Normally I save my blogging for a Sunday afternoon, after I’ve had some time to reflect on the week that was, and had some time to think about the different things that are on the horizon for our school. We’ve been officially back to work for two days, and there has been so much learning that I had to record some of it for fear I forget as the next few days fly by in preparation for our students. If you are taking a moment to read this, you are likely a staff member at #WaldheimSchool, however if you are not, thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Monday was our official first day of work for the 2018-19 school year, and as has been the practice in our division, all of the members of the Prairie Spirit Teachers Association (PSTA) gathered together for our general assembly. Every year I can usually predict, with a high degree of precision, much of what will be seen and heard as we come together. It starts with jammed parking lots, raucous hallways as teachers reunite after a summer off, inspirational messages, dizzying budget numbers, and of course coffee and cookies! Another highlight for me each year is the opportunity to reconnect with a close friend who has worked in the division since we both graduated from the University of Saskatchewan way back in 1999. It is always wonderful to spend time chatting and laughing with him, and every year we plan to get together during the school year, and every year we fail to….maybe this year.

One of the highlights for me this year came during the address given by the PSSD board chairperson, Sam Dyck.  Sam took the time to welcome us back for another year, and shared some words of wisdom and encouragement, however it was one line that really resonated with me. As he spoke, he said, and I’m paraphrasing, “would you want someone to talk to you the way you talk to yourself?” Many of us are susceptible to the shackles of harmful self talk. We tell ourselves that if those around us only knew the “real” us they would be disappointed. We feel like impostors, and tell ourselves we’re not good enough, and we hope that today will not be the day we’re exposed. Sam made me stop and think, how would I feel if someone spoke to me the way I’ve been speaking to myself for decades? Time for me to start talking to myself the way I talk to the people I work with and learn from.

That brings us to today, Tuesday, August 28th, and another moment that made me stop and wonder, “how the heck did I get so lucky to be where I am today?” The staff from #WaldheimSchool gathered together at Queen’s House of Retreats in Saskatoon for our opening learning meeting. At our meeting we covered important topics like supervision, budgets, Christmas concerts, and of course, student and adult learning. This year, our work will once again be focused on developing a deep and thorough understanding of every student we work with. Our staff has committed to working on our assessment practices and our parental engagement as two strategic ways to deepen this understanding. During today’s meeting the theme of partnerships guided our thinking and our discussions. We talked about the myriad partnerships that we are a part of, either directly, like the teacher-EA partnership, or indirectly, like the student-parent partnership.


It was during one of the discussion that I noticed something that made me smile and I had  to capture a picture of it, I think I may have even Tweeted it out to the Twitterverse. The image, shown here, shows something that looks very typical of a staff that is learning together. However, what I love about this image is the diversity of the group. At the table there were six people, all deeply engaged in meaningful discussions about student and adult learning. They included our admin assistant, an EA, our grade 1 teacher, our vice-principal, our senior math/science teacher, and our K-7 special ed teacher.

Different people, different roles, the same goal: student learning! What an amazing way to start the year, it excites me to think about what else is on the horizon for 2018-19.

What has you inspired, motivated, and excited for the new year? 

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About the Author: Bruce Mellesmoen