Servant Leadership

I first heard about the concept of Servant Leadership several years ago and appreciated its main ideas:

  • A servant leader is someone who “shares power, puts the needs of the employees first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people.”

It’s really about framing one’s MINDSET about how you relate to others in the workplace — about how one goes about their day — in other words, how a leader thinks, speaks and acts to support the people in the organization.

When I contextualize it for myself, I picture it being about my words and my actions that build the confidence, abilities and leadership in others. It’s also an area where I continually think of ways to become better.

Being part of a smaller school district, it is imperative that I lead in areas that build capacity — both in individuals and in our district. It is capacity that helps to build the redundancies in skills and knowledge which enable our district to withstand things like sudden illnesses or departures.

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Is Remote Learning the Future of Public Education?

I love it when we have these types of conversations — the debates about what ‘works’ and what ‘doesn’t work’. It’s these types of dialogue that help us move forward in our thinking and plans to make education even better. This one discussion about remote learning is particularly interesting during the COVID-19 pandemic — and gaining in some frequency — as we have found some system success along with some real challenges.

  • Is remote learning the future for public education?
  • Has the pandemic showed us a better way to teach and learn?
  • Have we seen the utopian light?

As with most topics in education, one often hears opposing arguments — and there’s certainly no exception with remote learning. There are some pretty strong opinions being generated:

“Remote learning is fantastic. My child is able to focus on their own schedule and terms without the distractions at school.”

“Remote learning is terrible. There is no meaningful social interaction with their peers or teachers. Motivation is difficult and they can’t stay focused on their computers”.

Each opinion is sometimes accompanied by articles or media posts supporting the perspective

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Saanich Schools: Change During a Pandemic

I was recently asked to write an article for a local magazine on how we’ve managed our schools throughout the pandemic. There is, without question, a lot of anxiety from this health crisis, but what a great opportunity to share some of the positives we can take from our current situation.

There are always lessons we can learn, changes that are beneficial and momentum that we can use to instill growth. And while uncertainty can breed worry it can also be a springboard for necessary change.

You can find the article from Seaside Magazine on their website, but I’ve also reproduced it for you below.

SAANICH SCHOOLS – CHANGE DURING A PANDEMIC

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has caused some significant upheaval in the public education system – for students, parents, teachers, administrators and support staff.  Schools were closed in March, then partially re-opened with an emergency remote learning option in April, a partial opening in May and then fully re-opened in September with an optional transitional remote learning program.  All of them complex on their own with each phase requiring different approaches, different resources and different thinking — all in an accelerated timeline.

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