Perspective and Opinions

“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”

 This quote from John Locke resonates with me as it reminds me of the many different opinions, voices and perspectives in education, and for some, these opinions are often met with opposition because they break away from the norm or impact the comfort of whomever is affected.

In education, there are so many wonderful things that happen each and every day. But with  all the great comes difficult conversations and challenges that give us pause to reflect and review systems, practices and policies in pursuit of equity, fairness, and what’s right for students.

It’s important to debate those challenges and find resolution to the problems that restrict us from moving forward. Often, the delivery of education is influenced by external drivers such as financial, social, economic or political factors that we must respond to in a timely manner.

The one constant in education is change. And we must show resiliency in an ever-changing environment.

Issues in education – especially the ones that appear to alter routines – bring out the most passion in people.  I welcome these debates and hope that others enter into the collective conversations with an open mind and come with their perspective.

It’s the perspectives and opinions that influence and shape future action.

Whether it’s the implications related to the elementary teachers’ job action as it relates to the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show, the growth in the interest of French Immersion or the difficult discussion of accommodation in Haldimand East where elementary school closures are a possibility, we need to listen to everyone’s voice and maintain the relationships as we get through these challenging discussions.

Different opinions are okay, and yes, there may be times where there appears to be conflict, but let’s have the discussion; let’s debate the topics that mean so much to the parents, community and staff, and together resolve the challenging issues that come our way.

It’s only through consultation, debate and dialogue that we can come together and find the best resolution for our students and families.

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On your mark, get ready . . .

Brenda at podium

This has been a week of reconnecting with Grand Erie staff.  The week started with a welcome back to our clerical staff as they attended a PD session at Simcoe Composite.  Then we had the big kick-off to the new school year with system leaders at Cobblestone Elementary.  These events were followed up with greetings to our Information Technology staff and our Educational Assistants and Library Technicians.  Everything has kicked into high gear.

I feel privileged to be part of all the welcome back events and to share the video created to reflect on the past five years and look ahead to the next five years.  Speaking of the video – that was a new experience for me.  While I am quite comfortable speaking to large groups of people while co-learning and co-leading, it is very different to be featured on a video and especially a video that is so important in terms of message and vision.  I am so pleased with the final result of the video – the imagery of the mighty Grand River, the amazing voice over work and the clear message about the current Grand Erie Multi-Year plan around Achievement, Engagement and Environment all highlight where we have been while the invitation to join us on our continued journey points to the future.

Even though it has been some time since I have had my own classroom, I still have those back to school dreams where I find myself anxious as I arrive at school on the first day looking for my classroom feeling the excitement of seeing the returning students.  It won’t be long now before that’s a reality for many of our staff.