Blogging as a Reflective Tool

So, I need to admit that this blog started as a requirement of an OPC Principal Development course I am currently taking. However, I have been meaning to start a blog for a while, but having Debbie Donsky coaching me along was the added incentive I needed to get going.  That being said, I have... Continue Reading →

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The “beating heart” of your school?

Innovative Education

Our school libraries are an incredible asset to our schools, acting as the hub of inquiry and helping to promote the enjoyment of reading.  In a time when there is more information at our fingertips than ever, our teacher-librarians can support students in learning how to sift through and evaluate the vast amounts of info available.

My Post (1)Research shows a positive correlation between fully staffed and well-resourced libraries and student achievement, as well as a significant correlation between reading for enjoyment and the presence of a teacher librarian.

Lately, there has been a tremendous push to add makerspaces or STEM labs into Library Learning Commons.  For many schools, this has been an incredible shift, allowing libraries to engage more students promoting curiosity and wonder. However, we need to be careful not to let the pendulum to swing a little too far in one direction.  A few months ago, I was involved…

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Waiting for Professional Development…

Innovative Education

Why? There has never been a time when PD opportunities are more readily available – so just reach out and grab them! We recently had Alice Keeler as a keynote speaker at our #Connect 2018 conference, and she asked the audience to imagine a job interview in which you comment, “I can’t stand to learn new things.” To take that even further can you imagine an interview in which you say, “I like to sit back and wait for someone to tell me what I need to learn and how to do it.”?

There are so many ways to plan your own path for Professional Development – begin reading educational books and blogs, follow thought leaders on Twitter or YouTube or reach out to the teacher down the hall or around the block that you have heard is doing amazing things.  If you are in the DDSB, give our On…

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How can I lead my school in Leveraging Digital?

Innovative Education

Many school leaders are looking for the ways they can support Leveraging Digital in their schools. As the school leader, you do not need to be the expert on all things digital, but you do need to continually learn and model an interest in how learning environments, digital tools and resources, and modern pedagogy can deepen student learning.

  1. Get on Twitter
    I cannot think of one leadership move I have made that has transformed my thinking more than joining Twitter. I have been using this incredible tool for 7+ years. Many of you use Twitter through a school account to engage the community, but do you have a professional Twitter account where you can follow educational leaders from around the world? Don’t sit back and wait for PD to come to you – start seeking it out!
  2. Observe
    Take a really close look at the work on students’ desks. How…

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Open your virtual classroom door

Innovative Education

My Post (4)At the Durham Elementary School Administrators conference last year our keynote speaker, George Couros, asked the question, “What if every teacher tweeted one thing a day that they did in their classroom to a school hashtag, and they took five minutes to read each others’ tweets?  What impact would that have on learning and school culture?”  Recently on Twitter, someone I follow reposted that quote, and I mentioned two DDSB schools that have done an incredible job of embracing the idea – Glen Street PS and Beau Valley PS.

We have hundreds of educators in the DDSB using Twitter – at least 185 of whom are included on this list, in case you’d like to follow them.  So what makes Glen Street PS and Beau Valley PS so special that I wanted to point them out?  There are so many teachers sharing what goes on in their classrooms each…

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Building Relationships

Today I had the opportunity to have a discussion with a very respected individual in educational circles, and I made a comment about leading with empathy.  This leader pushed me forward in my thinking a little bit, asking if I meant something different when I say, "leading with empathy", then what people generally refer to... Continue Reading →

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