The True Meaning of Educational Leadership

nutcrackersThe tree is up and decorated, the Nutcracker army is on guard on the fireplace hearth (I think they multiplied in storage), the fridge is filled with a colourful and hopefully delicious variety of sweet treats and the first gifts have been lovingly wrapped with festive paper and matching bows and placed under the tree.  Today’s falling snow, glowing fireplace and Christmas music playing throughout the house finished the picture ~ we are officially in the midst of the Christmas season. Which means that most television stations are now offering a plethora of Christmas specials and movies and I’m loving watching old favourites and new renditions.

grinchWhether the main character is a furry Grinch whose “small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!”, a sleep deprived miser named Scrooge or a lovable loser named Charlie Brown, whose attempt to find the perfect tree led to Linus’ King James version of scripture reading from Luke 2:8-14, the true meaning of Christmas is revealed just before the final credits begin to roll.

In each of those stories, the cast of characters were constantly looking for the true meaning of Christmas in presents, lights, sixpence and perfect trees and not where it truly lies ~ something that not only fictional characters find themselves doing.

I often wonder if we are guilty of that same misguided lens in the area of educational leadership. Do we solely measure the effectiveness of a school leader by the increase in test scores, like the number of presents under the tree?   Do we focus so much on the financial resources, like Ebenezer, that we forget about the human resources? Do we honour and celebrate the glitz and glamour, like the lights of the season, even though it may lack depth and true understanding?

This past Friday, a colleague took a group of students door to door to shovel driveways and sidewalks.  When I think about strong educational leadership moves that quickly rises to the top.  I’m not sure that their afternoon away from instruction was purposefully connected to improving math scores, but I have no doubt that the feelings those student received about being appreciated, will serve them well, beyond any standardized test.


After you watch the video read some of the many comments from the Ingersoll community.

The true meaning of educational leadership can’t be neatly wrapped with a pretty bow, nor measured by the number of green vs red markers on a moderated task.  It needs to be an honouring of our past as we venture through the present and look towards the future.  And one never knows who will inform our leadership ~ we need to be open to the possibility of a trusted friend, with a figurative security blanket, being the best source of inspiration.


What is your true meaning of educational leadership?

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Volunteers Make a Difference

“Volunteers are seldom paid; not because they are worthless, but because they are PRICELESS!”

This past week we celebrated National Volunteer week by hosting our annual Wilfrid Jury Volunteer Tea. We were thrilled with the number of community members who were able to join us, so that we could extend our thanks and gratitude for their work. Our library was filled with retired teachers, parents, grandparents, university students, our former crossing guard who now comes in weekly to read with our grade one students and many others. The list of services that they provide include everything from shelving books in the library, to playing the guitar for the students in our developmental classes to reading with students and assisting with clerical tasks such as changing our sign at the front of the school. Their reasons for taking the time to volunteer are as diverse as the activities that they do. The one thing that is consistent with each of our volunteers is their passion for helping students, for making a difference in the lives of our Wilfrid Jury Community. It is because of the dedication of our parent volunteers that we are able to financially support initiatives such as our Forest of Reading program and our continued efforts to ensure that our students have access to the latest technologies.


On behalf of the Wilfrid Jury school community, I would to publicly acknowledge their efforts and thank each and every one of our volunteers for the dedication of time, expertise, passion and commitment to making our school the very best that it can be. When we refer to “Excellence Through Teamwork”, we include our volunteers as a significant part of our team!

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