Find Your Muse
Bringing meditation to your life and classrooms
By Ania Czupajlo
Art Director, Principal Connections
Meditation has been shown to help refocus and calm the brain, reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and improve overall well-being and quality of life.
However, in today’s fast-paced world you may feel there is not enough time to meditate, and if you do, how do you know you’re getting it right? And what if your mind starts wandering?
Fortunately, there are a number of helpful apps and tools that can make meditation easier.
The Circle of Wellness
By Deirdre Kinsella Biss
Editor, Principal Connections
With the release of the latest issue of Principal Connections, Editor Deirdre Kinsella Biss provides a sneak preview of what you can expect in our magazine this month.
We begin this school year with the well-being of our students near and dear to our hearts and our practice. We know students need to have a positive sense of well-being, a strong sense of self, and a real sense of belonging in the world to help them learn, grow and thrive.
As Catholic leaders, we face the challenge of creating learning conditions within our schools that empower students to grow in a positive, holistic, healthy manner. Our school environments must be welcoming, safe and caring while being equitable, inclusive and respectful. We have a personal responsibility, as well as a role to play, in bringing this initiative to life in our Catholic schools.
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.
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.
New IEL resources for Principals & Vice-Principals are now available
By Hannah Yakobi
Photography by / courtesy of IEL
The school year has begun and is now in full swing!
This year, the Ontario Institute for Education Leadership (IEL) is pleased to provide a variety of incredible resources for Principals and Vice-Principals.
As you know, IEL is a bilingual organization that includes representatives from Principals’ and Supervisory Officers’ associations, Ontario Association of Senior Business Officials (OASBO), Council of Directors of Education and the Ministry of Education. With this in mind, IEL’s direction this year focuses on influencing and supporting provincial program and policy development and implementation of the Ontario Leadership Strategy (OLS) and the Ontario Leadership Framework (OLF) through a collaborative network of Ministry and professional associations of school and system leaders in the interests of student achievement and well-being.