Day 96 (of 187) talking with soon-to-be-teachers #edci336

Day 96 (of 187) talking with soon-to-be-teachers #edci336 


Always nice to be invited to chat with Teacher Candidates! Relationship building is important – knowing who you are talking with helps with that! But tech has helped with some key differentiation – both in learning and in communicating student learning (formerly: reporting student achievement) – moving away from a “task-dependent report” to a variety of ways to focus on individual learning and personalized growth. Its An exciting time to be entering the education profession!



One of my “biggies“:

Quality over Quantity when it comes to instruction!

And I love efolios because there is no “report card deadline” – the learning takes as long as it takes – and not done and then wait….wait…wait for a share of what they did…! Relevant, meaningful and TIMELY – not “later” because after a week, it’s long forgotten (let alone a fortnight or month…😎)



Suggestion: Putting the Big Questions (Outcomes) at the top of the “gradebook” rather than ‘tasks’


While I am not an advocate of “marking everything” – the practicum is an opportunity to try a few different styles of assessment and evaluation – so do more during this time! Hopefully you find what works for you and what does not (and how each works for the learners you have – no year is the same as the next!) 



Feedback needs to be timely and meaningful – even a snapshot of work can be “counted” as a feedback contact if there is evidence of the feedback – in other words, the feedback need not be the greatest in the world – it needs to be meaningful to the moment of learning and relevant to the learner: 

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Why Social Media? There is no way to connect with the right edu-thinkers without it. It is how I have come across some key #edchats that are great to stretch thinking:
#bcedchat Sunday at 7pm (pst) taking on our provincial issues and stretching our thinkings

#ATAssess Alternating Tuesdays at 6pm (pst) focusing on Standards Based Practice

#SBLchat Alternating Wednesdays at 6pm (pst) also focusing Standards

#SaskEdChat Thursdays at 6pm (pst) pushing our thinking on a variety of education topics

#ImaginEdChat First Wednesdays of the month at 7pm (pst) focusing on Imagination


And some amazing twitter people:

@pernilleripp who is the guru when it comes to what literature is great to read (current fiction not just ‘the classics’) and who hosts the globalreadaloud

@bedleybros who encourage “play based learning” and on Feb 6 host the Global School Play Day

@hadip who started and the #hourofcode in December


and also some other key individuals:


@shareski who does an amazing job networking people who should know about each other

@kenoc7 who is the “grade doctor” and knows what’s what with assessment

I could go on and on…but I’ll be mindful and try not to overwhelm, though I will also shoutout Doug Robertson aka @theweirdteacher – who has run an amazing #weirded chat on Wednesdays at 7pm (pst) but is taking a mindful break while he wraps his head around having a third kid (I’ve got three, so I know what he’s up against!!) But he has done some amazing thinking and reflecting and working on writing connected with Teacher Candidates/Student Teachers…whatever – but he has written a great book:

(admittedly @theweirdteacher runs his classroom experience very similarly to the way I have – as you can see in his book He’s The Weird Teacher – so it was nice to confirm that it wasn’t “just me”) and Doug has some amazing insights for Teacher Candidates AND the classroom mentors!  A great read that made me pause and reflect frequently! My review:



Education is an amazing career choice. Its rarely “easy” but always worth it!

There will be sleepless nights – about lesson plans and students

There will be critics (some with good intentions)

What happens one day is not indicative of what will happen tomorrow

You gotta read to lead – even when you’ve got your teaching credentials, there is a lot more thinking to be done

You gotta reflect, but don’t focus on the negative (though too many of us do!)

Experience as much as you can: I’ve taught from English 12 to grade 3 and loved being a librarian k-7 – still not sure what my favourite is…!

Sometimes more is less – but the “more” should be co-curricular – coaching, running a club, assisting something –> seeing learners outside the classroom walls can be surprising

You can’t be your favourite teacher – either from real life or movies or tv – you have to be you. But you won’t be you at first. It takes a bit to find your fit. So have fun and remember: the practical is for practice, so try some things out – even have a lesson fall apart, it’s not about that lesson, it’s about how the next lesson goes that’s important (because lessons will fall apart….at least they should if you’re trying something new!)

Two charts to remember:

The implementation dip for when something new is implemented:

And the “mood” of first year teachers….!

So remember, if teaching was easy….anyone could and would do it. Don’t isolate yourself and asking for help is never a sign of weakness!

Enjoy the panic of getting ready for practice and job hunts!

About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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