Irregular Vowel Movements

A distance education teacher making her way in the microcosm of Barrhead.

Argh…

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I made this awesome post, and sometimes I forget to log out of my other blog [1]. So I copied it, and thought, “well, if it’s going from one to another, it should still take…” But wordpress is a finicky beast and eater of important lists, so I have to start over. The things I have to do today and before the end of next week are as follows:

  • Make PJ’s amazing edits to WB 4. I had a great opportunity to sit down with the best (and most modest) teacher ever, and go over my rubrics and readability issues. Owing to her experience, I have a lot of re-tooling to do because her observations were bang-on. It’s funny though too because a lot of them are simple, but will make things much more effective for students (i.e. using a letter or number as opposed to a bullet to keep students organized in the task structure of an assignment, and paring down the rubrics to be more concise, eliminating any overlap). Sometimes I just get rubric-agog, so it was excellent to have a fresh eye on them. More meaningfully, if PJ can look at my work and say, “I love it, it’s going to be great,” then there is hope after all.  I’ve been feeling a little discouraged lately, not because of the writing (just the time thing, as usual), but because of all the extremely annoying edits I have to put into the course before the course is even done. I hate the idea (it grows) of putting aside the writing before I’m done, to edit stuff, it is still really bothering me.  I kind of wish I had some one who I could just pass edits to, and have them do it for me. I could review it, point out any changes, and then send it back to that person to fix up, then send to the magic design lady. But nope…it must continue to be a harassing aspect of this process.
  • Re-tool the PD blog, and collate the PD ideas I have. I am really pleased to have finally handed off the PD stuff to C[squared]. I am really looking forward to being done course development so I can return to it, but for the time being, I know I haven’t dropped the ball or reneged on it, and that it will be in good hands. In the future, I’m really looking forward to doing more instruction and sessions with PD, I think that will be a lot of fun. Part of the transition will be to fix the blog from its current state though. We’ve been talking about having it be an access point for teacher wikis, which solves the issues still popping up about safety and privacy. Wiki entries can be marked private or pass-coded, and even better, Wiki just came out with new style templates to give Wiki’s the look of web-pages, should the user desire a nicer aesthetic. I think teachers will dig that. Alongside the webpage however, I am going to make a site map for teachers, to make it more accessible. This isn’t going to be nearly as fancy as it sounds, as it will more than likely be a labelled screen shot of the front page, but hey, it’s a nudge in the right direction.
  • Look at KR’s tutorial stuffI’ve been meaning to get this done all week, and haven’t.
  • Keep up the good attitude trainFor a while, I’ve been feeling pretty cynical about the level of interest that people I work with have about PD. I haven’t been keeping it in perspective that the morale around here has been in the toilet. I had a really thoughtful reminder from a colleague earlier this week that no matter the environment, I should keep on doing what I’m doing, because I’m still on the right path, and still affect others, even if I don’t know it. And I guess that was the problem– I thought I should know that I was making a difference, but I think I’m okay to just hope for the best now, and that if I sink from a healthy level of cynicism, I won’t be doing myself or anyone else any favours.
  • Work like mad on writing my courseIt is still my first priority. I still feel good about it, though I am still worried about giving something back that is either half-baked [2] or doesn’t make sense, but I’ve been working too hard on it for either of those things to happen. The problem still remains however that even if I am being thoughtful and careful about what I’m doing, time is not in my favour. I am really hoping the web-end of this goes smoothly. I trust my ability highly here to know that it will, but I’m still concerned about things going awry, me missing the roll-out date, disappointing everyone, getting fired, etc. You know, no biggie. 

[1] You won’t find it. On top of that, it’s basically the same as this one, but with more humour and curse-words sprinkled throughout. Just being honest. I know you won’t like it. 

[2] This is interesting to me, because for the duration of my course development I’ve been keeping the tenets of a 21st Learner in mind. With every assignment, reading, everything. It’s dawned on me more than a couple of times though that it will appear strange to people who are used to more traditional distance learning materials, or used to more traditional learning, period. It feels like a risky gambit, but from the feedback I’ve been receiving, I know it’s going to be okay. It’s unnerving though. I keep thinking about the students and the parents and the facilitators/teachers and what they’ll think, and it’s been interesting, because the first thing coming to mind all the time is that it is, at the very least, a very provocative course. But it will be challenging. It calls for some thinking and problem solving, as well as stigma-breaking of education’s cliched perception of English 20-2 students as being simple, apathetic, blue-collar-oriented or lazy (this has always driven me nuts). In any event, I am looking forward to and partially dreading the public opinion on the course, but oh wait…I should probably finish it first, ha ha.

 

 

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Author: Kyla Coulman

English teacher at ADLC.

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