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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Team Building

working together

Our staff had a fabulous day of sunshine and team building today out at Deep Cove in North Vancouver in dragon boats. We learned a few stroke techniques, developed some common vocabulary, practiced our paddling, and had a race. I think the main thing we learned is that you must paddle together or you do not move forward. It is so important to find that place of harmony and rhythm so that you work together as a team. There is no one at the front driving the bus.  We all do the paddling together.  We are all providing the push to move us along.  No one person is more important as the group together.  The person at the back steering the craft was very important as he made decisions about when to turn or when to stop. Yet still without the group effort we could not move forward.

We also learned that by staying focused on the task that you win the race. Trash talking to your opponents does not help you with moving forward more quickly. It only serves to have you get distracted and lose focus. Keeping an eye out for each other and trying your best to match the rhythm of those around you is what keeps us moving forward. These are  such important lessons in working together as a team. It was great to get to know a few more staff and as always to share in the fun and laughter.  We also learned that we can count on each other to lend a hand, dig deep to find our strength and power, and keep us moving forward together.  We have begun a wonderful journey.

ready to be a team

Stacey gets us organized

Encouragement

ready to be a team

Today many of my pals on twitter posted tweets to encourage me with this blog.  I am grateful to Elisa Carlson, Alyssa Becker, Robert Dewinetz, Heidi Hass Gable and Brad Baumann who all sent their encouragement. They suggested that I am setting a good example by writing these posts.  In the end, I hope that teachers would want to encourage students to start blogs too.  What a great way to promote student learning and to give student’s new ways to express themselves in writing.  Encouraging students to write to a wider audience and helping them build their own style and sense of themselves is a good thing.

Once again I appreciate the support as we embark on new learning.

New Learning

I am delighted to be beginning another school year at my new school, Fraser Heights Secondary.  I have just arrived after spending seven years as principal at Sullivan Heights Secondary.  In 2003-04 I spent one year at Fraser Heights and that one year never seemed long enough.  I had always hoped that one day I could return as so am delighted to be doing just that.  I hope that this new blog will document my observations as I get to know Fraser Heights Secondary as principal.  I know that the school has an excellent staff and excellent students who are very hard working and high achieving.  The parent community seems to be very supportive.  It is a great place to work and to learn.

This past year I was introduced to twitter and now love it for all the professional learning it provides.  I also began using an ipad this past year and love it too.  Now I cannot imagine being without the ipad, twitter, or my new PLN.   I hope that this blog is just one more step in challenging myself to try new things.  A professional learning community needs to have everyone, the students, staff, parents, and admin all learning together.  I am excited to begin this journey at Fraser Heights.

Later this week, our staff will begin two days of summer pro d.  One day will include team building and paddling long boats.  I am especially looking forward to the day and getting to know staff.  The second day will include workshops, discussions, and a session on twitter.  I hope that some of the staff will grow to enjoy twitter as much as I do.  I think we will be off to a great start as we paddle together and face all the challenges and opportunities ahead.

My New Learning

I would like to begin a blog so that I can document my new learning and highlight all of the great things going on at my new school Fraser Heights Secondary. Why blog at all?  I have been an administrator for 15 years.  Why would I want to make myself so vulnerable and so exposed ?   This is so much about new learning.  These past six months or so I have learned twitter and found my way around a new ipad.  This blog just represents one more step in my new learning.  I have found that by pushing myself to do new things has helped me to challenge myself and keep things fresh. I expect it will also have an impact on how my community develops.  It could broaden my reach in terms of who might want to read or follow.  I hope that staff, students, and parents may want to have a browse.   This is a way of letting them in and being true partners in the whole job of learning.  This will be a little project to see if this makes a difference to help us build community together in a more inclusive and transparent way.