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My Ignite Notes


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Generally, this is what I said at the Ignite

Published in: Education
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My Ignite Notes

  1. 1. 1. Title. • I do need to say that the goal for me is not to offend anyone. These are just my thoughts. And if i do that. free to check Instagram or Twitter over the next 5 minutes if you haven't already started. and then let's pretend this never happened.
  2. 2. • 2. What's changed? We talk lots about change. But. What has really changed? Pockets of great change. Most people in this room are driving that change. But. Big picture. I wonder how much has really changed in schools. In my 19 years as a teacher. I have seen lots of different initiatives that were supposed to be the thing that changed schools.
  3. 3. • 3. As you know. There are Lots of buzz words in education. I'm not saying any of these are bad. All have merit. And I use most of them in one way or another. . I think these ideas are relied on a bit too much at times. They aren't a recipe book to success. Whatever you define success to be. However... I do call BS to some of them
  4. 4. • 4. This is one of those terms I call bs too. To me this implies that's with some people who are still alive their learning stops. Also brings me back when to a time when I helped create a classroom called 'The Learning Centre'. Then I thought to myself, what is happening in the other rooms? Kind of the point of it all, don't you think?
  5. 5. • 5. If your breathing. You are generally learning I think. There are things that generally we agree people should learn. But what people learn are based on the relationships that are created. Doing this ignite really made me think of my experience in school. And who taught me. And what was I like as a kid.
  6. 6. • 6. This is a pic of me in my grade 9 yearbook. I think it was a forgone conclusion what I'd be doing for my career. For sure I had way more control back then. Because I don't know how much of it I have now and I don't necessarily want it. But I do want to make sure the people in my school build good relationships.
  7. 7. • 7. I was extremely lucky to have some unbelievable mentors, friends, teachers as I grew up. I wanted to be like them. So I chose to teach. These are some of the ones that taught me the most. They had the most impact on me when I was a kid. They built such a strong relationship with me that learning was easy. Even for me
  8. 8. • 8. I've been lucky to be in a wide range of schools over my career. Teaching and coaching at my former high school. And then working with my former teachers and friends as a vp at Westwood and sturgeon . . The last 2 schools I've got the chance work in a school where I never know what will come in the next day. And I love it.
  9. 9. • 9. Saying that. My best and most important learning has been most recent. I've Learned more in the past 3 years about how I do my job and about myself.. I have to give credit to Erin and now bennett. And Now because Bennett is a huge part of my life I really think about what is school going to be like for him?
  10. 10. • 10. I am so curious about what schools will be like over the next 18 years. What is going to change? Is it going to?. Because of that It's really making take stock what Kind of school I am helping to create. How can I ensure he has the same experiences as me. How is his experience going to impact me as a teacher?
  11. 11. • 11. I want schools to teach stuff like how to be a good person. A parent. Also I want kids to be able to read and write and communicate. To do this I put a fair amount of effort into creating a school culture that takes care of the kid first. To ensure that we are helping give opportunities to students and staff to become better people with strong character.
  12. 12. • 12. So I do things like Character Day as a school wide thing (just this last Friday). And yes. All I wanted to do is wear a costume. But this was about elements that a person unique. It creates some great conversations and it's so neat to hear kids talk about this stuff. To me. This is the real stuff of a school.
  13. 13. • 13. The importance of these things is evident when we see what's going on in the world today. There is so much disfunction in so many families and parts of the world. And we need more than just good students and we need to change the definition of success. Human skills and social skills are just as, if not more important, than test scores.
  14. 14. • 14. I am certainly not perfect. In any way. So I showed my students and staff this slide. These are the things For the moment. I need to work on. I wanted to show everyone in my school that I know I need to improve in these areas. And it's not lost on me that I need to work on humility. And all I've done is talk about myself so far... I have some work to do.
  15. 15. • 15. 1 step forward. 2 steps back. When I think I've improved in one area. Something smacks me upside the head and says hey Andy look over here... Then I start again. I think it's important for kids to see that and to know that I'm still trying to figure things out
  16. 16. • 16. And Despite being 'busy' I get 2 hours a day completely to myself. My drive to work and back is where I really spend the most my time learning and thinking. Reflecting. And I think about the good things. I get ideas. I think about my mistakes. What do I need to do to be better?
  17. 17. • 17. I want the school I get to work at to be able to. build relationships with the every kid. Schools can be magical places if everyone feels they fit. . . And teach the things that builds strong people with all the school skills. And social skills. Kids are going to learn. We just need to make sure they are learning to make the and their world a bit better everyday
  18. 18. • . 18. And this takes me to Bennett. Because in a few years. He's coming. He'll be in the system. And it's a bit daunting to think about. He's lucky. He will more than likely be school ready. See what I did there? His mom is very smart. Watching him grow over the last 11 months is amazing. I'm sure you can all relate to this.
  19. 19. • 19. Watching a little puddle of mush turn into something. It's amazing watching Erin teach him and his reactions. Their relationship is incredible. It makes me think What's it going to be like when he goes to school? What relationships will he form? Who are going to be his teachers? His friends. What kind of things are they going to teach him? I'd be a liar if I didn't say this scares the crap out of me
  20. 20. • 20. I am so intrigued to see what happens. To see who Bennett becomes. I think we know what he'll looks like. Poor kid. I'm excited To see what happens at school for him though What words will be buzzing around him as he makes his way through? Would I be ok with me being Bennett's principal?
  21. 21. • 21. So when asked what am I curious about? I think How is it going to change over the next 18 years? As I watch Bennett go through school. How are schools going to change? Are they ever going to really change? Who are we going to be listening to? Who's going to be right? How am I going to change? What am I going to learn? Over the next 18 years... • What's it all gonna be like?