Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Read the Room...


Schools are filled with all kinds of rooms. 

Classrooms, offices, gyms, libraries, music rooms, computer and science labs, and more. The latest to emerge, and potentially the greatest of them all, is what many are calling the "Support Room." But what is a support room?

That depends largely on who you ask.

I have heard many definitions of what a support room is, but I haven't heard many definitions of what one isn't. It appears that a support room by any other name is potentially referred to as the "Sensory Room, the Calming Room, the Body Break Room, the Self-Regulation Room, the Regulation Room, and a few more. I suppose it doesn't really matter what we call these rooms if they satisfy the general purpose they're intended for... to support the needs of students who are having trouble coping in a typical classroom. 

A functional support room is simply a place in a school where kids can go to receive the added support required for any reason. In order to do this effectively, some conditions need to be established before any student actually goes to a support room. The last thing we want is the same school we always had, but now with a room full of expensive furniture, resources, and equipment added to it without the requisite thought required to make it an effective place where foundational learning relationships can be established. The environment of an effective support room starts with the rationale for it to exist in the first place, (to support the needs of students,) and extends from that base in several necessary directions. My view on how this needs to be structured is listed in rank order below; the three P's:

  1. People. An effective support room MUST have the right kind of people operating them. There is no alternative. If you can't find the right people, or you can't effectively train people already within your organization, don't bother creating a support room.
  2. Perspective. A support room CANNOT be another name for the "office," or any other place where challenging kids are sent to get them out of the classroom. I get it, the challenges kids present to teachers are increasingly difficult to accept and deal with, however, the manner in which we support our most vulnerable students is the measure of how effective we are as caring teachers and others who work in schools.
  3. Plan. Fail to plan, plan to fail... an effective support room NEEDS a system, a process, and a philosophy if it's going to actually do what is intended. The system should be based on sound research, solid pedagogy, and the principles of kindness and care that all who work with kids are governed by. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

The "Looking Glass" Classroom

 

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass
The Looking Glass, as it were, is a curious metaphor to explain a young child's perception of the realities of school. Traditionally, the school has been a tool of social engineering, a place to stratify kids according to ability and how well they fit the construct of school, an institution that varied little from one to another. The school was a place that attempted to homogenize its subjects according to a rigid set of educational and social norms that suited many, but not all. Have schools changed much in this regard? One would surely hope, but I'm saddened to say that I do still occasionally observe the opposite.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Ableism... What Teachers Say and Think Matter

Ableism - NCCJ. (n.d.). Www.nccj.org. https://www.nccj.org/ableism


a·ble·ism
/ˈābəˌlizəm/
noun
  1. discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.

There are few, if any, topics in education that impact our ability to serve students in optimized, effective, and appropriate ways than that of ableism. Ableism is the intentional or unintentional discrimination or oppression of individuals with disabilities. (Ableism - NCCJ, n.d.) 

Reading the definition of ableism above elicits thoughts of "why would anyone involved teaching discriminate or oppress already marginalized students?" It's a harsh definition describing an illogical occurrence, but nonetheless, one that happens quite routinely if we're being honest with ourselves. 

(whatisableism)

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Everyone Here Has Been Broken


If we could understand the nuances of empathy, often the missing link in ignorance and conflict, the world would truly be a better place for all.

We talk about personal space all the time. We commonly understand that invading one's personal space is a not-so-good thing to do. As with many things we say because we've always said them, I'm not sure we really understand what we're asking of ourselves when we commit to giving each other our 'space.' Perhaps we don't even understand what we're asking ourselves not to do. 

How well do we understand what we're referring to as our "space?" I'm not sure.

A thought experiment...

Let's say that in the context of human interactions we can identify C waves (connoting cognitive interactions,) E waves, (connoting emotional interactions,) and P waves, (connoting physical interactions.) To simplify cognitive waves can be described as any form of understanding, while E and P waves are variables that affect our ability to understand. In other words, how we feel about our learning, and the environment we learn within, are pivotal elements that determine largely how well we actually learn in the cognitive domain. Since Descartes we've generally accepted that C waves were the independent variable, but what if in fact E and P waves create authentic constraints; challenges to our ability to comprehend and fully understand the phenomenological realities, our environments, and the people we encounter within them?

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Labels

learning (55) teaching (49) education reform (29) authentic learning (24) students (24) EduKare (20) school (20) effective teaching (19) resiliency (19) educational leadership (13) creative teaching (12) education (12) change (11) collaboration (11) creativity (11) educational change (11) hope (11) perspective (11) #edchat (10) 21st Century Learning (10) Glendale School (10) caring (10) leadership (10) school climate (10) school culture (10) support (10) assessment (9) #EduKare (8) culture (8) empathy (8) professional development (8) teachers (8) inquiry-based learning (7) learning circles (7) learning stories (7) student success (7) technology (7) technology integration (7) Sean Grainger (6) at-risk kids (6) collaborative teaching (6) pre-service teachers (6) purpose (6) resilience (6) responsive teaching (6) teacher training (6) Alberta Education (5) Bell Curve (5) Twitter (5) at-risk (5) empathy reboot (5) engaging (5) integrative thinking (5) kids (5) mentor teachers (5) public schools (5) relationships (5) student (5) teach (5) teacher (5) action (4) beliefs (4) belonging (4) bullying (4) children (4) debate (4) diversity (4) high-stakes testing (4) hope wheel (4) inclusion (4) learn (4) pedagogy (4) possibility (4) school leadership (4) #cpchat (3) ConnectED (3) LCU (3) action research (3) child development (3) choice (3) classroom (3) commitment (3) communication (3) community (3) counseling (3) creative (3) dreams (3) duty to care (3) ed reform (3) educators (3) failure (3) fun (3) growboys (3) hope alliance (3) inquiry (3) interculturalism (3) karegivers (3) life-long learning (3) mentorship (3) mindfulness (3) nemetics (3) professionalism (3) reflection (3) thinking differently (3) transformational leadership (3) understanding (3) #ACE #school #edchat (2) #KARE #students (2) #ecosys (2) #nemetics (2) #redcamp13 (2) #teaching (2) Bloom's Taxonomy (2) Control (2) Google (2) Innovative Voices in Education- Engaging Diverse Communities (2) Moore's Law (2) PD (2) Tao Teh Ching (2) adversity (2) alternative teaching (2) audience (2) balance (2) behavior (2) behaviorism (2) best educational practice (2) blogging (2) boys (2) bully (2) bully prevention (2) challenge (2) change agent (2) character (2) circles (2) classroom management (2) competition (2) connect (2) connecting with kids (2) covid19 (2) development (2) dialog (2) digital technology (2) disagreement (2) edcamp (2) edkare (2) education change (2) effective classrooms (2) etmooc (2) evaluation (2) facts (2) fear (2) feelings (2) formative assessment (2) future (2) goals (2) groupthink (2) growth (2) heuristic (2) ideas (2) independent thinking (2) innovation (2) interdependence (2) journey (2) learning story (2) listening (2) love (2) management (2) mastery (2) mindful (2) morphic resonance (2) multiculturalism (2) new teachers (2) opinions (2) opportunity (2) passion (2) personal learning network (2) phenomenological (2) philosophy (2) project-based learning (2) question (2) resilient (2) resolution (2) responsibility (2) self-esteem (2) self-organized learning environments (2) servant leadership (2) share (2) social-media (2) special education (2) standardized tests (2) struggling schools (2) student support (2) success (2) sympathy (2) teacher growth (2) teacher welfare (2) trust (2) unconditional love (2) unconference (2) university (2) values (2) vision (2) voice (2) words (2) "Art of Possibility" (1) #LCU (1) #bellletstalk (1) #ccunesco2014 (1) #covid19 (1) #humanKIND (1) #learning (1) #positive childhood experiences (1) #printernet (1) #rip (1) #schoolleaders (1) #speakchat (1) #teacher (1) #tg2chat (1) #toughloveforx #michaeljosefowicz (1) 40 Developmental Assets (1) ATLE 2010 (1) Africa (1) Black Swan (1) Brokenleg (1) Calgary Science School (1) Circle of Courage (1) Curate (1) Daniel Durant (1) Dry Island Buffalo Jump (1) FBA (1) Fouth Way (1) Geoffrey Canada (1) Grow Boys (1) Howard Gardner (1) Impact (1) Instructional leadership (1) John Dewey (1) Kathryn Schultz (1) Lao Tzu (1) MIT (1) Michael Josefowicz (1) Nunavut (1) Occam;s |Razor (1) PBL (1) PLN (1) Phoebe Prince (1) Piaget (1) Red Deer (1) SBL (1) SOLE (1) Search Institute (1) Second Way (1) Shankardass (1) TED (1) Vygotsky (1) Wangler (1) ableism (1) aboriginal (1) accountability (1) achievement (1) actions (1) anger (1) answer (1) applied behavior (1) applied research (1) apprenticeship (1) aptitude (1) aquaintances (1) at risk (1) athletics (1) authentic (1) autonomy (1) badges (1) being wrong (1) believing (1) benchmark (1) blended learning (1) blog (1) borders (1) brain research (1) budget (1) business (1) care (1) cdnedchat (1) chaos (1) character education (1) charity (1) child-development (1) clarity (1) collaborate (1) communciation (1) communicate (1) conference (1) confidence (1) conflict (1) consciousness (1) conversation (1) cooperation (1) coordinated children's services (1) counselling (1) critical thinking (1) curiosity (1) curriculum (1) democracy (1) destiny (1) developmental (1) differentiated learning (1) differentiation (1) digital citizen (1) digital immigrant (1) diigo (1) dissonance (1) dyslexia (1) early learning (1) education innovation (1) effort (1) emotions (1) enabling (1) endogenous (1) engaged (1) engagement (1) equity (1) ethics (1) excellence (1) existentialism (1) fail (1) faith (1) family (1) fate (1) feedback (1) feminine (1) finding voice (1) focus (1) forgiveness (1) friends (1) gender differences (1) gender identity (1) global education (1) goal setting (1) governing body (1) grandfather (1) happiness (1) happy (1) hard work (1) hardware (1) healing (1) healthy (1) high school (1) higher education (1) homework (1) honesty (1) hop (1) humility (1) iconoclastic (1) ideology (1) imagery (1) imagination (1) improbable (1) inclusive (1) inclusive education (1) indigenous knowledge (1) inspiration (1) instinctual (1) interdependent (1) internalize (1) internship (1) interpersonal (1) intuitive (1) knowledge (1) lacrosse (1) leading (1) leaps of faith (1) learning circle (1) learning disabilities (1) learning disorders (1) learning from place (1) learning goals (1) learning spaces (1) learning styles (1) learning tools (1) lecture (1) library (1) lifelong-learning (1) limits (1) literacy (1) lobby (1) masculine (1) math (1) medicine wheel (1) men (1) micro-blogging (1) mindfullness (1) mission (1) mistakes (1) morals (1) motivation (1) navigate (1) negative reinforcement (1) network (1) networking (1) new year resolution (1) objectify (1) objective (1) open education (1) open-source (1) operant conditioning (1) outcomes (1) overcome (1) pandemic (1) partisan (1) pass (1) patience (1) peace (1) polarity (1) positive (1) positive reinforcement (1) positivity (1) positve dissonance (1) postmodern (1) poverty (1) power point (1) practice (1) pride (1) private logic (1) productivity (1) professional organization (1) progression (1) questioning. Socrates (1) rally (1) rationalization (1) rdcrd (1) rdpsd (1) re-frame (1) re-tool (1) reality (1) receive (1) reclaim (1) redcamp15 (1) relative (1) relativism (1) relevance (1) research (1) resourcefulness (1) rest (1) revolution (1) ritual (1) routine (1) scholar (1) scholarship (1) sciences (1) scrutiny (1) self-deception (1) self-determination (1) self-help (1) significance (1) silence (1) simple (1) sincerity (1) skate park (1) skateboard (1) smile (1) socialize (1) society (1) software (1) solution-focused (1) speaking (1) sport (1) standards-based learning (1) stories (1) story (1) strangers (1) strengths (1) stress (1) student engagement (1) student evaluation (1) sustainability (1) synergy (1) taking risk (1) talking (1) tangibility (1) targets (1) teacher evaluation (1) teaching. learning (1) textbooks (1) therapy (1) thinking skills (1) thought (1) thoughts (1) trans-species (1) transference (1) trauma (1) tribes (1) unconditioned response (1) unconditioned stimulus (1) universal (1) urban gardening (1) urban schools (1) victim (1) visceral (1) wellness (1) wisdom (1) work (1) work week (1) worksheets (1) writing (1)