While this may not be the usual post on this blog, with Valentine’s Day just past, I thought I’d do a reflection on Love and what Love means to me at this time in my life.
After 20+ years of marriage, I have recently come to really reflect upon what love really is (and is not, for that matter) and what it means for me. We are all different, so you may or may not agree with my thoughts I express here. This is not an easy subject with which come easy answers. Well, perhaps the easy answers come sometimes, where at other times the answers are much more difficult and require a great deal of reflection and “unpacking” to discover.
For me, love is not just about the romance, the flowers, or the long walks in the rain.
Love is not just about late nights chatting about your common goals and accomplishments.
Love is not just about the vows you spoke. It is not just about the joys and triumphs as you raise your children together.
Those things are all lovely and are all a big part of love. Love is not all about those things, however. Not always.
Love is, at times, challenging.
Love is, at times, difficult.
My daughter recently brought me a pin home from school which read, “Love is Learning”. As I looked at this pin and repeated the words over and over in my head I realized that can not agree more with this sentiment.
I was given an assignment to complete by fellow blogging friend, and amazing educator, Dean Shareski. You can read his
challenge post here.
First things first, here are 11 Random Facts About Me:
1. I am a twin. I have a twin brother – and NO, we are not identical. You would not believe how many people have asked me that over the years. Seriously!
2. I have blue eyes, but used to wear green contacts and would lie to people when they asked if they were my actual “real” eye colour, “Why, yes, of course they are!”
3. I’ve always wanted to go to New Zealand, but have no idea why.
4. I used to stuff donuts at Tim Horton’s when I was in Grade 12 – at the donut shop right near my high school, right after school, right when all my classmates would come for their after-school snack. Me in my hairnet and uniform. Can you say teenage nightmare? Continue reading
I very recently read Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn. This was recommended by educational leader, Justin Tarte in his must reads for those in the field of education. At the beginning of his book, Sanborn describes is postman, Fred and how Fred went above and beyond all expectations as a US Postal Carrier. Not only did he introduce himself when Sanborn first moved into the neighbourhood, he also took personal care and gave personal attention to Sanborn, and others on his mail delivery route.
Sanborn asserts that each one of makes the decision each day what kind of day it is going to be. More than that, he persists that we determine our work situation, satisfaction, and ultimate success regardless of the position we hold. Sanborn goes on to say,
“Anyone can be a Fred! That includes you! The result will not just be extraordinary effort and success in your work. You will find yourself living an extraordinary life as well.” (pg. 7) Continue reading
Last year, many administrators participated in a couple days of learning entitled Leadership 360, spearheaded by our Deputy Superintendent, Jordan Tinney. It was an inspiring day that helped to focus the participants on what is really important, and, in fact, imperative in moving our students forward and improving student achievement: Assessment For Learning. As part of the series, we received the book, Spirals of Inquiry: For Equity and Quality by Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser in association with the BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association.
This book has been widely purchased throughout the province and throughout our district. There are 8 staff members at our school who are going to be a part of an inquiry team with the support of this book. Being part of this team, this book was part of my summer reading list. Now that I have completed reading it, I thought I’d share a bit about the book here. I will include a couple of my favourite quotes from each chapter to pique your interest. Some of the things that impressed me the most in this book is that it is grounded in strong research, features amazing and inspiring narrative from schools and classrooms through BC, and throughout the book, Halbert and Kaser always keep the students at the centre, giving practical suggestions throughout. Continue reading
Posted in Assessment, Collaboration, Instructional Leadership, Leading the Learning, Professional Development
Tagged Assessment, assessment for learning, BC, BCPVPA, book study, British Columbia, challenge, chris kennedy, Chris Wejr, collaborate, halbert, inquiry, inspiration, kaser, leader, leadership, leading, leading the learning
As many of you many know, I have a passion for photography. I love taking photos and revisiting places I have been, moments in time, and all kind of memories through photographs I take. Unfortunately, I do not take photos as often as I'd like anymore. So, this post will feature some my most recent photos.
Today, while at another set of stairs, a number of life lessons came to my mind in my surroundings. I would like to share these lessons with you – through photography. All these lessons, can, of course, be related to education in many ways.
1. It's important to stop and take in all that surrounds us.
Often, we don't “see” things unless we stop and take the time to really look.
There are many great things happening in education and in our schools. It is important to not only focus on our goals, but also recognize, acknowledge, and celebrate the wonderful things that are already happening. Continue reading
Posted in Collaboration, Leading the Learning, Learning, Lessons Learned, Photography, Reflection
Tagged inspiring, leading, learn, learned, learning, lesson, lessons, Lessons Learned, lifelong learning, perspective, photography, photos
I must be trying to get my head back into school-mode because everything that happens lately, no matter how small, makes me think about school, leadership, and learning. My last post here is one example.
This morning, while relaxing in bed for a while too long, my 2-year-old wanted me to help him up on to the bed so he could snuggle up with me as I read my Twitter stream on my iPad. I tried to pull him up with my left arm. Dead weight. No can do. He laughed at me, knowing full well that pulling him up on the big bed was virtually impossible without a little help from him, even just a little.
I said to him, with a smile, “I can't help you up, if you don't help yourself just a little bit.” Continue reading
I do stairs regularly as part of my exercise regime. Today, I did a set of stairs that were particularly difficult. They were steep and seemed to go on forever.
176 stairs down and 176 stairs up.
It was the UP that was hurting me today.
I’d get about one third of the way up the stairs that never seemed to end, and I’d look up, only to see the flights of stairs still waiting for my feet to touch. About the same time, my mind would be overcome by the enormity of what was to follow and, inevitably, my legs would slow down. Instead of taking two steps at a time with my hands clasped behind my back, my legs would only lift my feet one stair at a time and my arms slowly began to yearn to grasp the side railing calling my name. Inevitably, that’s what would happen and then I would be frustrated with myself as people would pass me (I’m just a tad competitive).
Posted in Collaboration, Connections / Relationships, Instructional Leadership, Leading the Learning, Professional Development, Reflection
Tagged 2013, 21st century, 21stcenturylearning, commitment, discouraged, education, encourage, help, leading, leading the learning, learn, learning, lesson, lessons, Lessons Learned, life-long learning
Recently, George Couros started a School Administrator Virtual Mentorship Program (#SAVMP) which over 300 educational leaders will participate in for the 2013/2014 school year (and beyond). One of the first questions we were given the opportunity to reflect on is an important one: Why do you lead?
First of all, for me, and most educators, my leading did not begin when I became an elementary vice-principal. That may have been the start of my formal leadership journey, however, that is not when I became a leader in education. In fact, I’m not entirely sure when that happened, or if there was one moment in time when it did. In my years as a teacher, even in the early years, I was always interested in learning about teaching, best ways of educating our students and the research that supported these methods. Once I learned about these strategies, I was always passionate about sharing what I had learned and what I was experiencing in my classroom. I found that this sharing and ongoing collaboration with my colleagues made me a better, more passionate educator. Continue reading
Okay, I am a bit behind on things I want to blog about, but here it goes…
Back in March (yah, March), there was a lot on the web about what happens when you type “School makes me” into a Google search. A lot of not so nice things come up in the search results that drops down for you to choose from. These descriptions made people quite upset and concerned about today’s education system. You can read Scott McLeod’s post about it here (be sure to read the comments as well). Well, I know there things that we are really focusing as a district and as a province, but I wondered if this was truly how students were thinking because this was not what I was seeing in the school where I work.
As Mark Schneider points out in the comments of Scott’s post, this would be an interesting research study.
As a result, I turned the camera on our students and had students complete the sentence, “School makes me . . . “. I was pleased, but not surprised, by the results. I have included all the responses in the video below. Yes, there are a couple, “School makes me sleepy.” and “School makes me tired.”, but, for the most part, the students were very positive and loved talking about their school. Continue reading
Posted in Connections / Relationships, Curriculum, Reflection
Tagged google, happy, makes, movie, response, school, school makes me, search, student