Here’s hoping it’s like riding a bike…

The new school year has started, and I’m in a new school as a vice principal. My role at the Ministry of Education has come to a close and I’m grateful for the amazing learning and the wonderful colleagues that I worked with there in the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Branch and the Incubation and Design Branch. For me, it’s a good time to move on, what with the recent change in government – I would find the growing pains a little frustrating from the inside, I think! 🙂 bike-190483__340

I was really nervous about going back to school!  For me, change is super energizing — but I had so many questions: What will have changed at my school district since I left 3 years ago? How will my principal feel about having to spend time getting a new VP up to speed? How will it feel to re-focus on learning and teaching on the ground, rather than policy and international education systems from 30, 000 feet? How will I find adequate time to develop relationships and do the day-to-day business of school leadership? What will I be teaching, and how will I ever feel that I’m doing an effective job with teaching when only spending only 50 minutes per week with a class?

I don’t know the answers to all of those questions, but I do know that an elementary school feels like home to me.  It’s a constant state of learning, multi-tasking, problem-solving and supporting people – and it makes me happy.  EVEN when we have to reorganize and redo schedules over and over again — teachers have been so patient and students so resilient in handling change — for that I’m really grateful!

Right now, my teaching part is media literacy and we’ve begun by thinking about a healthy balance of media choices. I’m looking forward to seeing how I can bring the curriculum to life in authentic ways in around the school and community.   The Association for Media Literacy, Common Sense Media and Media Smarts.ca will be great resources for my work and luckily for me,  Lynn Huxtable shared the following new Media Smarts resources just today! Perfect timing!

Reality Check: Getting the Goods on Health and Science – video and tip sheet

Editing Emotions – lesson plan for grades 5-9

Getting the Toothpaste Back into the Tube: A Lesson on Online Information – grades 6-8

Know the Deal: The Value of Privacy – lesson plan for grades 6-8

Privacy Rights of Children and Teens – lesson plan for grades 9-12

Talking to Your Kids about Sexting – tip sheet for parents

Using Parental Controls – tip sheet

6 comments

  1. You are a natural leader who has always inspired my work and kept me asking questions and trying new things. You have challenged me to try the “One Minute Meeting” with my staff and students which I am grateful for. You make people want to learn, take chances and focus on what’s good for our students. Your staff is very lucky to have you- and I am lucky that we a get to formally be a Mentor-Mentee pair that really is Mentee-Mentee and has always been for 30 great years!

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    • We have been SO lucky professionally, haven’t we? You have been inspiring me for all these years as well, and I remember like yesterday your skill in connecting with at-risk students and thinking deeply about pedagogy – I was so lucky to have met you in my formative professional years! I’m so looking forward to trying one-minute meetings this year…I hope I get a chance to do that! I love that we are mentor-mentee or mentee-mentee! 🙂 It’s a great team!

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  2. Thank you for sharing these great resources with us, Brenda. Also, you’re an experienced educator, and leader. You bring awesome and amazing things to the table for students and colleagues alike. You’ll do great! Just keep pedaling 😉

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  3. Having just met you at the PB4T conference this year, I am admirable of all of your experience and the unique lens in which you see education, learning, relationships, etc. Good luck this year! Any school would be lucky to have you! Love the resources you shared. Will pass them along!

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