Reflection gave to me,  6 blogs to read…

Earlier this afternoon I was skimming through my email and found notices of new posts on blogs I follow. I don’t always have time to read them, but being winter break and all, I decided to do some catching up.

The first post I read was by George Couros on his blog, The Principal of Change. Many of you already know that George gets it. George is always clear and concise, which is very valuable when time is precious. But that is not enough unless he uses my time wisely. And he does. In his most recent post he shares a story about a school janitor and a TED talk by Barry Schwartz. His point was, “all of these “small things” are what builds culture, and without a strong and positive culture, powerful learning is less likely to happen.” Enough said.

Another blogger I find inspirational is Rusul Alrubail. Her latest post on Heart of a Teacher is about Equity in Collaborative Spaces. She dares to discuss the “downside of collaboration”. Having experienced inequity herself, she eloquently describes the work that must be done to provide equity in collaborative spaces. While Rusul is describing adult workspaces, I can easily see how this can and must be part of a collaborative classroom. It starts with building relationships, of course.

The next post by Sherri Spelic was foundational for me. She blogs as edifiedlistener . Just that name – it says so much. The only way I can do her post justice is to share some quotes from her words. It is a transcript from a talk she gave on a panel at the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference 2016.

  • I write to understand. (This is what I tell my students is our reason for writing.)
  • When I read the work of others and comment thoughtfully, I join a conversation and add value.   (I need to do more of this.)
  • I enter into dialogue and cultivate relationships of support and encouragement to both demonstrate and receive care. (This needs no explanation.)

Matthew R. Morris has a love hate relationship with the school bell. Literally. He is another blogger that keeps it simple, knowing how little time we teachers have to learn, let alone teach. Our bell system broke down last year and it took a month to fix it. We still had to let the students go after 47 minutes, but not having a bell signal the end to learning was a little easier to take. It’s almost like Pavlov’s dogs – a bell rings and thinking stops.

Not technically a blog, I follow Edutopia for a multitude of reasons. Today I read this article/post by Kelly Wickham Hurst titled Biased Discipline at My School. Her honesty is compelling. She shares an incident from her early days as a principal when she had to confront biased discipline at her school. Her tears over the realization and subsequent actions from that realization humanize her and make her relatable. All too often we are told how to handle a situation according to the rules. Hurst demonstrates we must act on what we feel in our hearts and what we know is right. For more on this, refer back to the post by George Couros.

Finally I must mention Mark Weston also know as @ShiftParadigm. Mark is a prolific blogger on a number of topics including the education. His microblogs on Twitter go beyond the simple, simplistic quote slides to meaningful words that truly inspire. He pulls you in with his honesty and by the end of his blog posts, you have learned something.

I hope I have inspired you to read and write. And to build your PLN.