Do you believe in me?

One of my favourite videos that I have seen is of Dalton Sherman, a young student in Dallas, Texas who did the keynote for education staff at the beginning of the school year.  What I find absolutely amazing about this speech, is the confidence and maturity this young man has as a speaker.  He does not only have a great message, but he also has the talent to be engaging and humourous, way past his years.  These are characteristics that I strive for anytime I speak to any group, but Dalton seems to hit it better than I ever could.

There are two things that REALLY stick out to me in this video.  First and foremost, is the message.  As an educator, I truly believe that we need to find a student’s passion and help them build upon that.  Dalton may not be the strongest student academically (I honestly have no idea how his academics are nor to be honest, do I care), but he does have an obvious passion for speaking.  Students should not have to work with educators that do not work their hardest to find and empower students to find their talents.  Engaging students in their passion is our number one job as educators; this will definitely give them the opportunity to become leaders in their lives.

The second thing that stands out to me is that SOMEONE believed enough in this student that Dalton could be the one to inspire educators at the beginning of the year.  It is a monumental task to speak in front of such a large and diverse crowd, but someone believed enough in Dalton to get him up there, and let him lead teachers.  Great to see that such a large group of educators is happy and eager to learn from one of their students.

Enjoy the below video of Dalton; it is definitely one that sticks with me.

Happy Easter!

Having family that is located in different areas of Canada (not one of my siblings, or parents lives in the same city) is tough, but it is always good to connect with each other when we have the opportunity. I was glad to make my way home for the weekend, get my mind (mostly) off of my career, and hang out with my family.

It is really interesting how the dynamics from my childhood always take place immediately when we are in the same room with my brothers. I am the youngest in the family, and my brothers are both very intelligent and opinionated people who have very interesting (and loud) conversations based on their different views. Most people that know me, would be scared to know that I am the “shy” one of the three, but I just really like listening and hearing what they have to say. I learned so much from my brothers, and grew up very quickly listening to them when I was a child. It was great to hop into my older brothers lap and pose for a picture, and even though I am a good 10 cm taller than him, he always makes me feel like the baby brother.

Being away so much has taught me to appreciate, in my own way, seeing my family. We are not the most talkative bunch, but we all feel comfortable when the other is in the room. The safety and certainty of being around one another, knowing that through all times we will back each other up, is a great feeling. It is nice to know that as we grow up and go in our own directions, I feel more connected with my family than I ever have.

I hope everyone had a great Easter with their family as I know I did with mine!

University of Regina Presentation

I had the chance to work with and learn from some of my brother’s (Alec Couros) university students this week during spring break, and I was blown away by some of their blog posts that they wrote about the lecture after.  It was absolutely wonderful to see how reflective they were in their own practice, and I realize that they are WAY ahead of me at this early time in their career, from where I was.   It is great to see how blogging helps teachers not only to be reflective of their practice, but also gives them the opportunity to learn and collaborate with others.

Reading through all of their own individual blogs and seeing the portfolios that they have created, actually inspired me to create my own personal blog and portfolio.  I said yesterday that a “true master teacher continuously grows and knows that their learning is never done”, and these new educators in the field have shown me that they are willing and wanting to grow in their careers.  This is so motivating and inspiring for me as someone who works with teachers, and I know that the future is definitely bright for students in our (and my) schools, because we have teachers that care and truly “get it”.

Although the presentation was mostly used for talking points to help me navigate and have conversation with these students, I encourage anyone to use it for their own professional practice, or as a guide if you are going into leadership and/or wanting to improve on professional practice.  I made it clear to both of Alec’s classes that these are things that I look for, and not everyone is the same, but I do truly believe that helping students find their passion and learning to recognizing them as “whole people” should be a practice that is done in all school.

University of Regina Presentation

Leading by Example

I would like to first welcome everyone to come and see my new blog and soon to be comprehensive digital portfolio.  I am principal of a K-6 school and K-12 Outreach located in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada.  I love my job and appreciate all of the staff, students, and parents that I work with.

As we are moving in both the area of successful technology integration, along with embedding critical thinking into everyday practice, I have decided to try and lead by example by creating a digital portfolio through WordPress, similar to my brother Dr. Alec Couros, amongst many other successful educational practitioners.  The vision is that students and staff would be able to learn from my own practice, with both the success and failures, to develop their own portfolios.

As I start on this journey, I am looking at what different things I would include in my own portfolio to show my growth as a professional.  I have included pages based upon the Alberta Principal Quality Standard and will build upon those in the near future, but what would people suggest that a principal also include in their own portfolio?  I have talked to students in the University of Regina Education program about branding their name and creating a positive online presence, so this is just another way that I think could help to build upon this endeavour.

I know that I do not have much information included on my portfolio and have thrown out the bare bones version to the world, but a famous quote that I stole from the movie, “Coming to America”, which was used from Nietzsche:

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”

I guess today I am learning to stand.