I’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. I chuckled a little when an OSSEMOOC link shared via the course LMS listed “Connected School and System Leaders in Ontario” on a page and, sure enough, there I was. 🙂
I enrolled because I needed to push myself again as a digital learner. I needed to re-commit to a blog post at least twice a month, re-ignite my passion for engaging on Twitter and begin leading workshops again.
The first topic for our blog via this module is to be related to the preparations of opening our school. I touched on my commitments for learning about that here and invite anyone interested to go and have a read.
What I would add since then is that we had a successful initial meeting with staff on the morning of the June 29 PD day. It has been the only day I have spent with a school full of staff in my role as principal of Montgomery Village PS. I still have only met a small handful of students.
With staff, I wanted to get an opportunity to share a little bit about myself coming in but, more importantly, wanted to provide them with an opportunity to share ideas for the upcoming year. I also hoped staff would use an opportunity to share a little about themselves. We initiated a ‘Start, Stop, Keep, Less, More’ activity, provided guidelines for reflections if staff chose to go that route and suggested that they get out of the building for lunch, a luxury rarely managed during the school year. I also made sure I was available to all staff throughout the day. The professionals in the building knew what they had to do.
My primary purpose on the one day I had with staff was to emphasize the primacy of relationships: my relationship with them by providing them open opportunities for feedback and discussion; their relationships with their students and their learning by providing an opportunity for reflection; their relationship with each other by encouraging time to relax and slow down and finally our relationship to our work by highlighting some of the things I had already learned and observed about the work they had already done. Time will tell whether the importance I place on relationships in education came through.