Strathcona Athletics

Britannia Bruins Cup

I am constantly impressed with the student athletes at Strathcona.  Our students are always up for the opportunity to extend themselves, try new things and encourage one another.  Our sports teams, without exception, represent Strathcona positively by both their athletic excellence and amazing display of sportsmanship.  I am often contacted by colleagues from other schools who remark about how impressed they are by our students.  Much respect and thanks also needs to be paid to our dedicated staff who give their time throughout the year to ensure our students have the opportunities to participate in quality athletics programs.  Some highlights from this term alone include our Sr. Basketball teams,who brought home the cups (both boys and girls) for the  Bruin Cubs Tourney at Britannia, our 4 basketball teams who are in the middle of their season right now, and students are immersed in Tennis BC lessons thanks to the generous support of our PAC!!  I’ve included a few photos to highlight our students!
 – Strathcona Flashmobs at Pacific Centre – January 26th

Div 5 Flashmob dancers!!

The students of Division 5 are sharing this great experience this to promote Valentine candy grams for an organization called “A Loving Spoonful.”  The candy grams are only $10.00 with a $25.00 value!  – plus they will ship them anywhere in Canada free. We are so proud of you Div 5!!!!   Because of you, our school is a better place to learn, our community is a better place to live.  We applaud you all!!


I love the poetry of Ms. Deforge’s students….

In the fall of this year, I was invited into Ms Deforge’s class to share in the celebration of their learning.  The students had been exporing the senses, descriptive language and poetry, creating artwork around those images and then sharing their writing orally.  They were amazing – such a successful rich experience for each learner!  I’ve attached the poems of the students, a few images and audio files of the students reading excerpts of their writing.  Enjoy!

The students’ poems

Poetry group #1

Poetry Group #2

Poetry Group #3

Poetry Group #4

Poetry Group #5

Powerful words…

There’s no better feeling than the jubilation of seeing a child excel at a task or when a teacher’s heart and love for kids lead his or her work with students each day.

Thank you to Ms. Halsey Brandt, Mr. Wardrop and the entire staff for supporting yet another opportunity for our students to share their voices. Our 2011 Winter Concert was wonderful! Music has the ability to raise people’s spirits! Singing with a big group, you’re all so connected doing something you love. It’s very powerful!

On being an administrator…

One of the reasons that I hesitated about going into administration was that I LOVED teaching so much. I also LOVE sharing the craft of teaching and learning from colleagues. The point of tension now as I am in this role, is that I often find myself feeling disconnected from the classroom at times now that I am in such a large school. How does my walk reflect my talk? How can I have discussions with teachers about teaching and learning if I am not getting into classrooms? Here are some of the things that others do to keep themselves in touch with teaching and learning:
1. Read professional journals, books, blogs and keep active with twitter. (I’m tweeting, reading other tweets and have found myself here….reflecting, reframing, re-examining….)
2. I need to make getting into classrooms as much as possible my top priority. (I need to have a pulse on the school, and learn from teachers, to support them in sharing strategies with other teachers and know which classrooms I can send teachers to observe and share.)
3. Teach!! Support!! Share some passion projects….connect!! I am a childrens’ literature junkie! I love picture books, young adult fiction, non fiction – literature based learning. There is nothing more satisfying than holding a treasured book to your heart and passing it along to someone you know who will also enjoy it.
4. I cover classes whenever I can– for teachers to observe each other or collaborate, or when we’re short on a substitute, a teacher has to leave early.
For the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to spend multiple days in many of our classrooms. It is incredibly enjoyable to spend quality time with students and staff.
These visits not only serve as an escape from the drudgery of office tasks, they allow me to see instructional strategies at work; how we address curriculum; the engagement of students in a variety of learning scenarios; how resources are being allocated; teacher-student relationships and peer interactions; types of assessment being used; and how I might be able to add support where needed.

For the next few weeks, I’d like to highlight a VERY small portion of what I have seen this past term and into the second – In no way can I capture every one of the students’ amazing learning activities, it is not a reflection one classroom being more engaging than the next, but moreso, just a reflection of the classrooms I had a privledge to dwell in a little bit longer than usual.

Just getting started….

Beginning this blog site has been an intention for a long time and there are multiple reasons why it’s taken so long for me to get this first post up. Within that intention was the hope to open the doors of the classrooms for teachers, for parents and for me. Among the fears existed the concern that I was adding yet one more task to my plate that I would feel I was not doing well. I’m a bit nervous at putting myself “out there” like this, but I’ll start with the warning that I don’t want this to be time consuming for myself so I will not be spending massive amounts of time writing it as professional articles, but moreso more time in the classrooms and out and about!…it will just be my reflective blog in hopes of capturing some of the day at Strathcona and perhaps inspire some discussion. A colleague of mine expressed his thoughts well about blogging… “It’s as if when you publish you then have to defend. I am hoping that the nature of blogging allows for a more casual discourse; a discussion which ebbs and flows and changes.”