker -- classroom teacher and author
Leaders for Google Classroom:
Slidesmania by Paula from Uruguay

Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness... Reflect curiosity and wonder... Live to make the world less difficult for each other. ~ George Eliot

Photo: by Sheri Edwards, from my school's hallway


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Wonder. One word. It's been a driving force in my life. Every day. I wonder.  I wonder if there was an electric car that soon [while watching Murdoch Mysteries  ] I wonder what that word means -- kinesin [while watching a vine  ] I wonder if homework helps students? [ a staff school improvement question] I wonder how social media could be used in education? [and how do students use it- how do we get better at digital citizenship ?] I wonder what to do with all the information around us? [while reflecting on third anniversary of #etmooc   I don't just wonder, I find answers -- or rather I research, connect, consider, and form my own ideas to inform my life and my work, sharing and collaborating with others to consider the best options. And that's what I wish for my students -- to wonder about the world and how it works, to wonder about words and why they inspire us, and to wonder in ways that expand their understanding of the world


Welcome .   Go boldly : be confident -- accept that we are not perfect, and go boldly so that we may grow, together. Scatter seeds of kindness -- accept others; we can only be who we are with what we know at the time; be patient with each other as we learn together. Reflect curiosity and wonder -- engage in conversation and an exchange of ideas, reflecting the ideas of others with one's own; wonder what else could be, and move forward anew. Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness... Reflect curiosity and wonder... Sheri Edwards Live to make the world less difficult for each other. ~ George Eliot