Retired eyes

You are replaceable. You may not think so, but all educators are.

I remember when I told a friend of mine, a former principal, that I was thinking of retiring but was uncertain because of all the new initiatives I had started. His response was “Everyone can be replaced.”¬† I remember thinking no, I can’t. But he was right. Everyone can be replaced. Even though you give 35 years of service, the moment you are gone, you are gone. Your ideas are still there but they are being projected from different eyes.

I have almost been retired for 2 months and the time has flown. Much faster than the first weeks of getting to know your class, and the long wait for the Thanksgiving weekend, but nonetheless, they have flown by.

The hardest part of being a retired educator is the ideas still floating around in your mind that you want to share. So to new and “experienced” teachers a few tidbits of passed on advice from experience.

  1. Give and receive. It’s that easy.
  2. Everything will not go as you planned…be flexible. Those plans are not written in stone. They can be changed.
  3. Be yourself! If you can honestly go in every day, prepared and do your best, you will succeed!
  4. Don’t try to impress. Students know who is in it for them, or in it for themselves. Seize the opportunity to reach out to those who need it, and learn from those who don’t.
  5. Be humble…everyone has a story. Don’t think yours is more important.
  6. Enjoy every moment! There is nothing more uplifting than being a teacher. The days may seem long but the rewards far surpass any other occupation.
  7. Be thankful.

I look forward to the next few months as I continue to keep on top of what is going on in the education system. That is just what we do ūüôā




Taking Chances

When OSSEMOOC started the month of April with 30 Days of Learning in Ontario asking us to share what we had learned that day I had many ideas running through my head about what I could share. I could tell you face-to-face exactly what they were and what affect they had on me, however, I could not write about them. We are always challenging our students to reflect and yet the only reflection I had was the person staring back at me in the mirror too afraid to open up to her peers.

I have been an educator for over 30 years starting when¬†the¬†Formative Years, Education in the Primary and Junior Divisions (1975) was the first year teacher’s bible. While there have been many changes in paradigms from teacher centered learning to multidirectional teaching the child has always been the center of focus, aside from the fairly short lived objective-based model. Today we see a shift from what a child will learn to how a child will learn. 21st Century skills, especially those of collaboration are helping drive student centred learning.

One day this week I had the pleasure of instructing two classes on how to use the Provincial virtual learning environment. One was a grade 2/3 class the other a grade 12 class. I learned a few things that day:

1. When technology is involved students want to do not watch.
2. Supply the students with the bare essentials and let them run with it.
3. It is hard to try something new when you are used to doing things a specific way.

Number three is the reason I am writing. I cannot expect the students and teachers to listen to me when I tell them to take a chance and try something new if I am not willing to do so myself.

So here it is. Not the next great novel just a few thoughts from a life-long learner.