Striving for Excellence

On Family Day, I had occasion to watch some of the Olympics (finally!!) with family.  As always, I was intrigued not by the events themselves, but by the stories behind them.  To me, the competitions pale in the light of the featured biographies of athletes – their thoughts about the competition, their training, their commitment to put their passion into practice.  I love the news features about the culture of the host countries.  I look for those tiny news blurbs when a broken ski is replaced by a coach so a competitor can finish, or the winner of a long distance event staying hours at the course to welcome the single competitor as he crosses the finish line when no one believed he could finish at all.

It is these moments of excellence of character that remind me of the challenges that we, as educators, face today.  Often we believe that we are not doing anything special, that our creativity in meeting the needs of our students is nothing spectacular.  We adapt our methods so specific learning styles can be addressed, We look for content that just might engage that one child who seems so disinterested in life (let alone learning).  We are committed to reaching those children who believe that nothing they do is of value because we want them to understand that we value them, not what they do. 

So…. as Olympians are recognized for their excellence in the field of athletics, let’s look for our own champions and give them the recognition they deserve.  Who among your staff can be acknowledged for excellence in teaching, in learning, in caring?  Who do you know that demonstrates their commitment to excellence?  Who are your leaders?  I challenge you to seek them out, acknowledge them, congratulate them and sing their praises to world.  Let’s celebrate together!

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Lifelong Learning

It seems to me that the number of teachers actively enrolled in Masters of Education programs has been growing significantly over the last few years – or maybe it’s just my awareness of this – similar to past experiences where I have bought a particular model and colour of vehicle and, “suddenly”, I see many examples of the same vehicle wherever I drive.

I know that teachers go into a Masters of Ed program for many reasons, just like teachers actually go into teaching for a many different reasons.  However, completing a Masters program after you have been in the teaching profession for a great number of years is not so common. I know why I chose to pursue this level of education.  I know why others within my Masters cohort made the same choice.  But regardless of the “why” or the “how”,  I have to admit that participating in a Masters program has been the greatest challenge in self-knowledge that I have ever undertaken.  I am not the same person as I was when I first began my studies in the summer of 2010 –  not personally, not professionally.  I do not have the same view of academia as when I first started.  I do not have the same perception of what it means to be an educator and a  “life-long learner”.  I do not have the same view of myself as a member of the human race.  What I do have is an unending commitment to continue to be a reflective practitioner, to continue to live my life according to what I believe and to embrace who I am as an individual.

If you wish to travel along my first adventure into self-discovery, feel free to read my MRP.  If you wish to come alongside as I continue to learn and develop as as a educator, feel free to follow my blog.  I would love to have company!

Further to that,  it would be my pleasure to hear your thoughts, to walk alongside you for a while and share your company.


  • …follow my blog as I attempt to make my thinking visible to others…
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Let’s learn from each other.

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