Opening Statement

Friday 7 June 2013

June Teacher News Digest 1

Newest additions in Large!

My Rob Ford blog is @ HERE! Also below are my blogs on Low Functioning Autism classes and Unpaid Medical Leaves. My acronym guide is @ HERE!


NEWS FLASH! MOE Liz Sandals to make an announcement on ETFO talks @ 10:30 this morning! Has a deal been reached? Or is the OLP trying to deflect attention from an announcement on another hot button issue: the Agent Orange debacle? Stay tuned!

ETFO deal confirmed! The news story + links continue on my new June 13 blog!

Your Thursday June 13 QP morning briefing is @ Busy busy busy!

June is National Aboriginal History Month. Teaching resources @ Who came first?

Here's an article on the life of a supply teacher. There's lot of work as full time staff are using up their sick days before they loose them come June 30th. Still, its not a full time job. Read @ Sick Days: Use them or lose them!

Ontario moves to half the number of teacher college grads in plan for reducing the glut of new teachers without work. Teacher ed will now be a 2 year program as of Sept. 2015. Hmmm. I recall teachers college was next to useless when I went in the mid 1980`s. Everything I knew I learnt on the job with the informal help of a few good teacher mentors. Anyway, the times they are a changing @ 2 year torture 

Here's how the MOE sugarcoats the announcement @ Wunderbar!

All is well in happy land ...

MacLeans magazine labels the change a smart political move that will gain favour with the teacher unions and unemployed teachers.I don't know why Macleans is so highly regarded. I often find there news coverage and analysis rather mediocre, However they do note the move will further marginalize disadvantaged students who won't be able to afford the extra year @ MacLeans

Globe + Mail readers respond with a wide variety of views, mostly negative, in their letters to the editor @ Yay or Nay?

People for Education and OTF less than enthusiastic about the change @ Thumb down

Universities note that while the length of the teachers program increases funding goes down @ No More $

Here's another way of looking at it: the cost of a B.ED [Bachelor of Education degree] will double. That's not chump change either. See @ Much More Expensive

OECTA notes Ontario teachers are all ready among the best trained in the world, so the change misses the mark @ OECTA

TCDSB Director Bruce Rodrigues abandons ship to go to EQAO. Aye mates! Board the lifeboats! Excuse me ... Me next! ... Me next!! Thar she blows!!! .... Rest of you who are staying behind swab the poop deck ..... or something like that @ Deep Blue Sea

Provincial autism program support lacking @ autism

Thriving With Autism website provides lots of info, clues + views for parenting and working with autism students @ autism

See my latest blog on autism: Health + Safety for Low Functioning Autism Classes by scrolling down the page!

The winners of this year's Calm [Canadian Association of Labour Media] awards for best union media include ETFO's Lisa Mastrobouno for her OLRB tweets. Also Honourable mention for OECTA's "Reach Every Student" video. Naw I never win anything locally or otherwise. The OECTA Provincial award for Communications in my unit this year went to a newsletter movie review. Good review but still, wonder why I didn't get it for this blog? Ha ha. Firstly I'm indie and secondly I've managed to P.O. just about everybody at some time or another here. Word at OECTA us I'm rogue. Hmmm. IMHO the underground media is always very valuable, more interesting + informative too. Lisa's tweets are excellent though. Im glad to have been able to use them here for my blog coverage of the OLRB hearings, when I haven't been able to attend myself. My own satisfaction is if the blogsite is of some help in providing free flowing all affiliate teacher info, opinions and views. Perhaps it can help us see outside the many different little boxes we find all ourselves in during these most treacherous of years. We are all teachers! Please never forget that! Anyhow, see @ Media

"Hipanically Speaking" urges all Catholic teachers to embrace the social justice issues surrounding Walmart and its workers. @ Living wages + benefits?

lnternational labour organization slams the Conservative government in Ottawa for it's attacks on labour rights @ Solidarity!

MOE Liz Sandals doesn't have a Twitter account. What is she missing out on? Laurel Brotens Communication department always followed the social media, including this blog. See @ Social Media

Huge Windsor Teacher Mark In The Park Protest planned for after school June 11th @ News Story

Windsor "Mark in the Park" event reminds us of the nine month anniversary of Bill 115 on Tuesday June 11th from 3-6 pm. Speeches + an open soap box from 4:30 on. More details and flyers @ Marking time!

You can get the flyer from the link above!

Windsor notes teachers are still continuing the protest after a successful "Mark In" rally. It's important to let people know we are still here and not happy campers @ Protest! 

OISIE commentary claims nepotism doesn't exist in school hirings. That's just union propaganda to protect seniority when so many young teachers are out of work. Oh yeah? Check my back archives below this blog column for another perspective. However I present all points of view here. Also see @ All is dandy!

Rick Salutin comments on the need for sex ed reformParental advice is usually obsolete and does often not provide a usable model for the next generation. Each generation is basically on its own in making sense of the their new reality. We can help them along by providing the facts and figures so they can do so for themselves with confidence @ Sex Ed

Sex Ed: How to explain?There's different conflicting views on how it should be taught!
Sex Ed reform: This article examines the contrast between religious and secular perspectives against the backdrop of our student and childrens contemporary reality. Don't forget, they are growing up in the information age. See @ K-8

Corporate profits soar while US workers suffer the biggest pay drop on record. Hey, isn't that called "Right to Work [for Less]? Hmmm. How did we get into the current world economic crisis to begin with? It wasn't union or overpaid workers!!! Check the facts @ Record US Pay Drop!

Our OTPP teacher pension plan helps drive national prosperity. So there Tim Hudak! Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it! Eh .... ? .... that`s Rob Ford with the pipe! ... Oh well .... you know what I mean. Didn`t they use to like each other a lot til Rob got caught. Never mind. Read @ OTTP Rocks

Backchanneling refers to learning, processing, sharing and making sense of info in the new social media age. Here's a very interesting teaching guide @ Backchanneling

Here's a link to the Free Technology for Teachers site @ Free

Buycott App: It promises to help you trace a products corporate genealogy. Also tell you what clothes come from third world sweatshops. Available @ Download

The Inflation Calculator let's you figure how much your salary is worth after discounting inflation over the years. Ouch! See @ Inflation Calculator

ETFO Provincial settles into it's newly built headquarters @ Moved

School boards face a major enrolment problem with parents wanting their children to go to a new modern school building rather than an older deteriorating structure. They will even buy homes where they know one will be built. It makes sense considering how bad some of the older ones are. However, does this create an income gap in which children go to which schools? Hmmm. Read @ Class based schools?

More on the value of all day Kindergarten. All I know for sure is that we had a helluva time finding good day care for my son when he was 4 or 5. Picking him up right after work was often difficult too. I wouldn`t wish that on anybody, especially the kids It seems like the socially responsible choice to make. See @ Yay or nay?

Educational pundits often see teachers as little more than test preparers. The students are all the worse for it. IMHO it also is an insult to our professionalism when it's outsiders who make these decisions about what we should and shouldn't do to teach our students well. Read @ teacher professionals

For example, isn`t it more important that we teach critical thinking rather than how to second guess a standardized test question? Here`s a useful chart @ Critical thinking anyone

Maybe we should be teaching students how to ask the right questions rather than try to teach them all the answers? Hear! Hear! Read @ Questions not answers?

ETFO Voice provides us with Hennessys index on working women. Lots of facts + figures @ ETFO


Andrea should be able to handle this ...

AM640 radio host on the "Happy Capitalism" segment of the "John Oakley Show" calls NDP party leader Andrea Horwath a "whore" for supporting the OLP budget. Buzz Hargrove was there. Why didn't he call him on it? Will an apology be forthcoming? Follow the story @ AM640

I'm sticking with my theory that Ontario is a whole new political battleground now that there are 2 women party leaders. AM640 may have the angry white guys chortling about this one over their morning beers. However, how will this type of bullying sexist Tory mindset impact the woman's vote during the next provincial election? Neo cons beware!

Yup! AM640 radio host Lou Schizas thinks he's a pretty funny guy!

Premier Wynne appears for an interview on City TV having survived the spring session of the legislative. She looked very lean. She must have lost a fair bit of weight. She deflected uncomfortable questions like one would expect a premier to do. Kathleen has the language and disposition down flat. She still seemed optimistic and chipper. Her emphasis was on having worked with the NDP's Andrea Horwath. Of trying to do the same with PC Hudak. Premier Wynne noted she wanted to make the minority government work. I would certainly agree with that. Stability is preferable at this point in time. Let the work of government take its course.

The Globe + Mails Adam Radwanski comments on Wynnes near miraculous survival to date @ A Wynne win?

Queens Park Legislature: Finished for the summer!

Big staff shakedown today in Tim Hudaks office with some key staff being let go. Sounds like Rob Ford. Wonder whats up?!? Details to follow.

Budget Countdown ...

Key budget vote expected to pass with NDP support this afternoon Tuesday June 11th @ No summer election

4:30 pm Debate over. Vote expected within an hour.

4:40 vote on with PC's heckling NDP as they support the budget ...

4:45 budget passes and the legislature adjourns until September 9th!

Canada Press reports the budget passes 64 to 36 votes @ Done.

And then ....

Dalton McGuinty officially resigns as OLP MPP on June 12. It's an interesting, even puzzling story.  Read Daltons resignation letter. He claims to leave with his idealism intact. Hmmm. A lotta other folk's is without doubt in tatters. Anyway, the letter is @ Idealism Intact

Ed: This story has been moved to a separate blog!

Ontario PC work "reforms" violate our core democratic values @ Bad Tim, Bad!

Here's your week of June 10th QP update @ QP aggregates the latest party polls up to May 31. They break down the numbers so you can read the tea leaves for yourself much to this political junkies delight @ 308 rocks!

ETFO presents this week at QP, ending June 7th: deleted email scandals et. al @ Queens Park Digest

Follow the budget developments at QP! Lotsa links @ Here!

Doug Ford: Is he toast?!

Tory Toronto poster boy Doug Ford suggests he`s backing away from a run in provincial politics in wake of the recent drug scandals. PC leader Tim Hudak doesn`t seem so keen on him anymore either. Good news I`d say. This guys a real right wing nut. Learn more @ Bye bye Doug?

Why is Liberal pundit Warren Kinsella so down on Rob Ford? Hmmm. See @ Tory brand?

Premier Wynnes fate seems to depend on how she can handle all the political baggage McGuinty left behind when he resigned. TVO Agenda blog examines how other leaders have done in similar situations. There's nothing new under the sun @ TVO

Mr.McGuinty, where are you? At QP? Nope! His Constituency? Nope! Read @ Where's Dalton?

Premier Wynne introduces new QP summer dress code: no mini skirts, ripped jeans, muscle shirts or halter tops. I wonder if you can buy short legged pant suits?!?  @ No No's

Premier Wynne defends her dress code. QP'ers should look and act professionally @ No mini skirts

Ontario Provincial Political Scandals? Gas Plants?! Deleted Gas Plant Emails!? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!! C'mon! Can't anyone do better than this!!!

Scandals! Scandals! Everywhere scandals! Add one more: Police to investigate deleted OLP gas plant email files @ And Now:The Big Email Scandal!

The politics of scandal: federal, provincial and municipal. Basically it's all the same formula though they feed off each other and interest spirals @ Scandal

Ontario's political scandals grow tiresome. Which of the main three political parties has not been engaged in a big scandal when in power?!? Ummm. Let's see! I know!!None!!! I find the outrage and indignation quite irritating myself. You'd at least think somebody could rip a page from Rob Fords playbook, or maybe a US President to spice things up eh? But ohhhhh nooooooo ....... not in Ontario provincial politics!!!

This is the 10th anniversary of the legalization of Same Sex Marriage in Ontario. Also methinks of MPP John Baird finally deciding to jump ship from the Ontario PC's .... to the Federal PC's. I remember watching him in the legislature doing a slow burn while the party ranted and raved about the downfall of western civilization at the time. Must be a stickler for punishment!? See @ Same Sex

Some pure Toronto Sun Tory budget agitprop: A report card for the leaders at QP. If you bend over too far for Tim Hudak, do you know what happens? Anyway, see the report card @ Bad Andrea! Bad Kathleen!

Sun News "Straight Talk" [read "PC Platitudes"] are convinced Premier Wynne as bad as their disgraced right wing poster boys Rob + Doug Ford. Yup! They even dug up ol' Harris toadie Lorrie Goldstein to write this one. Sour grapes @ Boo! Hoo! Hoo!

From a Tory Sun News perspective the NDP is guilty of propping up a corrupt OLP government @ Christina Blizzard


Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck is bad luck for gays. Nice hat. Hmmmm ...

Nigeria's new "Jail All The Gays!`law bans gays and gay sex. Right to organize also banned. Punishment can include 14 year jail terms. US and UK government`s threaten boycott. Whew! See @ Gay ban

Russia bans gay pride parade. Anti-gay activists ask Kremlin lawmakers to "protect the people from perverts". Move afoot to also ban citizens from countries that allow same sex marriage to adopt Russian babies. More @ More Gay Bans

Russian President Putin won't be attending any Gay Pride Parades this year.

Paris skinheads beat to death French gay rights activist Clement Meric in the heart of the cities shopping district. Protests rage across France over the recent legalization of gay marriage. Clement has been declared brain dead. Read @ Far Right Skinheads Riot

While progressive North American Catholics push the church to recognize gay rights, in many other countries it is the opposite. As a result, I seriously doubt the Vatican will change its position anytime soon. If anything the homophobia in many of these countries is very Old Testament in its zeal. The news links above provide just a few examples. Also see my blog on the TCDSB Catholic School GSA debate @ Here.

Sacha Baron Cohen as "Borat/ Bruno": No laughing matter in much of the world where homosexuality is still very taboo.

London police bust G8 protesters while countries meet to discuss trade, tax evasion and Syria @ G8 Protests

Lotsa Monkey hijinks at IKEA monkey trial expected to wrap up today. Who will win custody? Monkey Mom or Story Book Farm? Bizarre! See @ Monkeying around


I used to print a "Zine" by this name back in the late 80's/ early 90's. You probably never read it. Now I am going to bring it back into the cyber age. It will provide an offbeat look at our life and times. Let's look at the world around us to see what makes us tick!

Sun News warns legalizing drugs is a diabolical Liberal plot to rule the world! Europeans have long known this is a better way to deal with addictions than arresting everybody + putting them in jail. Absurd @ Decline of Western Civilization Part 2

Here`s something different! Its important to always consider all points of view unless you are afraid + insecure. Welcomee afraid + insecure. Welcome to the Orange Tory @ Conservative NDP`s

Welcome to Orwell's 1984: The digital age as technocratic imperialism? Consider @ Oh the savage joy of ...

Chinese scientists claim they can breed lesbian mice by reducing their level of serotonin. They say this affects behaviour but the attraction is genetic. Will the Catholic church now require lesbians to take Wellbutin pills?!? Maybe when you go up for communion??? See @ Lesbian mice

 Will it work for guys too? :-)

June 7 is National Donut Day in the USA! Boy those Yanks know how to party eh?! Note: Tim Hortons sure isn't handing them out for free up our way. Nope. See 100 different kind of donuts @ Donut Day! 

Here's 35 magazine covers without celebrities on them. Celebrity no longer guarantees sales so some magazines are switching course to attract readers. Dunno. I think on line magazines would make much more sense for tablet or Kindle readers. However, they don't give you much of a price break on line so I don't bother with them much. The big magazines seem to have all missed the paradigm shift with their sales + marketing models. There's enough news + entertainment on line all ready for free. I'll get a good old fashioned glossy paper one from time to time for a bedside or bathroom read but otherwise ... ?! See @ Top 35!

Why it`s not a good idea to jump off a skyscraper with a parachute, just in case anyone thought it was. Duh. File this one under dumbing down society @ Real bad idea

Here's's Top 221 Desert Island Discs! The idea is simple: If you were to be a castaway on a deserted island by yourself which music discs would you need to have to survive?!? I've seen lots.This list's pretty varied and esoteric. It also shows the cover artwork and gives a brief write up for each @ Desert Island Discs

NXNE returns to Toronto with another exciting lineup at stages + venues across the city starting June 12th. It's an excellent chance to discover some new indie artists and sounds. There's always a few headliners too. I remember watching Iggy Pop + the Stooges, when the packed crowds shut down Yonge + Dundas for a few blocks each way from Dundas Square. Here's an interesting best pick list. Click on the photos and you can see a video of the singers/ band etc. @ NXNE 2013

Don't Forget!!!! Father's Day is this Sunday! See below;

How can you not love us eh?!

Bonus Sex Ed Knowledge test: Is it possible for a woman to have three breasts? For the answer visit this link on 13 things you didn't know about the most popular part of the female anatomy for many guys + gals @ Know the facts!


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Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!