Kids Want to Go to School

As a life-long educator, there is one thing I know: kids want to go to school.  Sadly, thousands of Haitian children never have the opportunity to attend to school because they cannot afford it. To this day, children of Haiti live lives of complete impoverishment.  With little to no way to help themselves recover from this poverty, hope arises from Education. Talented, smart Haitian children want to go to school.


Friends of Haiti provided this girl with school supplies and tuiton

School opportunities in Haiti are different.  The government provides no funding whatsoever to rural schools.  Any rural schools are private and run on student tuition fees only.  This means children who want to go to school, often cannot simply because they cannot afford it.

This and other social issues need our attention.  Over the past five years, a small group of Canadians have been working to ease some of the suffering of Haitians and support them in achieving a more fulfilling life.  This has lead to the creation of Friends of Haiti (Canada), started in 2015

Friends of Haiti is a small group of Canadians  who want to help our friends in Haiti with education, healthcare, sports, housing, entrepreneurship, and dreams.  Living in Canada, we have so many opportunities and an abundance of support to achieve goals.  To see others living in desperation is so difficult.  We now have a way to send direct help and support.  Living a life that is productive and meaningful all starts with education.

Along with 4 other Canadians, I feel privileged to be a part of this grass-roots, organization.


Lori and Yvrons in Lavanneau Haiti 2015


Besides education we help our friends in Haiti with  healthcare, sports, housing, entrepreneurship, and dreams.  Living in Canada, we have so many opportunities and an abundance of support to achieve goals.  To see others living in desperation is so difficult.  We now have a way to send direct help and support.  Living a life that is productive and meaningful all starts with education

Homes in Lavanneau, Haiti

Children of rural Haiti, they dream of going to school

Sadly, many families cannot afford to send their children to school.  Our initiative aims to provide funds to the poorest, most under privileged children of Haiti in order to attend school.  We know that by supporting youth in reaching their dreams of becoming nurses, teachers and lawyers we must get them to school.

The future of Haiti

A new home for Ednor, with Friends of Haiti Team members and sponsors Carolin, Dave and Mr. Gabe

Over the past five years, extensive humanitarian work has been done to develop Friends of Haiti (Canada).  Friends of Haiti is a small group of Canadians who want to help our friends in Haiti with education, healthcare, sports, housing, entrepreneurship and dreams.


The main team of five are based out of Alberta and B.C.  The team travels to Haiti once a year to achieve our mission.  During the year however, the focus is on fund raising.

Heading to the goat market to purchase goats for schools.

Maxeau, our Haitian Coordinator brings school supplies to the children of Marbial

We are very privileged to have a Haitian coordinator who works tirelessly to bring hope to Haitians.  Maxeau Pierre, a law student living in Jacmel, coordinates our efforts from Haiti.


We are pleased to report that to date, 98% of all our funding goes directly to our cause.   Minimal Administration fee of 2% is used to send funds and support Maxeau in administrative work in Haiti.  We do this work because we care.  Help Haitians help themselves. Please join our Facebook page Friends of Haiti (Canada).

Mission accomplished, all ready for Sept 7, 2015. First day of school.

Friends of Haiti endeavors to support children in achieving their goals by sending them to school.  Your donations will help a child by:

Paying school tuition; tuition varies depending on the age of the student

                  $25 USD per year for ages K-6

                   $50 USD per year for ages 7-9

                   $30 USD per month for high school

                   $100 USD per month for university

Purchasing required school uniforms;

                  $25 – $50 USD per year depending on the age of the student

Purchasing required backpacks and school supplies

up to  $25 USD per year

98% of all our funding goes directly to our cause.   Minimal Administration fee of 2% is used to send funds and support Maxeau in administrative work in Haiti (gas, bank fees).

100% of our humanitarian trips and costs in Canada are directly paid for by our team members.
Donating is easy!  Please go to and click “give online”  In the paypal notes please direct your donation the Friends of Haiti.


The 2 Most Important Skills Every Teacher Needs

Over the past nine years I have had the pleasure of hiring (and the displeasure of firing) new hires into their teaching careers.  In watching teachers come into the profession some just “have it.”  Some seem to be innately programmed to be teachers.  For others, it is a much more difficult road to travel.  Additionally, there has been much awareness brought up about “teacher burn-out” and teachers not being able to survive this profession.

It has taken nine years of watching, listening, and observing to come to understand that there are two distinct differences between teachers that excel and love the profession, and those that do not excel and are prone to burn-out.

1.  Reflective Practice

The power of a reflective teacher is unstoppable.  What I have noticed about reflective teachers is through their abilities to analyze, clarify, pinpoint and adjust their practice they move into a distinct zone of improvement.  The improvement becomes noticeable each week.

The reflective teacher knows how to:

  • Create lessons designed for specific purposes and to meet specific outcomes;
  • Adjust these lessons to the needs of different students;
  • Observe students;
  • Talk about and share successful and unsuccessful features of the lesson;
  • Create a better lesson based on this information;

When a teacher is able to get into this reflective flow, they become intellectually engaged and oriented to supporting the learning of their students.  With this engagement their practice becomes energizing, goal oriented, and challenging.

2.  Coachability

Hand in hand with reflective practice is coachability.  Coachability speaks to the teachers capacity to:

  • hear feedback;
  • analyze and understand the feedback;
  • implement the feedback into their teaching.

Without this, it is unlikely a teacher will be successful in growing and learning themselves. They become closed and rigid to ideas and suggestions and feel there is no other way to do things; what they do now is good because they have always done it.  Unfortunately, a teacher who is not reflective or coachable has difficulty adjusting their practice to the needs of different learners.  This leads to frustration with their students, and often a mindset of changing others rather than changing themselves.  We all know changing others is a futile task, and here comes teacher burn-out.

English: A teacher and young pupils at The Bri...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What can I do now?

The good part is it can be easy to develop the skills of reflectiveness and coachability if you don’t already have them.

  • Be open-minded; you need to learn something new everyday;
  • Listen;
  • Take notes; what are you doing and what are others doing that is successful or unsuccessful (we learn from our mistakes);
  • Work with colleagues; in all ways – open up your practice;
  • Ask questions.

We know that teaching is a demanding, busy, spontaneous profession.  Thriving in it is possible when we understand that those who thrive are reflective and coachable.

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Be a Principal With No Regrets

…On losing a student

When I decided to start a blog I never ever thought I would be compelled to write a post about the death of a student.  However, this week six year old Astha who is in grade one at our school died.

It has been a complicated week emotionally.  So many questions, who will go to the funeral, how will the school honor Astha, how will we tell the students and other parents, how will we support her grade 4 sister when she returns, what do we do with her file and student records, how long do we keep her desk in the classroom…. all sorts of things.

Its my nature to go into efficient mode when faced with a traumatic event.  Make decisions, get things done, keep busy, keep out of my head and although I did do that to some degree, as the hours went by I found there was only one thing I really needed to do,

Be there to listen to any staff or students who needed me.

Don’t make decisions now, deal with what is most important now; the feelings, and emotions of those affected.

People have asked me, “What are we going to do for Astha?” and I just keep replying, “I’m not sure yet.” I just feel like we need time to grieve, process and understand the intense loss our school has suffered.

I am most thankful that I knew Astha well.  Last year when she was in kindergarten I got to know her, I saw her most everyday and said “hi” to her.  She was scared and timid at the beginning of kindergarten so her and I went for a few walks around the school.  We would go and visit her sister.  This year in grade 1, i continued to say “hi” to Astha, I would greet her at the door in the mornings when she came to school.  It made me think about my role at school and one of the most important things I do and can do more of:

Get to know every student, be visible, be friendly.

How horrible would it have been if Astha had died and as principal I had never taken the time to say hi to her or get to know her a little bit?

Although Astha has not even been gone a week, and although she was only six years old, she has taught me a powerful lesson…. we are here for each other, the relationship the principal has with staff, students, and families is crucial and critical and needs to be attended to every day.

I will never forget Astha.  For such a little girl, she has left a big mark on our hearts.

Be A Better Principal Through Collegiality

Who Was Your Teacher Today? Teachers Learning From Teachers.

I recently shared a TwitPic I had found online.  To my surprise (sort of) the picture resulted in about 40 retweets and 30 new followers.  For me, this amount of response is unusually high so the picture obviously struck a chord.notes

As you can see, the picture depicts what looks like high school students taking pictures of information on the screen.  It is titled Note Taking in 2012 which leads us to believe and imply that students are using their own devices (BRING YOUR OWN DEVICE BYOD) to take pictures of notes rather than using the paper pencil method.

The twitter post resulted in some interesting comments:

@lorilynnecullen No BYOD policy & no phones in class in my district. Post notes on my website & use remind101 for my 6th graders & families.

I only have one response to this, “WHY?”  When students use their own devices to communicate, find information, and store information what  we are essentially telling them in schools that ban BYOD is, “We are not going to be efficient and current and engage you in ways of thinking and learning that you automatically and intuitively use outside of the classroom.”  Schools are supposed to be current, relevant and engaging so why are you banning BYOD?  I’m glad @ChristinaMLuce is making the best of it and doing what she can.

@lorilynnecullen any other form of note taking is a complete waste of time.

I like this.  Life is too short for long hand.  We can gather and store static information in an instant.  What are you using your classroom time for?

Stephen Turner ‏@SteveT_AU @lorilynnecullen Great, but even quicker would just be getting digital copy straight to device. Taking pic of board is pretty analogue…

@SteveT_AU should work for the district that has banned BYOD.  He obviously has a strong understanding of efficiency and using  classroom time as efficiently as possible.

R.T. Chidiac ‏@RChids@lorilynnecullen one more way to differentiate instruction also builds capacity for the ethical use of technology #edchat #edtech


I love twitter most for this reason; educators analyzing, understanding and describing authentic practice.  I would love to see this picture as the answer to “Show me one way you differentiate for students who struggle with written output.”  Also, @R.T.Chidiac could influence the No BYOD district with his point here about ethical use.
Michael Dushel ‏@MichaelDushel@lorilynnecullen Better would be for the teacher to email it or EVEN better would be to build the notes together in shared electronic form
Shelly Vee ‏@raspberryberet3 @MichaelDushel @lorilynnecullen this is awesome butI agree Michael; more effective if build notes together to #constructknowledge

I love how @MichaelDushel replied to the picture and as he was replying took his understanding of constructing knowledge together even one step further.  He makes a great point, that if this is a picture of a teacher writing or delivering information to students who listen, surely we can do better by constructing and creating understanding together.

The above are examples of critical dialogue amongst teachers that improves practice.  As Michael Fullan states:

For teachers to improve their practice they learn best from other teachers provided that these teachers are also working on improvement. These exchanges are thus purposeful, and based on evidence.

Thank you to my colleagues for creating purposeful dialogue and exchanges designed to improve our thinking and our practice.  Where would we be without each other?

Maximize Your Impact as a School Principal

So many things happen at school around Christmas time.  We are busy with concerts, activities, food drives, helping families with gift baskets and gift cards, making presents for parents and learning Christmas traditions.  We get all wound up with all this business and typically its a race against the clock to get everything done.

This year, a Christmas card showed up in mailbox.  It was from a grade 5 student who had come to our school last year from a different city.  He had had a rocky school history, battling with behavioral and attentional issues.  There had been good days and bad, but here is what the card said,

Dear Mrs. Cullen,

Thank you for taking care of our school and helping this school to be an awesome place.  I think you run this school really good.  Thank you for helping me when I am angry and supporting me and encouraging me to do awesome.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

After I read the card a few times, I really started thinking about his message and the things he had taken the time to mention.  I want all students in the school this way so maybe if I focus on:

  • “this school”  –  having a whole school presence. Being around the school and visible every day and in all aspects of school life.  Dropping in to classrooms, clubs, and intramurals.  Being visible during entry and exit both inside and out.
  • “helping me when I am angry” – let’s face it, I’m here to help.  In the good times and the bad.  When students are having a bad moment, when they are angry, or frustrated, or mad I am here to help students cope with those emotions, not punish them for having these emotions.  The best part about each new day is that it is a new day.  Everyone gets to start over without yesterday hanging over them.
  • “supporting and encouraging me to do awesome” – all kids, all the time.  What can I do to create the conditions where children are successful?  HIMG-20121220-00008ow can I manipulate or change the conditions or routines to support children?


Ending the year with this message that reminded me of my true work as a school principal was a delightful gift.  Funny how our students are able to identify what is important to them and for school leaders.




Get the Most Out of Your Next Parent Teacher Interview; Tips for Success

Parent/Teacher/Child Interview

Parent/Teacher/Child Interview (Photo credit: Kathy Cassidy)

Parent teacher interviews can often be a time of extreme stress for teachers and parents.  Teachers are often concerned about what they will say to parents, how they will say it and how parents will respond.  Parents often dread hearing news from teachers that their children are not perforning well or about a myriad of other problems linked to their children.  Parent-teacher interviews are short (usually 15 minutes) and can leave both teachers and parents feeling a little stressed.

To support teachers and parents, one way around the traditional ” how is my child doing?, why are their marks low?, and they aren’t like this at home” interview is to plan and structure the conversation around the learning beliefs and practices of the school.

For example, one of the main focus areas over the past year in our school has been goal setting.  We have adopted goal setting as an effective learning strategy based on research.  With the shift over the past several years to including formative assessment, student goal setting has been found to be highly effective in supporting students in academic achievement.  In  his book Visible Learning (p. 164) John Hattie summarizes that the right kind of student goal setting can have a positive affect on student learning;

“… goals inform individuals as to what type or level of performance is to be attained so that they can direct and evaluate their actions and efforts accordingly.” pp.164

Student goal setting works best when the parent, the teacher and the student work together to develop goals.  Thought is given as to:

  • where the student is currently functioning;
  • what level of achievement would challenge the student;
  • who would support the student in what way;
  • when progress toward the goal would be tracked or monitored.

As Goal Setting has been a significant part of our daily work, structuring our parent teacher interview around goal setting seemed a perfect fit.

Together, with the amazing staff and collegiality at Erin Woods School, our discussions around using parent teacher interviews to support our work on student goals developed.  We created a protocol for the interview, for teachers to follow, to focus the interview around the critical essence of our goal setting focus.

Parent / Teacher Interview

Name:                                                                                   Date:


Purpose: The purpose of this Parent Teacher interview is to look at the term ahead and consider goals and areas of growth for the student.  Additionally, teachers and parents will define and articulate their planto support the learner.



         Right now in IRIS you have set the goal of :

How are you doing with that goal?

What is helping you to achieve that goal?

Are you still working on that goal or should we adjust or change it in any way?




How can parents help you?

How can teachers help you?

How can you help yourself?



           I have also identified this area of growth for you (on your report card or IPP):

I will be helping you by:

What ways will you be working on this goal?


With a structured conversation for the Parent Teacher Interview the following results are expected:

  • Teachers can plan and prepare for the conversation based on the purpose and the outline;
  • Students can be prepared to share the necessary information with their parents (no surprises);
  • Parents become partners in our work, rather than stand bys who we report to causing everyone to be focussing on our beliefs and direction;
  • In this particular protcol, the focus is forward looking, “here is what your child will be doing and here is how I will help.” Leaving parents with a sense of hope and achievement for the next term.
  • We have clear documentation of each parent teacher interview.

 With this process, we are noticing teachers looking forward to their parent interviews,  There is no ambiguity or surprises,  thus leaving teachers confident and prepared, and parents hopeful and happy with things to come. 



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Are You a High Quality Teacher? Find Out!

Are you teaching for understanding or teaching by “tell and do”?

For many years now, the research around teacher quality and student achievement has been unequivocal.  In fact, we now know that teacher quality and effectiveness is the single most important determinant in student learning.  It is no secret that what a teacher knows and does matters.

While observing teacher practice over the past 8 years as a school administrator, what is coming clear to me is that one of the differences in teaching practice that defines quality teaching and student learning is the nature of lesson design.  In fact, I have observed two distinct types of lessons; those that effectively promote interaction and understanding of new information and those that follow the “tell and do” method.  In my observation, one method leads to a deeper and more thorough understanding, and one leads to listening and task completion.  In thinking about your own practice, or classes you observe, what do you see?

Teaching for Understanding
When teaching for understanding, lesson design is critical.  We know that certain types of learning tasks lead to student engagement, but it is also critical to incorporate these tasks into well designed lessons.

1.  The first part of a well designed lesson is the Introduction.  This is often short, orients the student to the purpose and is a chance for the teacher to find out what the student already knows.  Tasks often associated with the introduction are questioning designed to link to prior knowledge, KWL charts, viewing pictures, charts,  or video clips.

2.  Following the introduction, students are given the opportunity to talk and discuss.  Usually this would happen with a partner or a group of 3.  This is the students opportunity to talk about the new information and often find out more information.  This could be an assignment of sorts; perhaps students would work with a partner to find information, answer questions, or analyze information.  This is the where the teacher roves the classroom, gathering evidence of what students are learning.

3.  Following the partner work, the teacher would call the students back to the whole group to provide more information.  This part of the lesson provides the learners with further opportunity to extend knowledge.  Learning tasks may include opportunities to predict, summarize, clarify, compare and describe new information.  During this part of the lessons, teachers observe their learners closely to determine levels of understanding.

4.  Feedback or Feedforward is now used to enhance learning.  Teachers most likely will ask students inferential questions designed to move their learning forward.

5.  Following all of the above learning tasks, finally, students are ready to show what they know.  Teachers who practice differentiated learning know that this is the step where students can show their learning in a number of ways.  The list of ways is endless and extends far beyond paper pencil tasks.  To really show their learning, students must be involved in authentic tasks.  It would be impossible for every student to demonstrate their knowledge in the same way as every other student in the class.  It would be even more impossible to discern a students level of understanding through some sort of teacher or pre-made worksheet type of a task.  The learning students are asked to demonstrate here must be directly linked back to the purpose that was identified in step one.  For example, if the purpose of this lesson was to learn that that sun is the center of the solar system and planets rotate around the sun, here is where students demonstrate what they know.

6.  The final part of the lesson is student reflection.  Students are taught to self evaluate on questions such as; What did I learn?, How did I show what I know?, What do I still want to learn.

By following the steps of strong task design, students are learning and teachers are teaching for understanding.  Students are thinking about, talking about and interacting with new information.  This type of task design is quite different from Tell and Do.

Tell and Do

English: Hinkletown, Pennsylvania (vicinity). ...

English: Hinkletown, Pennsylvania (vicinity). Mennonite teacher holding class in one-room, eight grade school house. (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Tell and Do Lesson Design is often designed to tell students new information and then have them complete an assignment,  It usually involves the following steps:

1.  You Sit While I Tell: The first part of the lesson often includes students sitting and listening while the teacher tells them all of the important information they require to complete the task.  It is often referred to as a lecture.  Depending on the complexity of the information,  this telling can often last an hour or more.  Students are expected to sit and listen during this part of the lesson, sometimes they are encouraged to jot down important bits of information.  Sometimes students are given the opportunity to ask questions.

2.  The second part of the lesson includes the student doing the task.  Often each student has the same task and it is most often a teacher or publisher created task.  Usually it is a pencil paper task and it is very difficult to modify except to make it shorter for those students who find the workload too heavy.  I have observed teachers working at their desks during this part of the lesson.  I have an occasion heard teachers tell students that if they had listened better to the Sit and Tell lecture, they would find this part of the lesson easier.

3.  The final part of this lesson includes students handing their work in for teachers to mark.  Usually students leave their papers in some sort of “in-box” and are dismissed to recess, or their next class.  Often times students who did not finish in class are asked to take their work home to finish it.

What I have observed with this type of lesson design is a significant reduction in student learning.  I have blogged more about this in my post “Just Because You Said It, Doesn’t Mean They Learned It” but the basic premise being that unless students can link to prior knowledge, generate, create, discuss, find purpose, incorporate their learning styles, work with peers, reflect, think critically, infer and reflect, they are not truly learning and the teachers is not teaching for understanding.

* Robert Marzano and his book The Art and Style of Teaching have had a significant influence on my information and understanding in student learning.

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How To Make Sure Your Students Are Learning

As the school year began, I ordered two books with the intent of learning and implementing practices designed to Enhance Professional Practice.  Charlotte Danielson has written a couple of editions of The Handbook for Enhancing Professional Practice and these were the books I would guide my learning with.

Cover of "Enhancing Professional Practice...

Cover via Amazon

As I started into the the first book, it began with Evidence of Teaching.  Danielson believes three sources of information comprise evidence of teaching: observation, conversation, and artifacts.  She goes on to describe each of these sources and how they contribute to evidence of teaching,

As I read the chapter, I could not help but think about using this framework in a different way;



Over the past year, as a school staff we have worked to understand Formative Assessment.  We have looked at the components and values and worked on ways to use Formative Assessment in the classroom.

Using the framework created by Danielson, it was clear that evidence of teaching, could also be used to describe evidence of learning through formative assessment.

That is,

Evidence of Learning is comprised of Observation, Conversation, and Artifacts.


Together with the amazing staff at Erin Woods School and AISI Learning Leader Angie F., we then worked to understand each of these sources.  We sat together as a staff and talked about each of these sources of evidence and what they looked like in the elementary classroom.

OBSERVATION – while observing students engaged in meaningful tasks, look for:

  • Are they staying on topic?
  • Is re-teaching required?
  • Do you often re-direct?
  • Can they extend further? Or in a different way?
  • Should you provide resources?
  • Are they using prev. learned skills? Or personal connections?
  • Do they demonstrate understanding?

CONVERSATION – as you talk to students about there learning, listen for:

  • Do they use specific content vocabulary?
  • Are the students asking relevant questions?
  • Can they explain why?
  • Expressions/language demonstrates understanding.
  • Can they express connections to previous or

personal knowledge?

  • Are they expressing additional interests or viewpoints

about the topic?

ARTIFACTS – as you collect documents or student work, look for:

  • Compare to rubrics.
  • Did they know and meet criteria?
  • Demonstrate understanding
  • Is re-teaching required? for who? for what?
  • Did they edit/fix up based on feedback?

To support our thinking, a visual was created with the above information.

As we developed our understanding of the three sources of data, it became evident that in order to make a thorough, well-rounded assessment of a students progress all three sources or data are required.  Simply using one or two of the sources is not truly sufficient to fully understand the learner and assess progress.

As we move along in our professional development in this area remains:

What will we do with all of this data we have collected?

What do you do with all the data you collect?

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How to Increase Student Achievement Through Goal Setting

Hockey is a simple game really with one ultimate goal: put the puck in the net more times than the opposing team does.  Everyone knows the goal, everyone helps get to the goal, and everyone knows when the goal has been achieved.  The tricky part is in the strategies; many great coaches and hockey-minds have developed hundreds of different strategies to reach the goal.  There is no one right definitive way, in fact there are many factors that good coaches will take into consideration before choosing the right strategy.  No strategy works with all people all the time.

So is the game of education.  There is one ultimate goal, or is there?  Last time I checked I found numerous different curriculum areas, each with dozens of goals, that changed every year.  How is any one every to know the goal?

With the shift over the past several years to including formative assessment, student goal setting has been found to be highly effective in supporting students in academic achievement.  In  his book Visible Learning (p. 164) John Hattie summarizes that the right kind of student goal setting can have a positive affect on student learning;

“… goals inform individuals as to what type or level of performance is to be attained so that they can direct and evaluate their actions and efforts accordingly.” pp.164

Student goal setting works best when the parent, the teacher and the student work together to develop goals.  Thought is given as to:

  • where the student is currently functioning;
  • what level of achievement would challenge the student;
  • who would support the student in what way;
  • when progress toward the goal would be tracked or monitored.

Once this information is recorded, it is now up to the teacher to create learning opportunities, design lessons, and engage students in tasks that will support them in reaching their goal.  After all, if a student goal is to add descriptive vocabulary to their writing assignment, teachers must create opportunities for the student to learn, practice and develop these skills.

Empty Net

Empty Net (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In turn, this becomes the essence of Teacher Goal Setting.

The work of the teacher is to support the student in achieving their goals.  However, the strategies a teacher uses; the learning opportunities, lesson design, and tasks must do this.  To set goals designed to support students, teachers must:

  • Know their learners; where are they currently functioning and what is their learning goal?;
  • What data will I collect along the way to ensure the teaching strategies I am using are supporting my students in achieving their goals?;
  • In what ways will I analyze the data, and adjust my strategies?

The answers to these questions then forms the deep work of the Teacher Professional Learning Communities.  When teacher goals are tied to student learning, we will see an increase in student achievement.

As you set your teaching goals for yourself this year, ask yourself,

“Is the work I am doing going to directly support my students in putting the puck in the net?”

If not, maybe its time to shift.


My Wish For You

This month I was fortunate enough to hire two brand new teachers into the profession.  Both of them graduated from University this spring and are taking the big step of entering their careers in full time, full year teaching contracts.

I feel privileged to be a part of this big step.  I hope to do everything right for them, to support them, inspire and encourage.  I hope that they are one of those people who has 30 or more years in the teaching field resulting in a long, rewarding career.

My wishes for them and for every new teacher, well for every teacher new and old that is…

I wish that….

  • you will always feel a strong sense of belonging; that you matter, that you are cared about, the people look forward to seeing you each day;
  • you will always love children, even the most difficult ones;

    Child 1

    (Photo cr: Tony Trần)

  • you will learn, grow, reflect and demand the best of yourself as a teacher;
  • you will make lifelong friends with other teachers and staff you meet;
  • you will be kind and helpful, always;
  • you will continue to educate yourself;
  • you will make a difference.
I am so looking forward to this year and being a part of these wishes.  If you had a wish for a brand new teacher, what would it be?


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