Last year, our school participated in Identity Day. Every member of our school community: all students and all staff, created an Identity Day Project. The projects represented something about who they were as individuals. The projects could have represented something about their life, something they liked, or something they were passionate about. You get the idea. You can read more about my Identity Day Project here and see a video of other Identity Day Projects here.
It was powerful to learn about all the members of our school. I learned things about our staff that I had no idea about and which I likely would not have learned if we did not participate in this project together. I learned things about each of our students as well. Our teachers also expressed that they learned things about their students (present and past) that they had not known in the past. In an inner-city school where the development of relationships are paramount, this was such an amazing, powerful community builder!
This year, some of our teaching staff planned Innovation Day for our entire school community. One of the lessons we learned from our Identity Day last year was that there just was not enough time in one day to visit and show all of the projects in our large school. So, this year, it was decided to have one day for Primary Innovation Day and one day for Intermediate Innovation Day. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized, Connections / Relationships, Personalized Learning, Learning
Tagged create, innovation, innovation day, innovationday, invent, inventions, learn, lovelearning
This is going to be a somewhat personal post. I have been pondering this for quite some time and have finally decided to write about it and share.
For the past 2 and one half years I have been the vice-principal of an inner-city school in the school district where I work (not all our students come from low-income families, but enough of them do to give us an inner-city designation). Previously, I had been the vice-principal in two other schools – one in a middle-class area of our city and the other in a working class area of our district. All three schools have provided me with a variety of experiences which have helped me grow and learn a variety of lessons about myself as a teacher, a leader, and as a person.
Posted in Connections / Relationships, Leading the Learning, Learning, Lessons Learned, Personalized Learning, Poverty, Reflection, Uncategorized
Tagged challenge, engagement, family, inner-city, learning, lessons, Lessons Learned, love, Poverty, reflection, school, students
With my 200th blog post upon me, I wanted it to include a personal passion of mine – photography. Since it is Spring Break and it was such a beautiful day yesterday, I got out my camera and my family and I spent the day in Stanley Park. What a beautiful day for fun outside and special family time together. Photography is a passion of mine which I have been neglecting somewhat. Yesterday, was a gorgeous day to dust off my camera and take some photos. I was happy to take photos and I am excited to share some of them with you all.
Spring represents new growth and possibility. When you look around in Spring, you see buds, sprouting, blossoming, flowering, new life, and vitality. This season is about change: growth, rejuvenation, renewal, and promise. For some, Spring is a metaphor for life.
I hope you enjoy some of the Spring images I captured during our walk along the seawall around Stanley Park.
A Day of Beauty: Spring Video
What does Spring mean to you?
Have you spent some time recently doing something you’ve been neglecting? If so, what was it and how do you feel now?
Posted in Family, Photography, Reflection
Tagged 200, 200th blog post, change, monumental, photo, photography, promise, reflection, rejuvenation, renewal, Spring
Things can get rather challenging in inner-city schools near Spring Break. Come to think of it, working in an Inner-City school, or any school, for that matter, is always challenging. Staff are tired and have been working hard for months! Students are also tired and some may be feeling the stress of an upcoming break and what that may bring for them at home. The challenges lately have made me reflect on how important we are to our students and the power of our influence.
For some students (probably more than we will ever realize), school is their safe place. School is where they feel most comfortable. Our classrooms are where they feel welcome. School is a place where they feel listened to and appreciated for who they are. For many, school is a place to get nourishment – both emotional and physical. School, for many of our students, is the place where they are accepted and provided with the opportunities to interact and socialize with others in positive ways.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe strongly that all of our parents are doing the best they can with what they have. They want the best for their kids, even though they may not be able to provide the best for them at this time. Our parents love their kids with all their heart, even though that may not always be evident to their children. Continue reading
Posted in Connections / Relationships, Family, Poverty, Uncategorized
Tagged behavior, behaviour, calm, care, consequences, react, reaction, reflection, wait
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