This is the fourth day of a five day intensive workshop for ‘lead learners’ here in the beautiful Laurentian town of Val-David. It is hosted by QUILL, Quebec Institute of Lead Learners and LCEEQ, Leadership Committee on English Education. Concordia University is also involved via their ‘School of Extended Learning’.
I decided to participate in this week-long mini course on leadership in education because I am intensely interested in the process of change from the point of view of the adult learner – the teacher. Why do some avoid it and others embrace it? How can I be an effective agent of change? This is important to me because when teachers develop their talents and expertise; their students are the immediate beneficiaries of this growth. And it’s always about the students!
I offer this post to assure the readers of my blog that student learning and success is at the very heart of educational leadership. “The best interests of the students” is not a catchy phrase on my lips or anyone else’s here but rather a real direction in our educational compass. Every day is dedicated to a different aspect of ‘the new directions’ in education and every day the ‘bottom line’ is the same: what is in the best interests of the student. We have covered diverse topics; reform movements, teaching and learning in the 21st century, managing resources, dealing with budget constraints and even the very weighty topic of school governance. It would be easy to forget why we are here and be swept away by the sheer volume and weight of the topics covered. But even in our mock governing board role play session, where teachers, parents and administrators played out real-life scenarios, the focus was always ‘the best interests of the students’.
The quality of the presenters is simply outstanding and the learning is intensive, for me at least. If this mini course is re-offered next year, I would recommend it to any teacher or administrator. (It is possible to receive university credits for this session through Concordia’s School of Extended Learning.) Monday through Wednesday’s sessions were great and I am looking forward to Thursday’s (today) and Friday’s. More news about this in a later post.