The 3 Ls

Love, love, love.  I have the pleasure of teaching Grade 3 Religion this year.  Love, love, love is a common discussion that we have.  In many of our discussions we simply ask, “What does Jesus want us to do?”  The answer: love, love, love.  As a faith community of hope and learning we challenge ourselves to use Christ as our role model.  If we follow Christ’s example, many (if not all) of our issues would disappear.

love love love 1

Now, I want to apply this question to education with a little bit of a twist.  Education is changing, whether we call it reformation, evolution, or transformation, it is changing.  Within schools, the principal is expected to lead this change. With this change, a lot is expected from students, parents, and staff.  With respect to this change, someone recently asked me, “What do you want us to do?”  My answer is – learn, learn, learn.

·        Students – we expect students to learn.  If you are not learning, we are not doing our job.  We do need your help.  Please challenge us to engage you in meaningful learning activities.  Please challenge us to meet your individual learning needs.  We also ask you to help create a positive learning environment.  Encourage your peers, be a support.  The focus is your learning.

·        Parents – we expect you to support student learning.  Our students nowadays are different.  As digital learners, students simply learn differently now than when we were young.  Since students learn differently, we need to teach differently.  Please be active and patient as schools change.  In the past school worked for most of us, not all of us.  We are trying to build a school that works for all.  The focus will remain learning.

·        Staff – Staff have always supported student learning, but we were (are) part of an educational system that does not work for all.  Our challenge is to learn different strategies to reach all our learners.  We need to take some risks and try new ideas to reach all our students.  I am very proud to say the atmosphere of learn, learn, learn is very evident among our staff.

As we continue to build our community of hope and learning, we all need to continue to love, love, love.  Also, we will continue to learn, learn, learn.

learn 1

Greg Kostiuk

PLN Blogging Challenge

Recently I have noticed the  PLN Blogging Challenge on twitter.  This challenge has allowed me to learn more about some of the individuals in my PLN (Personal Learning Network).   While on my vacation in beautiful Vancouver, I received my invite from my friend and former colleague Greg Miller.  Thanks for the invite Greg and here if my PLN Blogging Challenge.

Here are the guidelines that were established by the creator of the PLN Blogging Challenge:
1.  Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2.  Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3.  Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4.  List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve a little recognition.
5.  Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated.  (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)
Introductions of my nominator:
Greg Miller is the Assistant Superintendent of Grande Prairie Separate Catholic Division.  I had the pleasure of working with Greg in Holy Spirit Catholic Schools.  What I really enjoy in Greg’s leadership is his desire to support teachers and school communities and his desire and drive to push the envelope.  He is very willing to take a risk to improve student learning.   Greg has that instinct to leap without looking (Capt. Pike to Kirk in Star Trek) philosophy.
11 Random Facts About Me:
  1. I grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – on one of those Letter Avenues
  2. I took my first teaching job over the phone (Dr. Mary Jackson School – Keg River, AB).  I thought there was a town of 300, there was a community of 300.  We literally lived in the school yard.
  3. During my first few months of teaching I became the Acting Principal when the principal had to go a sick leave.
  4. Die hard Chicago Blackhawk fan.
  5. I am a terrible cook, but I do think I am getting better.
  6. I have been married for almost 24 years, two children.
  7. I have a whoodle.
  8. I play hockey twice a week.
  9. Love to travel (I do not do enough of this).
  10. I was in an Oscar winning movie.
  11. One time, during the weekend, I got locked out on a roof of a school
Greg’s 11 questions:
  1. What is one new thing you tried in the last year?  I restructured our school to introduce complementary courses for our division II students.  So far, so good.  Parents, students and staff enjoy the change.
  2. What is the most recent educational book/resource you read, watched or listened to and why that resource?  Sir Ken Robinson youtube videos about the need to transform education.  He provides for very good points in helping me and others realized the need to change. 
  3. What do you do when you fail at something?  I need to fail more, which means I need to take more risks.  When I do fail, simply learn from it and try a different approach.
  4. What do you do when someone you are responsible for fails?  I tend to try and console.  I need to focus more on encouragement, to try again.  I never want to lay blame.
  5. How do you deal with stress?  I really do not feel liked a am stressed.  Doing discipline in a Jr. High for 12 years has given me a pretty thick skin.
  6. What is your favourite movie and why?  I like a lot of movies, so I really do not have a favourite.  I like horror, comedies, and sci-fi.  A lot of the movies I like are the underdog type movies, like Cinderella Man.  Sorry, no one favourite movie.
  7. How many Smartphones have you owned and which was your favourite?  I have owned two types of Blackberry phones, simply because that is what the school provided.  I think it is time to change though.  IPhone or Android?
  8. Other than Twitter, what/who makes up your PLN?  I still enjoy the person to person connection, whether it is on staff or at an EdCamp.  I still make Facebook connections with educators.
  9. What does collaboration mean to you?  Sharing.
  10. Who would you recommend I follow on Twitter? @TheCandyDish
  11. What did you have for breakfast this morning?  Left over perogies.
My 11 Bloggers:

  1. Theresa Wells-Taylor @TheCandyDish
  2. Jessica Marcotte @jmarcotte85
  3. Lorelie Lenaour @LLenaour
  4. Sheri Thomas @MrsThomS
  5. Alice Keeler @alicekeeler
  6. Brenda Giourmetakis @bgiourme
  7. Gord Vatcher @vatcherg
  8. Josh Gatner @jgatner
  9. Chris Smeaton   @cdsmeaton
  10. David Culberhouse @dculberhouse
  11. Lyle Parr @LPParr

And finally… My 11 questions?
  1. What is one educational risk you took in 2013?
  2. What is one educational risk you will take in 2014?
  3. What do you think you will be doing Sept 2018?
  4. Android or iPhone?  Or other?
  5. How do you engage the disengaged?
  6. If you had unlimited funds, what is one thing you would do in your school community?
  7. What is your favourite vacation location and why?
  8. If you were not in education, what would your career be?
  9. Following the “One Word” concept, not the New Year’s Resolution idea, what is your word for 2014?
  10. Who would you recommend I follow on Twitter?
  11. What is your favourite restaurant and why?

Thank you for being part of my PLN.

Greg Kostiuk