Reflections on Shortcourse 2012 – Nobody Starts out Finished

It’s hard to believe that a year ago I was getting ready to head to Shortcourse 2012. I am so glad I went. As this year’s new and not-so-new admin head to Shortcourse 2013, I thought I’d repost some of my Big Ideas from Shortcourse 2012. Relax & enjoy your week.

From Better is Possible July 14, 2012

It’s arrived!

Summer vacation 2012. And not a minute too soon!
What a whirlwind of a year. Before I get too involved in the lazy days of summer I want to, in good counsellor fashion, reflect on some of the big ideas that are mulling around my mind and heart. The school year ended with my participation at Shortcourse 2012. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. It’s a week-long course for new and not so new Principals and Vice Principals in my province. To quote one of our ‘star’ participants, “It was awesome, profound, fabulous !
I carpooled daily with two delightful administrators from my district. The fact that they are similar in age to my children and step children in no way made me feel old, at least for more than a minute. The close to two-hour drive both ways passed quickly despite some minor traffic congestion with ‘awesome’ reflections on each day. I am so proud to be working with such clever young men, who model integrity and a love for learning. The daily drive itself enriched my life.
It is no small task to condense five days of awesomeness into a few big ideas. It seems prudent to stick to one main speaker. I offer you my collection of thoughts from a presentation by Bruce Beairsto that I shall be pondering on as I sit on my deck, beverage in one hand, journal in the other.
  • It’s not OR it’s AND!  It’s management ANDleadership…
  • Start with the whole and add to it.
  • There is a masculine and feminine side to leadership. Be sure to develop both sides.
  • Truth and Reconciliation – we must move forward 
  • While we wait, we live. Wisdom, guts, inspiration…that’s the work.
  • You cannot drive change. Change comes through culture.
  • We communicate by what we don’t say AND what we do say.
  • Communication is a partnership – it’s more important to connect than to be clear.
  • We are aiming for ‘deep learning’. That’s where the transformational learning takes place.
  • Conflict is not a contest. Competitive Carol needs to write this one on her wall!
  • Nobody starts out finished.

There was so much more; pages and pages of notes, live binder, big heavy hard copy binders. Each speaker connecting with my core belief that better is possible. The binders will be put away for a bit but the big ideas continue to swirl in my heart and mind. I’m going to sit with those a while.

But now, it’s time to fill my summer with grandchildren visits, holidaying with my daughter, family reunions, and if mother nature cooperates, some fun in the sun!

Happy holidays, friends!



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