Todd’s Blog

Time for Me/Us
March 30, 2008, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Personal

I just spend a very enjoyable 5 days spending time with my family away from anyone we know. Between teaching, coaching basketball with my oldest playing on the team, my youngest playing hockey and his team going all the way to winning provincials, and taking this class; there hasn’t been a lot of family only time. Before Christmas (knowing winter was a busy time for our family), Jeanette (my wife) and I decided a family holiday would be a good idea. The four of us hadn’t really gone anywhere together in a couple of years. We decided to go to Toronto and catch the pro teams there, and check out some other highlights of the area. It was a full trip. On Tuesday we went to Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant and later that night watched the Toronto Maple Leafs play hockey (well that’s what it’s called, not that they played it well!) at the Air Canada Center. Wednesday saw us take in the Hockey Hall of Fame and then that night the Toronto Raptors play basketball (now they played the game the way it was meant to be played!). Thursday saw us venture out to the Niagara Falls. It was a site to see, but in reality it really wasn’t as big as I had imagined. Like food commercials late at night, pictures really do make it look better. It was neat though. Finally on Friday, a tour of the CN Tower was the last tourist site to check over. I, being quite afraid of heights, stayed on the ground while the others marvelled at the amazing structure. For those of you shouting “what about the shopping?!”, yes that happened too. The Eaton’s Center downtown is huge! The factory outlet shops at Niagara Falls had many good deals as well. There were many other little things that were enjoyed such as the subway, Younge Street, traffic!, and the massive amounts of people. We even saw a guy get chased down and arrested for trying to steal 2 cases of Red Bull from a grocery store.!

Overall the trip was quite enjoyable. We really enjoyed our time together. Toronto is quite the place. Traffic is bumper to bumper non-stop. People are everywhere. It really makes you appreciate home. It’s a fast-paced life, and myself, I like the even-keeled pace of life here in Saskatchewan. It’s good to experience places like Toronto. I know it opened the eyes of my boys. Dorothy had it right though…there’s no place like home.

It’s My One Month Anniversary!
March 3, 2008, 12:44 am
Filed under: Personal

It has been a month since I took over as vice-principal of my school. As I have worked in this class, I have often heard David Jakes name mentioned. It led me to go back and reread his responses in my blog regarding administration. My first reactions were full of gratefulness for him taking the time to connect with me and offer his support. Reading through his lists, I realized how helpful his comments were. So much so I have printed them off and placed a copy on my desk. They are good reminders of how I need to approach situations. Some I have handled well, others I need to learn to listen and reflect before I respond. I can already think of one situation where I “jumped the gun” a little and it will lead to extra work on my part as I explain myself to the person I spoke to. Nothing of a serious nature, but nonetheless I wouldn’t have to explain myself had I heeded David’s words – “When making a decision, you have to consider how it impacts everyone. Classroom teachers make decisions and it impacts kids. When making decisions on an admin level, think deeply about all the impacts, everywhere, that your decision will have.” David’s words were also echoed in other posts of support with advice. It really brings to the forefront the entity known as a ‘social network’. I never really knew such a thing existed, and here are people from all over the continent reaching out to me. It really is overpowering. As I think back on my first month, I am grateful for the support, I have enjoyed the position to date (with all the helpful words from my “network”), and I look forward the challenges coming. This position is a temporary one, giving me a unique prospective to see if I was interested. Though it is only one month, I feel this is something I’m going to like and with the support of the world, “my network”, I know I am up to the challenge.  Thanks to everyone who has offered support to me and to those I’m sure will offer support in the future.

Back amongst the living
February 11, 2008, 3:31 am
Filed under: Personal

What a loooong week. I’ve been knocked down with a bout of pneumonia. Got very little done, missed school and class this week. Just today I finally felt like I had enough strength to sit down at a computer and try and get caught up. I checked my Google Reader only to find I was behind 52 blog posts. One week! After browsing through a few, I see I have lots to comment on. I’ve also looked at the google docs notes by Kyle. Interesting. I can see a use for this when groups a collaborating on research (in fact I have an opportunity to use it right away). I started listening to the session with George Seimens, but apparently won;t have time to finish today. Interruptions by family and ill staff members (as VP it’s my job to find subs – seems like others are going down with cold and flu like symptoms) will keep me from getting done today. Luckily I think I have a quiet week ahead so I’ll have to burry myself in front of the computer. One week. Look at how fast technology piles up in one week. Leads me to question it’s no wonder teachers get frustrated and feel they don’t have enough time. All it takes are a couple of sick days, and you can spend the next 2 weeks trying to catch up. I remember reading a post that someone essentially said teachers make excuses that they are too busy. From where I’m sitting right now, I will definitely be challenging that thought. For now, it’s off too bed. No sense getting overtired and sick again. I can’t afford another missed day.

Personal Reflections – EC&I 831
January 16, 2008, 8:04 pm
Filed under: Personal

January 16, 2008

Upon completion of last night’s class, I called it a night. Phew! A ton of information. I had heard of some of these Web 2.0 tools before, but never realized how many there were or their widespread applications. This is my first attempt at blogging. I never realized how useful it would be to just reflect in an open environment. Case in point, my last post reflected on my new appointment as “acting” vice-princicpal. Within a day, I had a post from an administrator in the U.S. offering advice. Great advice it was and I can’t wait to respond to the other comments as well. I’ve heard networking in the administartive field is important, but imagine the availability of a WORLDWIDE network. Amazing.

I have also used a wiki. I have a space and tried to incorporate it into a Science project. My inexperience and lack of familarity saw some success with it’s use, but limited. This brings me to my next thougth I had after class last night. I was a technology leader just 2 short years ago. With amalgamation this changed. So much has changed in technology in just 2 short years. How does a classroom teacher keep up? How does an administrator find time to be knowledgable and a leader for his staff in these areas? How does one find the time to incorporate so many wonderful tools? I do know a person can only go forward by moving one foot ahead of the other, one at a time, but with things changing, tools increasing it seems a daunting task. I love technology and fully embrace it. What about those that don’t? It seems that they could be buried in new advances faster than they care about it!

I’m looking forward to using these tools and finding ways to incorporate them into my subjects. I just hope I can learn, use, and share while maintaining a high quality of teaching. I sometimes worry there aren’t enough hours in a day.

Personal Reflections – EC&I 831
January 15, 2008, 12:12 am
Filed under: Personal

January 14, 2008

Well, it’s been a wild and woolley week. On the heels of beginning this class, I interviewed for an “acting” vice-principalship and received news that the job had been offered to me! Without even time to absorb my new position, I was preparing my basketball team for our home tournament. I spent most of Friday and all of Saturday in the gym coaching, watching other teams play, organizing, socializing (or do they call it networking?), and running here, there, and everywhere to ensure everything went smoothly.

Fortunately, my team played well on the weekend. We made it to the final, but fell just short – losing to Lumsden by 4 points. It’ll be back to the drawing board tonight to reflect on the weekend and prepare for the next action. I guess that’s why I’m here. As I was reflecting on what I need to do for my class, I find my mind wandering about the weekend’s results, and yet again wandering to my new position. Though it is temporary, it will likely present new opportunities for me. That brings decisions, and I’m sure some will be hard decisions. I thought maybe getting some of my own thoughts going here might bring some of my classmates out of the woods to offer advice or how they’ve handled changes in their careers as the era of administration started.

Let the age of multi-tasking begin!