For four years, I was a Principal within a school community that I loved. I took a six month leave to spend time with my family and so had to leave my position at the school. I recall commenting to the VP that I didn’t think I could get a school as exciting as the school I was leaving. Well, I definitely did!
I am now Principal of a school in the midst of being built minutes from the University of British Columbia. Norma Rose Point School will be our district’s first K-8 school, designed with 21st century learning design concepts and to Leed Gold Standard. Most exciting is that I get to work with a staff to create a vision for this school. Being an educational leader in this type of predicament is the experience of a lifetime.
As soon as I was posted to the school, I spent months scanning websites, reading and connecting with people that I knew would challenge my thinking. My guiding question is how can we get from good to great? Well, thank you to Linda Kaser and Judy Halbert — two of my mentors! They introduced me to a book called The Nature of Learning which can be found here: http://www.educ.ethz.ch/pro/litll/oecdbuch.pdf
Here is the executive summary: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/45984003.pdf
And this is the friendly 12 page document that I use with the staff: http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/50300814.pdf
We refer to the 7 Principles of Learning to guide the design of our new school’s learning environment and the 6 Building Blocks of Innovative Learning Environments (cooperative learning, inquiry based learning, formative assessment, service learning, home school partnerships and learning with technology) to challenge our growth.
In teams, the staff will devise an inquiry based on one of the six building blocks by using the Spirals of Inquiry model presented in this pdf: http://noii.ca/PDF/spiral/spiral-2012.pdf
If others out there have recommendations for our learning, please post!