Friday, January 4, 2008

My Wishes for 2008

"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it all true. You may have to work for it, however."-- Richard Bach

I've spent the last hour with Joyce Valenza's and Doug Johnson's most recent posts. Joyce's blog always has links to many, many resources and always makes me think about the directions to take. But when I read the following from Doug's post, I found myself agreeing:

I'm wishing I wouldn't feel guilty about not liking Twitter, Ning and other very-social, social networking sites. Is there an "anti-social" web somewhere for me?

Since I started this blog, I have found that I am investing a lot of time on the computer lately. I can't imagine how much of my life would be consumed if I was Twittering and Ninging.

But in the spirit of these 2 posts (and many others that I have read in the past few days), here's my wishes for this coming year:

1. I'm wishing for fair copyright laws for Canadian schools. Canadian copyright law as applied to schools sucks. Here are some resources to help understand our current situation:
Copyright Matters! (whole site has lots of info)
2. I'm wishing that more politicians, parents, teachers and school administrators would read Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Release 3.0) to see what we are really up against when it comes to India, China and the rest of the world. Then perhaps our politicians would see the benefits of a thoroughly wired Canada (at reasonable prices) with technology easily available to all students, parents would see the need to expect their children to work hard, delay gratification and READ, administrators would support unfettered access to Internet resources and teachers would see the need to integrate technology (not just Powerpoint and Google) into their teaching so that our students can at least compete on a level playing field.

3. I'm wishing that the elementary teacher librarians would be able to have access to grade 6 - 8 students and teachers so that they can teach them the skills of information literacy and the process for research. That way, these students won't just Google, cut and paste. And they would know how to use the databases.

4. I'm wishing that our databases would get more use. Let's ditch the textbooks and get current, up-to-date reading resources for our students. And let's differentiate the reading levels so that all students can meet with success in our classrooms.
5. I'm wishing that all teachers would see the benefits of collaborating with each other - with an LNST, a TTLT, a TL. It really does make life a lot easier and we really do learn from each other. And in the end, if done right, our students benefit.
6. I really wish that we didn't have so many acronyms in education!
7. I wish that there won't be a 50% turn-over in elementary TLs inn the next school year.
8. I'm wishing that we have staffing standards and a job description for the position of TL.

9. I wish that school libraries were more of a priority. When funding is cut, libraries are the first to go. But why is this when literacy is so important? Why is this when study after study has shown that reading achievement and reading enjoyment improves when school libraries are well-stocked and qualified TLs collaborate with classroom teachers? Why does no one ever think to cut inter-scholastic sports (I'll probably get backlash about this one - however, I think that maybe it might be time to let sport be mostly community-based, not school-based. Radical idea here in N. America, but probably not in other parts of the world. This a whole other blog post)?
10. Finally, I'm wishing that I didn't need to write such long blog entries :)
P.S. Goodbye D.B. You will be missed!

Photo: Ilmungo (2006 July 13). The Sound of a Wish.

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