Day 78 (of 187) #oneword and the Monday after a break

Day 78 (of 187) #oneword and the Monday after a break

My #oneword this year is “Mindful” – I want to be aware of what I am doing, why I am doing it as well as how it is being interpreted vs how it was intended

I also want to focus on perspectives. Because the new year often introduces some changes.

Changes in staffing. ✔️

Students moved away. ✔️

(Nature abhors a vacuum so…) Students move in. ✔️

Wondering: what are the new kids going to do/be like…?!? ✔️

People still tired after the winter-break-sleep-schedule. ✔️

Monday after a break being “hard” for some learners. ✔️

And it’s easy to pre-judge: what is the baggage the new student/staff has that may impact the school (they’re part of our learning community, so the baggage doesn’t matter as much as making them feel that they are part of our school)

And as the twittersphere belched a mini-education-debate on whether teachers should always be happy to be at work or if it’s okay for teachers to be happier for the break/weekend/snowday. And being mindful is very important for me in this debate: not every day is going to feel the same. Education is a humbling profession: you can feel like a master-teacher one moment and doubt everything you do the next. So some days can be full of joy and others can be exhausting…. because it’s never fun hearing some shares by students. It’s even worse when you know that families are facing divisions. It’s even worser when you know that there is only so much you are able to do….except be there. Be there for the kids – focusing on the “good stuff”.

This is why I want to focus on being mindful. Modelling calm as best as possible. Touching base with specific students while still wishing a happy new year to all – as I’m not just wondering how some of our learning community are starting the new gear, but how all are doing.

Monday’s after a break are rough – as our absentee date & calls will show – though happily, my usually “sick-the-last-day-of-a-long-weekend/break” son happily-ish went back to school….so we can always remember that tough days don’t mean that every day will be tough. We have to be mindful that every day has its own challenges – and yes – there will be days you feel awesome and days where you can’t wait to get back home…no matter if you are a student or teacher or any member of the learning community!

It’s also why instead of making resolutions that are likely to fail, I like the idea of having a #oneword to think about as I make decisions that will please some but not all and make some angry, but again- not all. My one word for 2019 feels fitting one week (and one school day) in: mindful

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T3D #3 self regulation tools (video format)

T3D #3 self regulation tools (video format)


Technolandys Three Things in Education – self regulation tools


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Winter of Learning (2018) #2 – Technolandys Three Things in EDucation (new video attempt)


Winter of Learning (2018) #2 – Technolandys Three Things in EDucation (new video attempt)


T3D #1 – 3 best things from 2018


T3D #2 – 3 worst things from 2018


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Winter of learning 1 (2018) Boxing Day

Winter of learning 1 (2018) Boxing Day

One of Canada’s long lasting traditions has been “the Boxing Day sale” – at its height people in BC would line up over night for a $19 CD player at A&B Sound. Neither of which exist at the end of 2018. Black Friday is the “home date” for big sales – but I still like popping around malls et al to see what is happening.

Still lines – lines to park your car at the mall. And smaller/longer lines to get into some stores – but 70% off at Michael Kors!! But more often, usual sale prices. Unless the store is “closing forever”. And even at the new mall near my in-laws, there are many “everything must go” signs with people looking through the last items while seeing how low prices will go for items not wanted a week previous.

I still remember the speakers and receiver unit I got on a Boxing Day sale to hook up my CD player (portable and not $19 at the time) after having discussions with music aficionados in our school hallway about cassettes vs cds vs ‘what might be next’ – not seeing mp3s for over another decade….. and one admitting he had invested too much $ into his cases (and cases) of cassettes to change now.

But I loved the clarity of cds (only supplanted by mp3s being either crystal clear or having elements of old vinyl embedded in them) and adjusted my music selections. In other words, I embraced change.

While walking the mall and seeing a range of stores – but names aside, more than a few were closing out, but some like Nike had a line…that was a tad awesome….

The line just went on and on, dwarfing the ones we saw for other brand names. And even my daughter wondered what they were doing to drive such a line – because there certainly weren’t any signs advertising “must get sales” in such quantities that everyone in that line could expect to get the same deal….

But there is the experience of “getting something” live and in person that is better? different? than clicking items online. It’s why I joined a snake like line to pay for a few fragrances for my daughter and niece – they were quite the deal….unless you factor in the wait time….

But the bigger experience has changed. It’s no longer a “line up or nothing for you” shopping experience – though online quantities may be limited (as many of us have experienced) but quantities are always limited. The bigger question is how retailers are reacting to their customers – much as schooling needs to react to our learners and find out what works for them – not simply offer a deal and hope everyone flicks to your doors!

A personalized experience matters – and lines work for some but not all (much as traditional memorization-focused tests work for some but not all) – but the “some” are becoming fewer and fewer as we better work to have our needs met in a variety of ways until we find a “best fit”. Because if one retailer doesn’t adjust…another will….and if brick and mortar schools don’t adjust…something else will.

But it is time for me to pay and then head off for some self regulation – aka a clover pressed coffee and the latest GRR Martin addition to his Song of Ice and Fire series.

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Day 77 (of 187) happy holidays – the ups and downs and ups again

Day 77 (of 187) happy holidays – the ups and downs and ups again

2018 has been eventful to say the least! I have moved my family to the west coast (not just on the best side of the Rockies but right onto the Pacific) – save for my oldest who has joined Waterloo Engineering to study System Design – and with my own learning and loving of Design Thinking, I couldn’t be prouder. But I’m also proud of m son who goes to school each day without “feeling sick” the night before…. even after a long weekend! Learning output is the next phase but he feels connected to his learning community. This is huge. And then my youngest daughter who has created a great network of friends before we even moved into our house – and made her transition from a middle school to secondary with a range of academic and athletic successes.

Between my learning community and living community it has been amazing to my wife and I how fast time has flown by but also how connected we feel – ‘the state of flow’ when the feeling of time does not match up with the reality of seconds ticking by….and while we miss people, we know we will always have connections!

This year I have seen more support for eportfolios – but some interesting questions (and prompts) so that I will be focusing some weekend time to put together a book (of sorts) to help people better embrace an eportfolio mindset to support personalized learning journeys using formative descriptive feedback loops! and today I learned I get to share this at this springs CAFLN conference!

I have seen more acceptance and use of Project Based Learning (ideally blended with Design Thinking) as a way to help learners show what they know in their own way(s) – not everyone needs to show their learning in the same way – much like no one has to have their coffee the same way!

There has been an increase in the understanding the importance of inclusion – though we know that some inclusions are easier than others because mental wellness and mental complexities are not as easy to “see”. And reminders need to be shared that depression isn’t the same as feeling sad and while worries and anxieties share similarities, they are not the same thing either!

I love the people I have connected with this year – both face to face and asynchronously. My new school and district…..the #edchats and twitter folks gave me a lot of support to make the end of 2018 the best I’ve felt in awhile (even had to buy some new pants as my other ones were looking too big…) this is not a career to be isolated – and with the right people making connections, changes in education are happening – dominos are toppling as efolios allow more personalized projects to be used which in turn focuses descriptive feedback on what an individuals “next steps” are rather than “the whole class” moving at a set pace. this is happening. not everywhere. not at the same time. but the mindset is tipping as more students are becoming more aware as to why they are learning something not just what to memorize and repeat.

Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings to me and my PLN! But to all a good rest and let the brain percolate away on pondering from the busy times!

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Day 76 (of 187) the calm before/after the storm….?

Day 76 (of 187) the calm before/after the storm….?



Is it proactivity? Is it predictability? Is it something else?? But after a week of chaos – ranging from our Winter Concert and then a whole-town power outage (thus no school) when everyone came back for the last two days of school….well, all the students at least as we had 6 adult absences!!



So yes, one student did go home early – but she had been feeling sick all week and was trying to power through…



But for the most part – things were quiet….and I get nervous when schools are too quiet…



The usual questions that had already been answered – about Winter Wonderland (which had been scheduled for the power outage day is rescheduled to Friday- and yes, kids are allowed to bring hockey sticks) Yes we were adapting schedules to make sure the right people were working together…..Yes if the storm got worse we would have an in-day (it didn’t though many in the lower mainland had a rough day – including many power outages which always complicates the plan for the day).



But even my usual visitors were just stopping by to say hi and that they were having a good day….which I hope continues on the final friday of 2018 because we will continue to have some absences as colds and flus are running rampant….hmmm maybe that’s why everyone is a bit more docile??



So…not much more to do than enjoy the quiet and hope it is the calm after the storm that was blowing through out community – yes, I have now had two umbrellas destroyed this winter….my wife has now banned me from using one (growing up in a desert climate I guess I don’t have enough experience with those portable rain shelters – challenge accepted!)



Happy last day eve!

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Day 75 (of 187) well that was unexpected…. the #powerpocalypse 😇

Day 75 (of 187) well that was unexpected…. the #powerpocalypse

As families were entering our winter concert performance last night, we were all getting buzzes on our phones….

…from bchydro….

So….school was closed for students. Heck, essentially the whole town got closed!

However, many grocery stores were still going to open in the morning in case people didn’t hear and wanted to panic and get groceries (my wife grabbed some cold cuts for the kids and herself.

Schools would have employees attend work because we wouldn’t know if all our students would get the info….now almost everyone was at our concert so I did get to communicate with almost everyone….and yes, there were cheers until the realization of no YouTube or social media or Netflix…..and worst of all: it was our day at Winter Wonderland. New to me, but apparently an amazing setup at our recreation complex that is a “must attend” which is why all schools take turns going there….but of course it’s our day….and with not a lot of notice for anyone, who knows if it can be a school event this year….

And of course I date myself by stating that “nbody expects the power to be turned off” in a bad accent…that nobody seems to get…..

So we had to wait and see (after I made sure the gas tanks were full and that we had some food to hold us over)

Knowing full well that the outage is scheduled to be 5 hours or less…but something could go wrong….


9am the stores and buildings are starting to close. Turning away customers who found out about the powercopalypse too late – there are already rumours of where to go for survivalist supplies….

9:15 there is panic as wifi and cell streams are flooded with people downloading content so they don’t have to talk to other people. Websites are crashing around us.

9:16 it. just. went. dark….before the expected 9:30 start time…

9:30 we are sharing stories about how people were worried about how they will eat later in the day. Obviously forgetting that most people have cold lunches during the day….

10:00 someone set up a generator to do some work that needed electricity.

10:15 we took note of how many of our emergency lights faded into darkness. We also had some collaboration discussions and got some boring tasks done that are easier to be done when other people aren’t around!

As we resumed our normal routines, time moved quick. Everyone actually got a lunch break….many even went home for a break (“end of the World escapes” as I called them)

Many even commented that it wasn’t so bad (my daughter and some friends went to a field to play soccer) and that the downloaded media could wait for another event.

At 2:00 I noticed a traffic light was working. At 2:15 I noticed the clock on the microwave had started flashing

We had survived. #firstworldproblems and even confirmed a visit to the Winter Wonderland event for Friday before lunch! Allie well with the world…for now…!

Essentially a great reminder that as hectic and fast paced as this time of year can feel, it doesn’t have to be. There are always ‘other pieces’ to our world that can put things into perspective! Being safe and secure with family – that’s one of those things. Now to check out some social media I may have missed…..😜

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