Dear Teacher,

I’m convinced the job of ‘teacher’ is one of the most difficult. To be effective we have to know our curriculum inside and out. We have to understand the development of children and the various theories of learning. Most importantly, we have to connect with 20 or 25 individuals, sometimes up to 30.

Each of our students bring with them different learning styles, past experiences, diverse levels of ability and varying levels of confidence. Each of our students deserves our best but it certainly isn’t easy to balance the needs of all.

This video, Dear Teacher, is a good reminder of what our students need (told from a kid perspective)! Enjoy.

Leadership For All

Last week I heard a group of assistant principals referred to as ‘future leaders’. I fundamentally disagree with this statement. Not only to I find it somewhat offensive, I think it is the wrong mindset with which to approach life.

What about the grade six student who turned to another student and said, “Ryan, we haven’t heard from you. What do you think?” Is she not a leader?

And what about the kindergarten boy who saw another student still looking for a spot to sit and said, “There’s one more chair over here. Come here.”

What about the teacher who sees a new student reluctant to fit in and works her magic to ensure this student is included?

At our school we believe in Leadership For All. This is not a statement for advertising purposes, this is not a pipe dream, it is what we strive for every day. Leadership is not a title or a position, it is an attitude. We are not raising future leaders: we are raising leaders for today.

A teary hug

This week I was reminded of why we do what we do. Though I wasn’t especially looking forward to some of the tasks that go along with ‘back to work’ (packing lunches, early mornings and paperwork), I was certainly looking forward to seeing the students. And they didn’t disappoint.

One moment this week was especially heartwarming. A student who had been assessed by an SLP and visibly exhausted, came to me just before recess. When I bent down to chat with him, he had tears in his eyes. He leaned in for an extended hug and rested his head on my shoulder. In that moment, he was too tired and overwhelmed for words but his body language said it all.

Why do we do what we do? “Children are our most valuable resource.” That’s why.

So many cliches!

A new year: new beginnings, a fresh start, a clean slate, a blank page, a new chapter… so many cliches! And yet, I love this time of year.

There’s something about the dawn of a new year that feels like an opportunity. The opportunity to forget bad habits and begin better ones. The opportunity to reevaluate and set goals. The opportunity to forgive and begin to reconcile. The opportunity to show gratitude for our blessings and find ways to give back. The opportunity to try something new.

So… accept the cliches and consider this: the possibilities this year are endless!