Sue Dunlop is a Superintendent with the Hamilton Wentworth School Board. I initially connected with Sue via Twitter and then had the opportunity to meet her in person at various EdCamps (Hamilton, London and Philadelphia). As a member of a Senior Administrator team, I truly admire her dedication to making her thinking and learning visible, using various social media platforms. There is such a sense of approachability and openness to learning as she connects with educators within her Board and beyond. How cool for teachers to start or end their day, chatting about an article or an event with their SO!! It was Sue’s daily blog post in April which inspired my “One a Day in the month of May”.
Link to her Blog: Living in the Tension
As a system principal who has the opportunity to work alongside of the educators within the Language Portfolio, uncertainty has become a new reality for us ~ not only in light of the current labour situation, but also in light of the Provincial and Board emphasis on mathematics. At the present time, our work, which is to support educator learning, is on “hold” as a result of current labour conditions. And although the team is certainly maintaining a strong sense of work ethic and professionalism, I can tell that their hearts are not as invested as they usually are. When one is passionate about learning and sharing that learning, little else can take its place. As we reflect on this past year and begin to plan for the fall, there is a great sense of uncertainty as to whether or not we will be able to move forward or not. But I’m proud of them, as we plan with the best scenario in mind, knowing that our flexibility will be called into greater demand if the labour situation is not resolved.
Aside from the current labour situation is the new reality of the spotlight on mathematics. School teams, who once were required to have a literacy goal, are now shifting their focus and hence their selection of professional learning opportunities to mathematics. In a few short years, we have gone from a greater demand for our services than we could provide to a world where we now need to market ourselves. Again, I’m so very proud of the team for evolving their thinking in terms of professional learning in order to meet the needs of our “new” educators ~ those who are juggling the demands of new ways of supporting students in the area of mathematics along with the knowledge that if our students can’t read or write, they will never be able to effectively communicate their learning (new or otherwise) in the area of mathematics ~ or science or social studies or……..
And just as you stated, in times of uncertainty, the objective is to hold fast to your values and beliefs.