All Voices Matter

All Voices Matter

I am sure I speak for most educators, or perhaps most of society, when I say our hearts are heavy this weekend.  We don’t have to search far to find a friend or colleague influenced by Trump’s US policy discriminating against people based on their ethnicity.  I have read about friends whose vacation plans or business trips have been cancelled.  I have watched in dismay as the news covers heart breaking stories of innocent people being detained for no reason other than their race.  It seems like a bad movie: one we don’t want to watch but cannot escape.

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I Want THAT Kid Suspended

I Want THAT Kid Suspended

I want THAT kid suspended.

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I have a rule of thumb I use for blogging.  If something is playing on repeat in my mind all weekend, I often feel it’s a topic worth exploring.  This weekend, I am having trouble letting go of a message I read this week.  The note was not written to me, but was written about our school.  It suggested we are not doing enough when children misbehave, and wanted punishment for THAT kid.   And I get it.  Especially as a parent.  I have two boys, and if one of them was picked on at school I would want to make sure it didn’t happen again.  I too may wonder what the follow up would be for THAT kid.  Really, my need would be for safety.  I want to send my kids to school and know they are safe from harm.  I know deep down that is also the desire of parents when they ask about THAT kid. Continue reading

The Value of New

The Value of New

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New sounds exciting: new job, new house, new baby, new clothes, new car.  When we hear the word new, we think of something modern, untarnished, cutting edge and desirable.  There’s a reason that people buy new: they want the product in the best condition possible.  New is the coveted state. New sounds exciting.

But, what if new isn’t a possession, but a person? What if new is a child on the playground, a neighbour on your street or a colleague at work.  Do we respond with the same curiosity and excitement as we do with new possessions? What if new is the idea you have never heard of, a culture you don’t understand, or a mindset you have not explored?  Is new exciting then?  Do we see new as an opportunity to learn, or do we see new as different, wrong or scary? Continue reading

Sharing what Matters

Sharing what Matters

It’s summer holidays and as one lazy day rolls into the next I find myself having much more time to scroll through facebook than I do during the school year. Like most, my newsfeed consists of three things: vacation photos, Olympic updates and stories or videos of Donald Trump.

I am not a very political person and yet the current presidential election in the United States interests me. It interests me because this particular leadership race has less to do with politics and more to do with moral character. While I don’t care too much about politics, I do care about leadership, citizenship and finding good in people. Continue reading

Turning Points

Turning Points

Another turning point
A fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist
Directs you where to go…

We are all connected.  The bonds we form with friends, family and colleagues give us our identity, a purpose, a reason to love and a sense of belonging in this world.  And yet, despite these connections, there are times we need to travel alone.  Times to move forward, times to try something new and times to say goodbye. Continue reading

Time to Go

Time to Go

It’s that time of year. April 1st…a day when we play practical jokes on friends and family. For educators, it’s also about this time of year that our minds start to play tricks asking us if we are where we are meant to be. As spring arrives, districts begin to prepare for the following school year and teachers and support staff have the opportunity to ask themselves  “Is it time to stay, or time to go?”. Continue reading

Goodbye Guacamole: Finding Balance in the Crazy World of Education

Goodbye Guacamole: Finding Balance in the Crazy World of Education

12814244_10156710943540134_2235263687946280847_n.jpgI have spent three of the last four weeks in Mexico. On our last day here in the sun, I realize that this is likely the first and last time (until possibly retirement) where I will have the opportunity to relax this much mid-year. For the first week, I was invited to participate in We Move Forward – an amazing Wellness Retreat for Women in Isla Mujeres where I presented on the Science of Happiness and Impact of Giving. After four days back at work I was packing again and heading to San Jose del Cabo for Spring Break with friends and family for two weeks in the sun. Continue reading

Dear Future Teacher…

Dear Future Teacher…

When we look forward in life we have so many questions, and yet when we look back, answers seem so clear.  Perhaps you have seen the popular video clip “How to Age Gracefully” where people of all ages give advice to their younger selfs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sycgL3Qg_Ak

As a school principal, I want  two things: Continue reading

Judging People We Don’t Know: How Stories Can Change Perceptions

Judging People We Don’t Know: How Stories Can Change Perceptions

We often judge people we don’t know.  Without knowing their stories, we allow our stereotypes or fears to influence our judgement.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of presenting at the Social Justice Conference in Maple Ridge.  I had 90 minutes to spend with teens from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, ranging in age from 13-18. Continue reading

From OM to OMG!

From OM to OMG!

Maybe I’m overly optimistic. Seventeen years in, and somehow I have not yet found the answer for surviving September.  Like many parents and teachers, the start of the school year is often the time to set resolutions and goals for the year.  As summer closes, each year, my well rested mind somehow knows that ‘this year will be different’.  With good intention, I convince myself that THIS will be the year…. the year that I plan meals in advance, the year that I prep lunch foods on Sunday, the year that I wake up refreshed, gracefully finding a work / life balance, the year that I read more, spend more time outside Continue reading