Blogging Challenge

I was challenged by a colleague to participate in this blog challenge.

So here I go…

Guidelines for the 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 blogger you nominate to answer and let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated.  (You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you.)

Acknowledge the nominating blogger:

I have never worked with Annette in a school environment.  When I was transferred to her school this year, I was excited for the opportunity to work with her, as I had heard so many good things about her teaching practices.  However, the district too saw the good and pulled her from my school to work as a Lead Teacher for our district.  The school’s loss has been the district’s gain.  She is a passionate educator, not afraid to speak to her convictions and beliefs about what is best for learning.  As she leads our district through professional development she teaches our admin team the way she believes students should be taught.  I admire her in many ways.

Share 11 random facts about yourself:

1.  I am very clumsy.  Running into corners of walls and tables is a common occurrence for me (and I have passed this trait on to my oldest daughter…poor girl).
2.  I call my children, “My Monsters.”  Although they are completely loveable, make no mistake, they are monsters. :)
3.  I would love to travel to Greece one day.
4.  I was the Principal at my former elementary school and now I am the Principal of my former junior high school.
5.   Although I am almost 6 feet tall, no I have never played basketball or volleyball.  I have no interest or coordination.
6.  I enjoy reading Shakespeare.
7.  I dislike rudeness.
8.  Married for 18 years to my high school sweetheart.
9.  I love the beach and hot sunny weather…why do I live in the frozen north??????
10. I truly despise exercise in any form.  I am trying desperately to change this opinion…not much luck yet.
11.  I am completing my Masters on Curriculum, Assessment & Instruction

11 Questions from Annette:

1. Do you have a bucket list?  What item is the highest priority?

I have thought about this question quite a bit actually.  I find it difficult to create a list like this for myself.  I am very goal orientated so if I create a “list” I become slightly too focused on getting things checked off. :)  Instead we create  short-term “bucket lists.”  Last summer, as a family, we created a Summer Bucket List.  We had it posted in our kitchen and had fun crossing items out.  We went swimming, went bowling, explored campgrounds and playgrounds and made homemade ice-cream.  Our kids loved this as much as we did!

2.  If you could learn anything new (time, effort, and practicality aside) what would you want to learn?

How to speak another language.  As I observe my children learning to speak French, I find myself wanting to learn as well.

3.  What is one thing that has changed you for the better in the past year?

I don’t like to follow rules, so I am going to list two things.  The first one has been my venture into blogging and twitter.  I have learned so much from others, in our district and globally.  This adventure has forced me to be vulnerable.  Throwing my opinions and ideas out there into the unknown has been a powerful learning experience for me.

The second has been watching my husband coach our two boys in hockey.  Watching him interact with our boys and the other children has been a great learning experience for me.  Our discussions about the politics of minor hockey, coaching interactions and how we can help our children be the best they can be have changed me for the better.  His patience, persistence, humour and intensity are admirable.

4.  What is one of your favourite books?

This is a very difficult question.  If you know me, you know I LOVE to read.  I am always in the middle of a book.  It is difficult to choose only one. Some of my all-time favourites are: The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, Charlotte’s Web, The Hobbit, The Sword in the Stone.  I love reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my children.  I think we have read it three times as a family.

5.  What is one of your favourite quotes?

Again, I have so many…and Pinterest has only added to the list. :)  Here is one of my very favourites.

favorite quote

6.  What do you believe is your greatest asset as an educator?

This is an extremely difficult question for me to answer.  I think my greatest asset is the compassion I have for the children, families and staff.  I believe this is also a bit of a weakness.

7.  If you could travel to another country to see a different educational system, where would you go?

I would like to visit Finland or China.  I have read a lot about the Finnish education system and would love the opportunity to observe and learn more about it. I am equally intrigued by the Chinese system.  Their approach to teaching (as a learning opportunity) would be interesting to experience and observe.

8.  What has been your most memorable professional development opportunity?

I have had many excellent professional development opportunities through my 16 years of teaching.  I spoke about the power of collaboration in a previous post here.  However, I also had a weeklong PD session on how to teach elementary science.  We were immersed in the curriculum, developing our understanding of the outcomes, developing authentic learning activities and assessments. We had time to get “hands-on” with Science and to learn from several experts.

9.  What is the most important ‘non-academic’ skill that we can teach students?

We need to teach our students how to positively and productively interact with other people (even people we may not like all that much).  Teaching our students to be kind and compassionate towards another person is not an innate skill, it is something that we have to model and teach.  Actively listening to what someone is saying and responding appropriately, agreeing to disagree sometimes, and responding respectfully to conflict.  I believe the most simple way to teach these skills is through modelling.  How we interact with our students, families and colleagues models to our students how we want them to behave.

10.  What makes you get up in the morning and go to work other than the paycheck?

Even with structure and routine, no two days are ever the same.  Everyday is new and exciting.  There are daily opportunities to create, discover, learn and make a difference.

11.  What’s your favourite thing to do when away from work?

Spending time with my family.  Playing games, watching a movie, involvement in their sports, baking together, camping or snuggling up and reading a book!

List 11 Bloggers:

I chose a variety of bloggers that either I read faithfully OR that I wish would write more…

  1. The Principal of Change
  2. Educational Leadership in the 21st Century
  3. Marc & Angel Hack Life
  4. Annette Rouleau
  5. The Colorful Principal
  6. Passion…Purpose…Pride
  7. Daisy Dyer Duerr
  8. My thoughts on early learning
  9. Shawna Bulger (has a hidden blog somewhere)
  10. i know this much is true
  11. Momastery

My 11 Questions:

  1. What would you do if you were not an educator?
  2. Do you exercise? If yes, how do you stay motivated to continue?
  3. What is your favourite song (current or all-time)?
  4. What subject or grade do you enjoy teaching the most?
  5. What do you do to relieve stress?
  6. Would you rather go on an adventure vacation or beach vacation?
  7. Who were the most influential tweeters or bloggers when you first started? Do they remain as the most influential?
  8. What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
  9. How long does it take you to write a blog post?
  10. What is last educational book or professional resource you read?
  11. Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?

Have fun!



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