Two years abroad – Pt. 2 – Leading Towards (our departure)

Two years abroad – Pt. 2 – Leading Towards (our departure)

For Pt. 1 – Leading Up, please see my previous post

Upon reflection, coming home from work on that Thursday night in December seemed a little surreal. That morning, Kelly and I were looking forward to a laid back 2-week break. We had both been working very hard during November and December. That evening, we were thrust into the unknown. Things changed and moved quickly.  We had mountains of information to review. We began exploring what living in Belgium might look like. And, of course, we looked at one map after the other, tracing the distance from our new home to places like Paris and London and Brussels and Amsterdam!

Continue reading “Two years abroad – Pt. 2 – Leading Towards (our departure)”

Two years abroad – Pt. 1 – Leading Up (to the opportunity of a lifetime)

This is the first of a multi-post series outlining the unique experience I just completed as principal of the Canadian Section of the International School in Casteau, Belgium. This school is operated by the Canadian Department of National Defence and is part of a school campus that serves the children of military and NATO staff who work on the NATO military base there. 

I hope you enjoy it. 

Leading up (to the opportunity of a lifetime)!

I am one month home after a two-year absence. I left the town of Orangeville, Ontario to assume a school leadership role that was unique. By unique, I mean that only one other Canadian principal can claim the same job. In July 2019, I began my role as the principal of the Canadian Section of the SHAPE International School. This school is operated by the Canadian Department of National Defence for the Canadian Armed Forces. It is housed on the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe base in Casteau, Belgium. SHAPE, as it is commonly known, is one of two of NATO’s Allied Command Operations headquarters.

Continue reading “Two years abroad – Pt. 1 – Leading Up (to the opportunity of a lifetime)”

No Longer Standing Still

Mine is a privileged voice. Mine is a privileged life.

It’s not that I didn’t know it. I think it’s that I didn’t really see it or believe it. Until recently.

I’m white. I’m male. I’m over 50. Born in Canada, I won the geographic birth lottery. I am the epitome of privilege. I have always had food and shelter. I have always had access to education and information. I have always had free healthcare, potable running, heated water and electricity.
Continue reading “No Longer Standing Still”

The Hockey Sweater: A Personal Story

If you know me, you’ll know I’m a diehard Leafs fan. I was born in November of 1966, during the season in which the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup. I can’t imagine my parents thought about that. As French-Canadians, they were all about the bleu, blanc et rouge.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, our school celebrated Sports Jersey day. It was the end of Spirit Week, a way to help lift students and families during the COVID-19 period of self-isolation and learning from home. I wore both my treasured Leafs jersey AND my Habs jersey, poking a little fun at this classic hockey rivalry. That Friday was 16 1/2 years to the day that the Habs sweater passed into my hands. It was also 16 1/2 years to the day that my Dad passed away.

Continue reading “The Hockey Sweater: A Personal Story”

Growing my PLN by One and Making a New Friend (an unsolicited endorsement)

“Well this will be an hour of my time I won’t get back!”

Or, something along those lines. That is how I first approached a Spring 2016 session with Chris Vollum and hosted by my previous school’s School Council. I had heard countless ‘old people’ speak to schools about the perils of “The Facebook” and “The Twitter” and I was prepped for more “lock up your children; the Internet isn’t a safe place” messaging. Continue reading “Growing my PLN by One and Making a New Friend (an unsolicited endorsement)”

Preparing for September – Part deux

Screen Shot 2018-07-15 at 7.26.01 PMI’m currently enrolled in a 3-week learning module via OPC entitled ‘Collaborative Learning Inquiry / Digital Leadership Portfolio’. I enrolled not because I needed to learn how to be a digital leader. Digital leadership has been an important part of my portfolio for years.  I’ve lead workshop on it, I’ve blogged and tweeted about and I was a member of the steering committee that organized the first Tech-Embedded Teaching and Learning Symposium for OPC. Continue reading “Preparing for September – Part deux”

My Learning ‘Needs’ for September

For the past two years, I’ve been working as a lead principal in a system role. Although the role fulfilled my need for new learning and anew experience, very little of our work has been directly linked to a specific school or to student learning. In September, I’m heading back into the role of JK-8 principal. My excitement grows each day. Continue reading “My Learning ‘Needs’ for September”