Sept. 26th – Sept. 30th

whyThe Riders won…..the Jays won…Team Canada won….what a great weekend to be a sports fan! It also looks like we are turning the corner on that cool, wet weather and hopefully there will be some sunny skies to help our farmers finish getting their crops into the bins. We had a wonderful weekend at home, my daughter had her “kids” party on Saturday as she had 15 girls over to celebrate her 6th birthday….needless to say I was a bit frazzled after they all left.

Last week Chris and I were lucky enough to get to partake in two great days of professional learning with our fellow administrators. The focus of the two day seminar was on our school goals and adult learning. Our first day was facilitated by Michelle Prytula (@MichellePrytula) who is the dean of the College of Education. She challenged us to envision where we want the school to be at the end of the year, think about where we are today, and then work backwards to fill in the steps and time frame. I thought about student engagement, and where I’d love to see the school by June 2017. I indicated that success from my point of view would be if each student from grade 9 – 12 would have a clear understanding of why they are coming to school each day and how it will have a positive impact on their lives after they graduate. Our second day focused on adult learning and we talked about the similarities and difference between how students learn and how adults learn. This was a great reminder for Chris and I as we work with you to develop learning opportunities at our staff meetings learning meetings.

From all the discussions, the one thing that really stood out was the importance of understanding the critical why. Why do we come to school everyday? What is our purpose? As we continue to work together this year hopefully you can develop or refine what you define as your critical why. The learning links I’m sharing today are a couple of videos that I really enjoy. The first, from Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) is all about determining the why. Have a look, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Click here for the video.

The second video talks about the anxiety we feel when we think about changes. I know all too well these feelings, and know they will ramp up the closer we get to the date that Chris officially moves into his new role. Maybe you are feeling anxious about the changes you feel you need to make in your room or in your instruction. As you watch this video, think about all the other times you’ve made change. I hope you enjoy it.

Here’s what lies ahead this week:


  • Chris, Bruce, Brenda, Tom, Trace, Marla/Krisinda meeting 8:15 am


  • Chris away all day
  • Lockdown 10:05


  • Hold & Secure drill 10:05


  • Staff Meeting 8:00 am
  • Jeffery Ness’s college supervisor here (pm)
  • Terry Fox walk (pm)


  • Business as usual

Create a great week!


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Sept. 19th – 23rd

leaf-raindrops-autumn-waterGreat to see the Riders pull off a victory. I did not watch the game as I was busy with the kids all day, but happy days in Greenville nonetheless. It was a mixed bag of weather and hopefully you were able to get out Saturday and enjoy the changing of the leaves. We ventured out to the Berry Barn for a slice of pie and a cup of coffee, then went for a nice walk as the kids ran and ran and ran!

meet-the-teacher-nightI’ve been reflecting a lot on the events of last week as I am still in the learning stage at Waldheim School.  The meet the teacher BBQ Thursday night and the PD session on Friday morning were more evidence of the strength of the school community. To see teachers, parents, and students laughing side-by-side over a burger and a pop was tremendous. I heard a lot of great things from the community about the school and was honored to be there.

brenda-fish-bowlFriday morning was an amazing learning experience for me. I was floored by the depth of your conversations and how you all are investing everything you have in your students. I was excited to see everyone involved and was so inspired at the way everyone was allowed to have a voice in the room. I really hope you all took some time to reflect on the question, what will someone learn because you were in the room? Special thanks to Brenda, Bobby-Jo, Krysten, and Sharlene for taking part in our first fish bowl session. I know we were tight for time, but I could tell that there were many more questions and “a-ha’s” that could have been shared along with the ones that were. The fish bowl is a great opportunity for us to learn together, and I am excited to continue this at other PD sessions and at the occasional staff meeting. I wonder if any of you will give this a try in your classroom? If so, please give Chris and I a heads up, we’d love to come and observe. If not, what would be some barriers?

This week I’m including one learning link and it is from the PD materials that the division sent out prior to Friday. This is a great video that talks about how to spark student learning and reminds us that student questions are the seeds of learning. Have a look, I’d love to hear what you think.

Here is what is going on this week:

  • Monday 19th:
    • Picture Day! SMILE!
    • Cross Country meet in Langham
  • Tuesday 20th:
    • Chris & Bruce gone all day to ALT seminar ~ Warman
  • Wednesday 21st:
    • Chris & Bruce gone all day to ALT seminar day 2 ~ Warman
  • Thursday 22nd:
  • Friday 23rd:
    • New teacher orientation
    • Elementary assembly

As always, create a great week!


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Sept. 12 – 16

I’m really hoping that this cool weather makes way for warmer autumn days, I’m certainly not ready for winter just yet! We had a terrific weekend celebrating my daughter’s 6th birthday, and I was reminded that while being a teacher/administrator is an important job, being a dad is the critical work that always has to come first. I hope you always take time to enjoy being with family and friends, it really helps re-charge one’s batteries.

I shared with a few people that Waldheim School now has their own official Twitter account and to access it you can click @waldheim_school. There is an older Waldheim School Twitter account so make sure you do not follow the wrong one! Chris and I were discussing Twitter earlier this month and we would like everyone to sign up if you haven’t already. The first learning link today is all about Twitter and how beneficial it can be for educators. Have a look and see what you think.

While Twitter does a great job of connecting us with people around the world, face-to-face collaboration is still  vital, and is a skill that kids need to continually work at. In her blog, Pernille Ripp talks about a great activity she does with her students. As you read through, think about any connections you can see between her student lead conversations and our work with MPSC. Hopefully learning link number two causes you to think about how you hold class discussions….it got me thinking about conversations we have at staff meetings.

Grade 4 ArtIt’s pretty cool to see student work starting to pop up around the hallways and in the classroom. Not only does it look great, it is also a great boost for the students to see their work displayed for all to see. Learning link three talks about the importance of displaying student work and offers up some other ideas for moving learning forward through this.

Here’s what is coming up this week:


  • Staff meeting 3:15 (library)


  • Grade 8 bike trip to Laird
  • Chris away


  • Meet the Teacher Night! (5:00 – 7:00, including BBQ supper)
  • Chris away


  • PD (am ~ details coming this week)
  • Prep

Create a great week!


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September 5th – 9th

Herbstblätter unter blauem Himmel bei Sonnenschein

Oh Roughriders….our dear, dear, sad-sack Roughriders, close but it was not to be. Hopefully they can get their revenge next week in the Banjo-bowl. I hope everyone is having a great long weekend, even though it was only two days with students, it was tiring getting back into teacher mode, and I know my voice was a little raspy Friday afternoon.

As I listened to the Riders on the radio, hearing the crowd roar when the team scored, I could not help but think about how amazing teachers are much like those faithful fans. Mosaic Stadium was once again sold out, the fans were not giving up on the team, even in the face of this trying season. Great teachers are like that. We do not give up on kids as they struggle through their low times. We have seen greatness in them, and know that there is potential for great things. Great teachers, like great fans, know there will be hard times, but like many others have said, it is the sour that makes the sweet that much sweeter.

The first learning link I’m including tonight is from Pernille Ripp. Pernille speaks about the world we can create as we start a new school year. Of course there will be times when you think nothing will work, no matter how hard you try, but remember you always have a choice.

The second learning link comes on the heels of a great session I attended on Monday, August 29th in Warman. Meagan Mitchell (@mitchmea) presented a session on using Twitter as a tool for adult learning, discussing how we have the world at our finger tips, allowing us to connect with so many other educators around the world. In the learning link, George Couros (@gcouros) talks about Twitter and it’s potential to develop everyone (students and teachers) into writers. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the usefulness of Twitter in developing literacy.

The final link, while not directly related to teaching, reminds me of what we do on a consistent basis. It is the hours of behind the scenes preparation, collaboration, and trust that makes you able to parachute into the classroom and inspire your students the way you do. Check your volume before watching, some of the wind noise is loud.

Here’s what’s up for this shortened week.

Monday: Labor Day…no school


  • Chris away all day at P3 planning meeting


  • SCC Meeting (5:30 pm)


  • Brenda gone all day to facilitate at New Learning Facilitators in-service
  • Bruce gone (pm only) to athletic directors meeting


  • Jon Yellowlees (superintendent) out to visit Chris & Bruce (tentative, pm only)

Create a great week!


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