Category Archives: Guest writers

How to make those difficult conversations a little bit easier

conversations

 

How to make those difficult conversations a little bit easier

By Michael Bungay Stanier


Michael Bungay Stanier is a keynote speaker at the upcoming CPCO Conference 2017. To register for the conference, visit our website.


As a Principal, you’re likely used to having conversations of all kinds with students and fellow employees, but having to tackle a difficult discussion with a parent is another feat altogether.

I’m sure many Principals can recall a difficult conversation (or two, or three) they’ve had to have with a parent. Maybe the parent was unwilling to listen, maybe they weren’t supportive, maybe they were overly concerned or all around confused. We’ve all been there — in that awkward, difficult-conversation twilight zone, where everything seems to spiral downwards.

Luckily, there are a few ways to make your next difficult conversation a little easier, and it all essentially comes down to improving communication.

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Authentic Recognition of Catholic Values

Catholic Values

Authentic Recognition of Catholic Values

By Carla Collier, Vice-Principal
Our Lady of Grace Catholic School
Angus, Ontario, SMCDSB


Catholic values are at the very root of the tree of life. If the roots are strong, the tree will blossom. As Catholic leaders, we have been given the awesome opportunity to grow together in our faith as members of a Catholic school community. And it is through the teaching of Catholic values that we will create a healthy, strong and blossoming tree that will demonstrate who we are. As said in the Gospel of John; “I am the vine, you are the branches.” (John 5:15)

Effective modelling and authentic recognition of our Catholic values are essential for the spiritual and emotional growth of our students as well as ourselves. Living out our Catholic values is a lifelong journey wherein we are always learning from our own actions as well as those around us; both young and old.

There are plenty of examples of love, service and compassion that surround us throughout our daily encounters with the people in our lives. However, at times, we can get inundated with daily tasks and chores and those ‘feel good’ stories of truth, courage and kindness may get lost amid the day’s responsibilities. We may get so caught up in our own work that we lose sight of the small yet important actions that make us all caring and helpful human beings.

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Mental health series, part 5

starlingminds

CPCO Associates and their experience with Starling Minds

By Andrew Miki

Andrew Miki

In late 2015, CPCO and Starling Minds’ founder and CEO Dr. Andrew Miki launched an online mental health initiative supporting our Practising Associates. Starling is an online program available to all CPCO members. The program includes an example of an administrator named Virginia to help explain mental health concepts and how to increase resiliency to stress. To learn more about Starling Minds, please read our earlier blog posts.

The Starling program was developed by Dr. Andrew Miki. Andrew is a registered psychologist with over 10 years of experience working with patients to treat depression, anxiety and other mental health issues using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).


This is the fifth of several posts Andrew is contributing to our blog.

It has already been one year since CPCO and Starling Minds began working together! I would like to thank the 100+ Practicing Associates who have become Starling members and CPCO for their progressive commitment to mental health. We believe that healthier and more resilient educators will lead to a better education for all.

Over the past year, your feedback has been invaluable. We have learned that Virginia’s stressors have resonated with CPCO Associates and helped many of them feel that they are not alone. Also, personal testimonials and data analyses have proven that the Starling program has improved the quality of many CPCO Associates’ lives. For example, Practicing Associates who have used Starling, have experienced statistically significant improvements in their anxiety and depression symptoms by 10-15%. Similar improvements were found in their everyday lives including work productivity, relationships and participation in hobbies.

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Mental health series, part 4

BrainBuilding resilient families

By Andrew Miki

Andrew Miki

In late 2015, CPCO and Starling Minds’ founder and CEO Dr. Andrew Miki launched an online mental health initiative supporting our Practicing Associates. Starling is an online program available to all CPCO members. The program includes an example of an administrator named Virginia to help explain mental health concepts and how to increase resiliency to stress. To learn more about Starling Minds, please read our earlier blog posts.

The Starling program was developed by Dr. Andrew Miki. Andrew is a registered psychologist with over 10 years of experience working with patients to treat depression, anxiety and other mental health issues using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).


This is the fourth of several posts Andrew is contributing to our blog.

Think back to the time in your life when you decided to become an administrator. Did it feel like a natural extension of your career?

The most frequent reasons that I hear are an intrinsic desire to serve, lead and increase one’s scope of influence. These reasons likely outweighed the significant increase in responsibility, commitment and stress that are inherent to an administrator’s position. Back then, how could you have known that you would need to manage so many “balls in the air”, such as pressures from your board, unpredictable demands from so many parents, budget cutbacks, safety issues, staff politics, potential investigations and students’ behaviours? It’s only by working as an administrator that you learn the job can be so fulfilling yet, at the same time, be such an all-encompassing part of your life. You probably didn’t realize that you were at risk of developing a co-dependent relationship with your smartphone!

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Mental health series, part 3

Mental health

David’s story

By Andrew Miki

Andrew MikiEarlier in the school year, CPCO and Starling Minds’ founder and CEO Dr. Andrew Miki launched an online mental health initiative supporting our Practising Associates. Starling is an online program available to all CPCO members. The program includes an example of an administrator called David to explain mental health concepts and how to increase resiliency to stress. To learn more about Starling Minds, please read our earlier blog posts.

The Starling program was developed by Dr. Andrew Miki. Andrew is a registered psychologist with over 10 years of experience working with patients to treat depression, anxiety and other mental health issues using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).


This is the third of several posts Andrew is contributing to our blog.

Treating educators, who are off work due to anxiety and/or depression, is a large part of my practice. In my previous blogs, I described my early experiences with David, a 58-year-old Principal. His daughter’s recent diagnosis of OCD had taken a toll on him. Watching his own child suffer with so much emotional pain was simply unbearable for him. Until David had visited my office, he had not spoken to anyone about what he was going through.

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