From Simplistic to Sensational

Day 2:

As I backed out of my driveway this morning, I found myself mentally running through the various encounters that I was about to embark on for the day. I was excited about visiting a couple of schools, discussing a number of upcoming staffing challenges and having some dedicated time with our Literacy team.  I will admit that my first stop of the day ~ at our Facilities office ~ was one that I would never have anticipated as being the focus of today’s post.

Over the past week there had been several emails between our Superintendent, our Associate Director and our ESL/ELD Learning Coordinator ~ all looking for clarification on Secondary ESL/ELD boundaries. My role was to enter into a face to face discussion and provide that clarity. So, I arrived with a rolled up map of the city of London, which had black-marker boundaries depicting the specific areas for our Secondary ESL programs and made a joke about feeling like Mike Brady with his architect’s canister of drawings.  I was positive that my visit was to share the current boundaries and provide some much needed explanation as to why certain students attended certain schools.


But within minutes it became clear that my explanation was not the focus of the discussion, nor was any clarification on my part necessary. Instead I found myself on the receiving end of an “out of the box” plan to revamp ESL Secondary boundaries. I was blindsided, but in a positive way.  As the conversation continued and we engaged in some powerful “What if ?” scenarios and hatched a plan to share our combined thinking with various stakeholders, I found myself internally reprimanding myself for making the wrong and simplistic assumption about my first stop of the day.   What I had assumed was going to be a quick “This is the way we do it” meeting turned into an exciting, sensational conversation about the possibility of doing things differently and more effectively for our students. download

For someone who prides herself on being open to new and innovative ways, today I was reminded that one never knows when something will quickly morph from “simplistic to sensational”.


Have you ever been pleasantly blindsided?

Come write with me….

3 thoughts on “From Simplistic to Sensational

  1. Hi Sue,

    I was completely blindsided in a positive way when the TVDSB Syrian Refugee Response committee rather spontaneously, quite unanimously and unwaveringly embraced the concept of the GENTLE centre. I will always appreciate Melanie Ferdinand for her encouragement when I was feeling dubious about presenting it!!


  2. Sue,

    My favourite experience with being pleasantly blindsided did not come at work. It came when finding out that I was going to be a mother to three.

    My husband and I had been trying for a while. We were desperate to be parents. When the at home test was positive we were thrilled. It was early in the preganancy and my doctor was concerned my level if illness was a bad sign. An early ultrasound revealed the actual reason – three babies not just one.

    We knew we wanted a big family, but never thought it would all happen at once. The result was life changing in many ways and continues to test our flexibility and creative problem solving each day. In the end this was the best “blindside” of my life!


  3. Last night the incredibly professional team at UHPS worked on an idea that came out of a side bar conversation a meeting before . The last mtg we worked on our divisional focus for our upcoming implementation of essential questions . I’m
    Circulating between the groups listening in, adding a comment here and there but mostly taking it all in. My newest staff member on an lto mentioned Wouldnt be nice to have a way to know what skills we expected from each division ? A continuum said another ? Yes she said that’s it And they preceded to discuss the merits. Now this lto had covered three different jobs this year spanning grades 2-5 so she was uniquely positioned to think in this manner Talk about a wonderfully blind sided moment. We were suppose to be working on SIP specifics and they were talking SIP supports. Fast forward to last night. The energy around the room was measurable as everyone was engaged and committed to mapping out core inquiry skills across a divisional continuum – all because of a great idea from a surprising source.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *