Feeling brand new all over (and over) again…
Suzanne Martin – Principal – Herons Crossing School – As our school grows from a kindergarten to grade four to a kindergarten to grade eight configuration, we see our numbers edge higher annually. With this exciting growth, we have had the pleasure of welcoming back families who have returned within our attendance boundaries or had younger siblings grow into kindergarten here. Similarly, we have had staff go on leaves, have babies and rejoin our team. Their collective feedback has been around a rather consistent theme – that along with our new addition and accompanying population growth, our school has evolved to make us not only look, but also feel, brand new!
Reflecting on their fresh and refreshed perspectives about our school, I’ve come to a few important conclusions. First off, they are absolutely correct! Things in our school continuously change, grow and evolve, from the crafting of new school education plans, to the establishment of timely intervention plans for emergent student needs, to growing our school’s culture.
Creating an environment to foster a curious innovator’s mindset in each of our student learners requires that we intentionally design a culture of innovation and risk taking for our staff learners, as well. These comments allowed me to recognize that we are, in fact, getting it right! As professionals, we are working as innovators ourselves, in our quest to design optimal learning experiences for our children.
Since our first day of school, I have had the pleasure of visiting in classrooms, connecting and reconnecting with students and working alongside our staff, with this “brand new” theme fresh in my mind. I observe staff rising to new challenges, asking thoughtful questions of our learners, forging solid, mutually respectful relationships and creating a culture of risk taking. In my opinion, feeling brand new never looked, or felt, so good!