Day 31 (of 2021/22) emergency drills with thanks to @shakeoutbc

Day 31 (of 2021/22) emergency drills with thanks to @shakeoutbc

Tis the season for reviewing our emergency drills. In BC we are required to do 1 lockdown drill, 1 earthquake drill (tomorrow) and 6 fire drills. I like bundling them into the same week so that we are all thinking about ‘why’ we need to know what to do in an emergency that would cause one of these three to occur. Here is my thinking about them:

Lockdown drill

– 3 Bells will ring (we are currently not using our bells through the day, so this should be a pretty clear signal that something isn’t right) that means everyone goes right into their classroom (thus the 3 bells in case they are outside…) and locks their doors.

– No Announcement = lockdown: lock doors and remain quiet – everyone stay away from doors and windows

– Announcement may clarify that it is a ‘hold and secure’ which means the outer doors are to remain closed/locked but classrooms can continue as normal. But we should still stay out of the halls as best we can.

– Announcement by Principal/Vice Principal will declare that the lockdown is over.

– If a fire alarm rings during a lockdown, the alarm is to be ignored during this one time only.

Tomorrow (Thursday October 21) is ShakeOutBC Day – when we are highly encouraged to finish off the drills we practice this time of year:

Earthquake Drill: https://www.shakeoutbc.ca/resources/ another announcement = the feel of the earth moving – take cover under tables and away from windows and doorways. Announcement will go over the protocols of what to do… as provided by @shakeoutbc

  • Announce that the earthquake drill has begun and instruct staff and students to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” or play the audio recording on your PA or classroom computers.
  • Count seconds out loud for the duration of the quake. This will help keep students focused and calm and will allow you to identify how long the earthquake lasts. The longer it lasts, the more cautious everyone will need to be.
  • When the shaking stops (or when the all clear sounds) count to 60. Suggest that while under a sturdy desk or table, students and teachers look around at what might fall on them in a real earthquake. These should be secured or moved after the drill.
  • NOTE: If an aftershock occurs while exiting, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” until the shaking stops. Crouch rather than dropping to knees to avoid injury from debris.

Then we will ring the fire drill bells (which in theory will go off with a significant quake but even ShakoutBC notes that an evacuation is not automatically necessary) and transition to a fire drill

Fire Drill: line up and head outside your entrance/exit door and make your way to the back field making sure you are as prepared as you can for the weather conditions (eg if it is raining, grab coats as you line up and head outside – but don’t change shoes; if you’re in the gym/library/music portable… too bad… though in a real emergency we have blankets et al available in an outdoor shed). We will then line in columns facing the school. Then do attendance – if everyone you expect to be with you is there, hold up a green card so that Sarah can see your class is ‘good’. If you are missing someone – please send the little note in your emergency attendance kit to our secretary at the stairs so we can determine where they are. When we are “clear” Mr Landy or Mr Hilleren will give an “all clear” shout. If we need to evacuate, we need to head as a group to… unhealthy treat for the first three who know where our evacuation site is <– gotta have a bit of a contest in the week… to then contact families for pickup… 

Because even ShakeoutBC recommends trying a family pickup event from time to time:

  •  Conduct an evacuation of the school according to your emergency plan.
  •  Add a student release drill – have parents participate.
  •  Set‐up an Incident Command Post.

Practice for what we hope we never need to do!

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Day 30 (of 2021/22) aunties

Day 30 (of 2021/22) aunties

Aunties are important. In many families “auntie” is a term of respect – both for bloodline aunties and aunties-by-choice.

I love that my office manager has evolved to “auntie Sarah” to many of us. Like even I have defaulted to calling her that from time to time.

It started when an authentic niece called her that. Then her classmates joined in. Then some authentic “not quite nieces” joined in and it expanded. Now if anyone refers to auntie Sarah we all know who they are referring to.

Our rock. The home base. The safety net. The safe person on staff. The one who “gets me”. Not just about getting ice or bandages (though that matters) nor about keeping track of attendance and notices (they matter too).

And when she was away for a few days… everyone noticed. A few said they would wait for some things to get done until she returned… others just waited.

When I think of the many aunties – familial, friend, community-based who have supported (have a beautiful dream catcher gifted to me from one auntie) and kicked my butt (questioning the Haida influenced art that has been gifted by our bcpvpa when our main office is not on Haida Gwaii) I appreciate them all. I love that both myself and my one mail cousin each have an “aunt sandy” (both our moms share the same name rhyming with our surname).

And age doesn’t matter. I had a friend who had an aunt the grade below us. Our school auntie is one of the younger staff members, but the title of “auntie” doesn’t care about age – the respect and love is real (so might be the reliance!)

I wish my kids saw their aunties more often. I know that with the pandemic there are many kids who are not seeing their familial aunts.

Really glad we have an auntie at our school.

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Day 29 (of 2021/22) thinking about how we teach (writing) via @newyorker

Day 29 (of 2021/22) thinking about how we teach writing

Neat article from the New Yorker! https://www.newyorker.com/culture/postscript/the-teacher-who-changed-how-we-teach-writing/amp

Wasn’t that long ago that I did some thinking on writing… https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2021/02/02/day-94-of-190-on-writing-via-a-natwexler-article-on-forbes/

And I like that we are synthesizing out teaching of writing. And I love the meta-ness of the New York synthesizing writing.

I like that the article reminds us that all too often we decry what we are currently doing as we mid-remember what learning was like “back in the day”. And this is probably the worst thing we can do. We always remember the best parts of the “good old days” and selective memory doesn’t permit is to remember all the reasons why we want(ed) to move forward…

Sometimes it’s not about finding a program – I don’t think there is one (nor ever has been) that will meet the needs of all learners. I do think it’s about deconstructing and synthesizing our pedagogy to come up with the right toolkit to meet the needs of the learners in front of us – not the ones that we used to teach nor the ones we might teach in w day…

So it’s interesting that mike rose was not on my radar until I read this article. And I love that he can still be an influence on our thinking working and doing.

And I am also aware that there are people who are heavily influential on me and that I am in awe of that I know others have no idea who their name is.

The article was about writing but it really wasn’t – it is all about the synthesis educators put into their craft! And I think that was more than worth it!

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Day 28 (of 2021/22) Relationships #bcedchat October 17 – 7pm pt

Day 28 (of 2021/22) Relationships #bcedchat October 17 – 7pm pt

Kids: we have the same birth year! Besties forever!

Adults: maybe show me your cv and I’ll consider it…

Relationships matter. Personal. Professional. There’s even a @bcpvpa leadership standard about it. So some Qs that I will choose from to chat about relationships for #bcedchat Sunday October 17th at 7pm pacific time.

Preamble question after we acknowledge our local nations… Does Twitter help with relationships? I have seen it help as preamble before face to face meets – but that might just be me…

Not gonna lie – it’s been a “heavy” year – with positive attitudes in first days ebbing to “wow, it’s not changing back to the way it was…” have you had relationships strained? Any growth areas?

Do all relationships on staff have to be awesome bffs? Wondering because there have always been some educators I have talked to because we’re in the same staffroom, but I wouldn’t offer to meet them for coffee…

How do we keep relationships positive in our school… is it different with students than with adults??

Is there a price to be paid by working in isolation? Is it worth the cost?

Do clothes matter? Common staff outfit? Orange/Pink Shirt Day? Can an outfit change the relationship?

What can someone do or say to end a relationship with you? Covid? Politics? Star Wars vs Star Trek?

How do old folks connect with us fellow kids? (Yes – there’s a meme) Do you even minecraft?

Is a nemesis important? A doubter that you need to prove wrong?

We are facing tough new challenges together during this pandemic – how can we (@bcedchat) help build stronger relationships with you?

What relationships do we need to grow…which ones to prune… as we get comfortable being uncomfortable in education?

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Day 28 (of 2021/22) Relationships #bcedchat October 17 – 7pm pt

Day 28 (of 2021/22) Relationships #bcedchat October 17 – 7pm pt

Kids: we have the same birth year! Besties forever!

Adults: maybe show me your cv and I’ll consider it…

Relationships matter. Personal. Professional. There’s even a @bcpvpa leadership standard about it. So some Qs that I will choose from to chat about relationships for #bcedchat Sunday October 17th at 7pm pacific time.

Preamble question after we acknowledge our local nations… Does Twitter help with relationships? I have seen it help as preamble before face to face meets – but that might just be me…

Not gonna lie – it’s been a “heavy” year – with positive attitudes in first days ebbing to “wow, it’s not changing back to the way it was…” have you had relationships strained? Any growth areas?

Do all relationships on staff have to be awesome bffs? Wondering because there have always been some educators I have talked to because we’re in the same staffroom, but I wouldn’t offer to meet them for coffee…

How do we keep relationships positive in our school… is it different with students than with adults??

Is there a price to be paid by working in isolation? Is it worth the cost?

Do clothes matter? Common staff outfit? Orange/Pink Shirt Day? Can an outfit change the relationship?

What can someone do or say to end a relationship with you? Covid? Politics? Star Wars vs Star Trek?

How do old folks connect with us fellow kids? (Yes – there’s a meme) Do you even minecraft?

Is a nemesis important? A doubter that you need to prove wrong?

We are facing tough new challenges together during this pandemic – how can we (@bcedchat) help build stronger relationships with you?

What relationships do we need to grow…which ones to prune… as we get comfortable being uncomfortable in education?

How will your relationships safely celebrate the holidays? Is there a desire to celebrate? What will Halloween look like? How about the winter holidays? In an attempt to decolonize education, should these events be discontinued in school communities?

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Day 27 (of 2021/22) the new normal thanks @ascd

Day 27 (of 2021/22) the new normal

Thursday is #saskedchat – a weekly chat based out of Saskatchewan but has connections everywhere (much like their football team has roughrider fans everywhere…) this weeks session was focused around new (and soon-to-be) teachers. One person commented that more and more primaries have never experienced a “normal year”.

My though and share back was – “this” is normal for them… we need to see it as normal for us as well.

And it connected to a recent ASCD article: “Schooling in the ‘Fifth Season’” https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/schooling-in-the-fifth-season

This may not be the only pandemic our kindergarten students face. There will also be more extreme weather events that will impact our communities (even I’m still stressing about what happened to Lytton) not to mention civil unrest and increasing local/regional conflicts – not just on cnn.

The new normal needs to prepare for more interruptions and be hybrid-able. That means first up is a need for universal broadband and technology access. Broadband internet access is as important as any other utility in our society. And yes people can live without it as many do live without electricity, water and sewage. But those should be the outliers. As screens continue to decrease in costs it is easier to get them to the families that cannot get a personal device (and a 1:1 setup is ideal from my past experiences).

As schools shift between face to face and online (and my colleagues in a previous district experienced a quick shift this week with one announcement coming Sunday night) pedagogies need to be robust to interruption. In short – can students continue to be connected to their learning (teacher and class) even if not always in a brick and mortar school. Competency based (mastery learning) can be helpful in this – as can personalized learning as students are working on their own zones of proximal development.

Survey courses need to evolve as their quick movement means any absences/interruptions can mean students could miss entire topics. Instead we need to teach fewer topics in greater depth. As I say: differentiate up and down. “Gifted classes” can exist in regular classrooms as should “support blocks”. This can be done through inquiry and allows for some topics that are missed to be determined either as “not a big deal” or “essential so let’s go over this again”.

The fourth principal in this article highlights the need for better social welfare for children and families. Which we need to be aware is a sector that is likewise feeling a “crunch of change” but we need more care on young people and families so that schools don’t have to deal with that and can focus on their specialization: teaching and learning. So I’ll do my regular rant/reminder that Canada remains the sole G7 nation without a food program for students (and admittedly during confederation education was declared a provincial issue and PEI is making an attempt to provide food for all students)

Uncertainty may very well be the paradigm shift that education was unknowingly kinda getting ready for. What kind of haven must schools consider to be to our young citizens as they go through periods of uncertainty and greater complexity than previously experienced.

Gotta get comfortable being uncomfortable – that’s probably the key mindset for what is now… “normal”.

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Day 26 (of 2021/22) data and poor math

Day 26 (of 2021/22) data and poor math

Poor math. Takes a beating in data collection and in social media… https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tweets-helping-kids-math_l_61639f9ae4b0fc312c98839b/amp

But we were talking about data. And math. Not the math of data. But what the data is showing us about math in general:

Think of data as a flashlight for uncovering trends.

Used to align common goals.

Level One: Satellite data (accountability to board, families, ministry)

Level Two: Map Data (Dibels, Benchmarks, other assessments)

Level Three: Street Data (Stories behind the data)

Math feedback: students aren’t used to doing strategy based questions, need more practice than with skill drilled questions. Math needs to be less of a silo-subject.

The Satellite data is easy to acquire – it is harder to pull out and add in map and street level data because it becomes so personal…

Data I didn’t like to hear from a survey was the low level of students ‘liking school’ – 50% in two of the younger groups surveyed, 1/3 in the secondary cohort…

But it made me think of the problems with identifying math issues using a testing format that is less en vogue now (and here) than ever before – multiple choice. Yet some of the other tests (our BC numeracy assessment in secondary and a big part of the FSAs focus on using multiple strategies – an approach not always worked on in classes… and rarely in most textbooks.

I kinda hope our kids don’t get used to doing multiple choice tests. But I do hope we spend more time talking about maths.

Just dwelling on what our data is telling us. And if we have right tools to give us the info that we need. Working on a thingy – will share soon

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Day 25 (of 2021/22) couldn’t wait till day 42 – the ultimate answer to everything on HG2G 42nd anniversary #HG2G

Day 25 (of 2021/22) couldn’t wait till day 42 – the ultimate answer to everything on HG2G 42nd anniversary of publication. I love the 5/6 part trilogy. Elicits laughter and deep thinks. The section on “eating” as to societal evolution nicely punctuates socioeconomic divides that are usually quite difficult to metaphor.

First: Don’t Panic. One of the big takeaways from HG2G – one of the big reasons it supplanted the Encyclopaedia Gamactica is these key words in very friendly font (probably comic sans) on its cover.

Second: don’t forget your towel. A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. It can be a blanket, a sail, wrap, etc etc etc. even dry yourself off if it still seems clean enough.

Thirdly the series redefines what a trilogy is! Mainly because it declares itself a trilogy in five parts. And a sixth thanks to a draft worked on by Elon Colfer.

Fourthly, it has the secret to flight: fall but miss the ground!

Fifth, yes there are contradictions in the series. Just like life.

Sixth. The earth is a big supercomputer. Makes more sense when you process it…

Seventh (x 6) 42. The ultimate answer. You just need to work out what the right ultimate question is – most likely so far: how many roads must a man (sic) walk down?

Eighth: an amazing text based game that is hard. Easier if you’re familiar with the books but I don’t know by how much…. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1g84m0sXpnNCv84GpN2PLZG/the-game-30th-anniversary-edition

Ninth: the tech predictions came true: speak and touch to control tech is much better than the text based controls in the game…

Tenth: babel fish becomes reality via Google translate!

Eleventh: is breeblebrox the template for a 21st century politician? Is satire/need to hard to differentiate?

Twelfth: it is a fun read. Yes, reading can be fun. And funny.

13th. Deadlines. Douglas Adams was bad at meeting them, though he did admit that he loves deadline! “I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

14th. May 25th is “towel day” – for readers of HG2G to recognize each other. I also have mine today because of the book anniversary.

15. I once dressed as Zaphod Breeblebrox for a masters presentation. I no longer remember what it was for, but loved having two heads (someone to talk to!)

16. When asked where he got his ideas, he would reply “from a small sum order firm in [random town]

Seventeenth: 42 is not a binary code reference nor connected with Tibetan monks. Just sounded funny.

18th. My daughter has an engineering professor who will accept 42 as an answer when you don’t know – much better than “pass”….

N. There are some clever bow ties out there but I ended up using three key images for my own home made tie since today landed on #bowtietuesday

20. It normalized that not everyone really gets the hang of Thursdays.

Twenty-first: tries to conceptualize how really big space is. And we can’t imagine just how vastly, hugely, mindboggingly big it is.

22nd: if you double all the precious points it gets to the big finale of 42. ‘Nuff said.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is an important read. Humour combined with deep thinkings. And the best reminder during pandemic learning…

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Day 24 (of 2021/22) #thankful

Day 24 (of 2021/22) #thankful

Going into a Thanksgiving long weekend – I am being mindful of the cultural history of thanksgiving – and there are some colonial issues around this ‘holiday’ that we need to be more mindful of.

Personal: the support to ensure all of my kids are on their right paths. My oldest girl is getting ready for a return to on-site learning after her co-op term! My son is ready to apply for a job at the library (quiet and organized!) and my youngest is on a grad path and also thinking about a part time job. My wife has been working hard to help white all the kiddos are on good paths. #familystrong

Professional: shaking off my deficit mindset – specifically working in district where budget cuts have been agenda items 1-4 on every meeting to one where I was still doing innovations a bit sneakily when really I didn’t/don’t need to. So now I’m going to be more public (in-district) with some of my proposal think pieces – knowing not all will be doable but also knowing I don’t have to shuffle $ for them either

Hybrid: working with Code Breaker publishing for my PBL/Descriptive Feedback book has been empowering. Feeling more confident in my writing and reflecting on education. Two great regulation tools for me!

Quick hits:

⁃ arranging a turkey dinner for a family that is needing support has felt good.

⁃ a hockey keeper pool and “needing” to wear our championship belt as defending champion.

⁃ growth plan review this week that confirmed good alignment between me our school and our district.

⁃ hope that the US border will open so we can zip down to see family who can’t head north. Can’t afford the airfare for 5!

– sadness learning a family member has passed of covid (not vaccinated) and thankful to everyone who has their two (and in one case 3) shots

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Day 23 (of 2021/22) Averting Targeted School Violence seminar

Day 23 (of 2021/22) Averting Targeted School Violence seminar

Couldn’t stay for all of it, but wanted to do a bit of a reconnection to this topic having recently reread the book Columbine https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2021/08/13/sol-10-summer-of-learning-2021-columbine-book-by-dave-cullen-reminder-about-ptsd/ … there is a lot to know that can help prevent violent incidents…

Change of baselines

Triggering event

Preparation

Plots foiled because of connection with trusted adult (as an example of one case in 2015 – weapons purchased with parental permission – condition was no ammunition which made me laugh when this was shared…)

Suspending a student does not remove a threat (example had student using isolation time to better plan the attack) which is why I only suspend away from school if there is home support that will likewise help with the time and space needed to make a plan that will change the conditions at school)

Attackers (esp younger ones) will share plans. Key is to listen.

Targeted is not spontaneous. 11 different planning behaviour categories. Average of 3 planning behaviours per plot. Weapons related planning; planned execution of attack; documentation; researching prior attacks; attempted recruitment; clothing/music; surveillance/security knowledge; research other relevant topics) acquire supplies; video games – correlation not causation) ; packing a bag.

In hindsight, there is always leakage… proactively there is a lot of leakage…

70% of people who had access to firearms had access at home or via family.

2017 sample had a female who could buy a shotgun legally when she turned 18. 3 months of planning. Dad found diary and spoke up. Weapons were found in bedroom.

Why a “day” of attack? 2/3 considered a date based around prior attacks. Most popular: April (Columbine, Hitlers birthday…) July no attacks. Anniversaries, school breaks, school events, personal events. Some changed dates to avoid detection, failure caused delay, more planning needed – such as getting more weapons – to make sure more people would be in attendance.

Most targeted location: cafeteria (followed by hallways school grounds, egress points, gym, classrooms, library, offices…) many wanted indiscriminate harm, half selected targets. Some noted the use of the fire alarm as a way to get targets moving to/through pre-practiced exit strategies.

Nearly all plotters communicates their intent: leakage – more shares the younger they are. 1/5 warned friends and peers about their impending attacks. Many observations are not reported.

3/4 of plots discovered solely from their communications – 1/3 via social media.

Longest time between plan and day – 3 years. Discussed on Omegle. Concerned citizen notified local police.

Peer reports – half to school, some when to police, others to parents. No one key day of the week for reports.

2/5 not reported – especially the attempted recruitment. One example had student share to parents that they saw weapons at school…. advised “not to get involved”. Not the advice we want shared.

*****

This is why the BCPVPA has a relationship pillar in our foundation work – relationships matter. Especially noticing a change in baseline/expected behaviour which is admittedly like noticing your kids growing taller. But noting that leakage happens, so if something is off putting, it’s worth doing something about because an ounce of prevention can be the cure! Great reminder of the things we prefer not to ponder too much on in education. In the mean time – don’t let guns be so easy to access, no matter what the “right” of 250 years ago mindsets may have been…

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