Energy Leadership

Starting as a new principal has been an overwhelming experience. There are so many things I do love and enjoy in this role…particularly the students! But my first year as principal took its toll on me! After 6 weeks of summer, I felt like I was starting to recover – just in time to get rolling with year 2. Reflecting on my first year experience, I realized that I couldn’t continue year 2 in the same way. My health and my family were certainly sacrificed in my attempts to master the dynamic challenges of school leadership. But I wasn’t really sure what my options were to make change or do things differently.

Once again, life has presented an opportunities at just the right time. Enter iPEC Excellence in Coaching Training. Continue reading

Technology – Staying Connected #compelledtribe

Sharing my use of technology at work is part of my #compelledtribe reflection this week. I am not a techie! I do not always understand the hows of the technology I use, but technology is definitely integrated into my daily life.

When I think about technology in my work, what comes to mind is staying connected and communication. Technology has been key to building communication in my school community, and also supporting me in my role as a new principal. Continue reading

Staying Grounded…

We are one week away from the start of classes! Teachers are spending many of their last days of summer in and out of school getting ready for the upcoming year. The pace of the school is so different on these dog days of summer. Teachers are setting the stage for learning – planning, filing, organizing, giving their classrooms a face-lift. There is time to do all those jobs that seem to get set aside during the hectic pace of the school year…even time for conversations and catching up with colleagues.

During one of these chats, a teacher commented to me on how relaxed and calm I seemed (compared to June). My rejuvenated energy was palpable. That really got me to thinking… Continue reading

Let the Journey Begin…

Although summer holidays are still in full swing, my brain has officially turned on to school. I am about to begin my second year as principal of a grade 7-12 school, and still regard myself as a newbie, a beginner, an  Abecedarian. So my journey as a abecedarian leader continues!

As with each new school year, September is a time of optimism, hope and endless possibilities. It is a time for fresh starts and do-overs, a time for goal-setting and action planning. I feel very blessed to be part of a group that will help support me and keep me accountable as I head into the upcoming school year – The Compelled Tribe (check out my blogroll for some great reads!). So as part of the Compelled Tribe, I am committing to blogging (a goal that has been tricky for me), and am starting off with goals for the 2014-15 school year. Continue reading

Endings & Beginnings

My first year as principal is over. Wow…I somehow didn’t truly anticipate being able to say those words. Now that summer holidays are in full swing in Manitoba, I have lots of people asking me my thoughts on this first year. It’s hard to put into word what an experience this past year has been – challenging, deeply rewarding, exhausting, inspiring, filled with sorrow and filled with pride.

I can vividly recall my first three days as principal – harried, anxious, unsure. By my last three days of the school year, I felt more settled and secure. I have certainly grown in so many ways over the last 10 months, and see how much more I have to learn.

As I blow the dust off my blog, I am surprised to see that my last entry was over 5 months ago! I have a few started blog entries that never got finished, and several other blog ideas still rattling around in my brain. It seemed that the school year somehow raced away on me. The continual state of reflection I was in didn’t seem to make it past myself as I struggled to keep up with the fast pace of the principal’s office. Blogging was such a helpful tool, but my good intentions and commitment didn’t always seem to work together.

I continue to be amazed with how life continually unfolds and presents opportunities at just the right time. One year ago, I stumbled across the #savmp – School Administrator Virtual Mentorship Program – where George Couros provided a platform to connect with and learn from other school leaders. My mentor was Jimmy Casas….Incredible! So through blogs, Twitter, and Google Hang-Outs, I was able to connect and learn from so many educators and school leaders. It has been a support that I can not imagine navigating my first year as principal without.

Just when I was starting to feel the void of the #savmp, Twitter guided me to another fabulous learning opportunity – The Compelled Tribe. Thanks to Jennifer Hogan and Craig Vroom, I am about to embark on another learning adventure through blogging and connecting with other educators. This ‘Tribe’ sounds like just what I need to allow my blogging commitment to thrive, ensuring I make the time to reflect as an educator and school leader.

So I will sign off from my school year, and attempt to take a break from my school brain for a short time to relax and recharge. But I am eagerly anticipating my year two adventure, alongside The Compelled Tribe!


The Halfway Mark! #savmp

Well…I`ve made it! …made it to the halfway mark. Although there were days during this journey as a newbie school leader that felt like an eternity, and some days that made me feel like they might be my last, I have come out to the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, the light at the end of one of the many tunnels that will make up the course of my school year.

Continue reading

Getting to Know You….PLN

As @rhonimcfarlane was basking in the Australian sun during her holidays, I was eagerly anticipating Christmas vacation (with only 3 more wake ups to go!) in the ice and snow of Manitoba. Rhoni had tagged me into a very timely blogging assignment…Thanks Rhoni! I started my homework right away, but it took some time to finish up…and convince myself to take part. I loved reading the homework posts of other bloggers – so I jumped in too. I’ve been amazed at the connections made with other educators through Twitter and blogging. This blogging assignment has helped in getting to know my PLN a little more.

11 Random Facts About Me Continue reading