Author: David Theriault

HS Literature Teacher. I blog at and you can find me on Twitter @davidtEDU

Unfortunately there will be daily problems for you to solve, Fortunately….

Hi everyone. Our daily stories are built upon a torrent of conflicts.

  • How to get rid of those ants.
  • How to motivate the unmotivated.
  • How to share something new.
  • How to stay healthy.
  • How to spend more time becoming a better teacher, while spending enough time with friends and family.

I started #slowchatED last year because I wanted to create a deep pocket of learning in the sometimes shallow pool of Twitter chats. As of now #slowchatED is one of the few regular slow chats on Twitter. A chat that runs an entire week instead of an entire hour. Where other chats are a waterpark ride, #slowchatED is a lap pool. Well, for some people that’s not enough. Some people want to practice scuba diving in our lap pool and go deep. I’m going to blow out the bottom of the pool and allow each of you to explore the story of your problems using a children’s book. This book:

Final Edit Fortunately

Go to this blog post to read more about using Remy Charlip’s book in your class. 

So here’s the technique:

Each day I will pose an “Unfortunately” problem for you to solve. You can solve the problem with words, links, blog posts, songs, videos, photos, drawings… whatever. Once you tweet your “Fortunately” answer then the fun begins. Either myself or someone else will throw an “Unfortunately” at your solution and take the discussion deeper. All stories are a series of conflict, resolution, new conflict, attempt at resolution, resolution that makes things worse, conflicts that make things unexpectedly better and so on.


Who knows where our story will lead?

We will continue this for the entire day. Solutions being provided and new challenges getting in the way of easy solutions. We will add depth to the width of our exploration. Once I throw down the initial “Unfortunately” feel free to play antagonist or protagonist. You can even come to the aid of one of your fellow teachers and save the day… for now.

Then the next day a new “Unfortunately” problem will raise it’s ugly head.


Hey relax…. you’ve got more than an hour to answer these questions. That’s why they call it #SLOWchatED


Can’t wait to see what rises to the surface. Enjoy the moment and get ready for #slowchatED starting Monday Jan. 12th.

The Topic: A chat about how “Unfortunately” the problems in your life are neither simple nor finite.

PS if you have any particular “Unfortunately” dilemmas you would like me to propose for a day please DM or Google DM me your ideas. Thanks…. your faithful skipper and the old man of the #slowchatED sea,  David Theriault 


Monday 1/12/15: Q1 “Unfortunately” Your boss put you in charge of the new [terrible idea] “task force” Your first meeting is this Friday. #slowchatED


Tuesday 1/13/15: Q2: You wanted to create an awesome classroom environment but UNFORTUNATELY you are the traveling teacher this year. #threerooms #slowchatED


Wednesday 1/14/15: Q3: 

Q3bThursday Jan 15th, 2015: Q4


Q5: Friday 1/16/15 Use the #slowchatED to participate


Here is the archive of the entire #slowchatED chat: there was no question six on Saturday because I attended edcampLA. Hope you enjoyed the topic and discussion. See you soon.

Anger: the most misunderstood change agent. #slowchatED Week 10 3/31-4/5

mad as hell.jpg

GET MAD: “Nobody puts baby in the corner”- How getting in touch with your Anger can transform the world around you.


This week on #slowchatED we will explore Anger as a change agent. Anger is a powerful tool to identify the hot button needs in your life. Anger can drive your initial reluctance to take action AND can push you through the difficult process of effecting change.

Here are some readings on the subject:

Can Getting Angry Be Good for You? 

Use Your Anger to SMASH Creative Blocks

When Anger’s A Plus: article from the APA journal. 

Question 1: Monday

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 9.20.28 AM

Question 2A: Tuesday

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 9.18.28 AM2B: Now FIX it.

Question 3A: Wednesday

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 9.55.56 AM


CURRENT CHAT: Extending professional learning (above & beyond Twitter) 2/3-2/8

Extending professional learning (above & beyond Twitter) moderated by Catina Haugen

This week’s #slowchated will roughly follow Ramsey Musallam’s 3 rules (from his TED Talk) and we’ll twist it to our own professional learning.  Curiosity comes first: What are you curious about as a professional learner?  Embrace the mess: How can professional learning be messy?  How do we deal with the challenge?  Practice reflection: How do you reflect?  How can we get the most out of reflective practices?

Monday Q1: Curiosity comes first. What prof growth/skills/knowledge r you curious abt that you may/may not be investigating currently? #slowchated

Tuesday Q2: @ramusallam on TED shares rule #2: Embrace the mess. What is the ‘mess’ of prof learning? How do you manage it? #slowchated

Wednesday Q3: Rule 3: Practice reflection. Do you reflect on prof learning? How? With whom? At what pt in process? Goals? #slowchated

Thursday Q4: Do you share your prof learning w Ss? PD experiences? Reading? Convos? Should we? How? To what end? #slowchated #growthmindset

Friday Q5: So now what? A new practice? Narrowed focus? New ideas? curiosity+mess+reflection = now what? What did this wk’s #slowchated spark in you?


Sunday Summary: 1/27-2/1 #slowchatED Topic: EduCelebs/All-Stars and how to share and care

Educelebs was a fringe topic for our first #slowchatED, to say the least. I was worried that people who have no “take” on the subject wouldn’t want to join AND I was worried that those so-called EDUcelebs wouldn’t want to touch this topic with a ten foot pole. (Or perhaps they are too busy being #eduAwesome to notice) But I did it anyways for two reasons:

  • Not a bad idea for our first chat to be a smaller one, especially since I had committed myself to writing a summary of the week.
  • I really wanted to learn more about this topic and the best way to learn is to get out of my own head and see what OTHERS think about the subject.

Why did I want to learn more?