The first three days of a six-day Leadership professional development package took place in mid-April. Thirty-one participants, some current Principals and Vice-Principals, and others aspiring to school leadership engaged in interactive activities, discussions, reflection and relationship building during the residential workshop held at Auberge des Gallants near Rigaud. Two of the three days were animated by Ainsley Rose, well-known in professional development locally, across North America, and beyond. He has been part of the Annual Leadership Workshops for several years and his presentations are always well received and appreciated. Jackie Eldridge of Wren Leadership, and Denise McLafferty co-presented offering strategies to help leaders create mindful workplaces where their educational communities will flourish.
On the second and third days of the session, the participants were joined by thirteen Graduates, school leaders who had participated in similar workshops in previous years. These individuals take the opportunity to update their learning while adding experience and richness to the exchanges. One of the strengths expressed by many of the attendees, new and returning, is the opportunity to build networks across schools and Boards from all corners of the province.
Here are just a few of the many comments participants offer about the workshop:
I can honestly say coming into this workshop I had no idea what to expect. I am in my first year of a semi-leadership role, so I am looking for lots of guidance. I feel the structure of the three days was great. Lots of information about things I did not realize I would need to know to become a leader. My expectations were met and then some.
Getting to know each other well quickly, gaining trust so we could have meaningful conversations very early in the day were some of the strengths of this session. I loved the mix of theory and practical. I very much enjoyed the mindfulness examples. I liked getting the book resources. Also learning about who I am, and how others interact with me was very important. Loved how approachable all speakers were. Everyone was always around to help!
I love to attend the Leadership workshops because it is so good to meet other positive lifelong learners.
I was lead patiently to look and to analyze every act in my school day from the perspective of the students, the classroom teacher and the administrator. All under the umbrella of carefully selected and up to date research results. I leave the workshop with many lessons to use immediately in my senior high school Math class. I leave with insight and confirmation about good practices like self-evaluation, the role of collaboration in my growth as a teacher; I also leave with tools to make it happen.
Day One allowed me to meet many new people and to increase my network of administrators and fellow teachers. The activities were well planned and facilitated this process. There was a wealth of valuable information presented as well as reading materials (books) were suggested. The presentation was relevant and current with respect to the 21st century learners. Day Two allowed me to engage in the reflective process. The activities allowed me to share and build a bond based on trust and confidence. I realized certain qualities I possess as a leader and how I can utilize them with members of my team. Day Three reinforced the idea for the need to build sincere relationships based on trust and shared values. I enjoyed the practical nature of all the activities. I was able to meet people and interact with them. There were meaningful conversations and insightful reflection.
The participants will return in August for the final three days when they will meet with Gerry Varty who will offer a presentation entitled “Leadership from the Inside-Out: Enhancing the Roles of the School Board, School, and Teacher-Leaders.” On the second day, Greg Kushnir, will address, “Influential Leadership for School Improvement.” Ainsley Rose will complete the package with “The Heart of Leadership” bringing together the content of the six-days with a focus on the importance of dealing with people.
Then we will have thirty-one new Graduates to add to the ever-growing pool putting us over the two hundred mark of educators who have learned together in these leadership workshops over the years.