Module #6 – Building Collaborative Inquiry — May 31, 2015

Module #6 – Building Collaborative Inquiry

Canadian Education Association (cea)

This article is entitled, Collaborative Inquiry:  Empowering Teachers in their professional development.  They define what inquiry is, discuss the structures needed in order to support it and also give examples to demonstrate how it can work in a school.  Also, at the bottom of the article are more links under “new ways of thinking and doing education”.

Collaborative Inquiry Facilitators Guide

This guide comes from Learning Forward Ontario and is very helpful in starting Collaborative Inquiry in your school.  It follows 4 stages throughout the inquiry – Problem Framing, Collecting Evidence, Analyzing Evidence and Celebrating and Sharing.  Included in each stage are practical activities that can be done with school teams in order to build their understanding of collaborative inquiry.

Intentional Interruption by Steven Katz

These are six short webcasts where Dr. Steven Katz (OISE) discusses his ideas around PLC’s and why they typically don’t work.  His ideas are also based in his book, Intentional Interruptions.  As a follow up to this, I also found a book summary that you may enjoy as it outlines the strategies Katz suggests to address the barriers to professional learning…

Module #5 – Conflict Resolution — May 26, 2015

Module #5 – Conflict Resolution

New Zealand Educational Institute – Principal’s Kit: Managing Workplace Conflict

This Principal’s kit offers tools to administrators to deal with difficult situations.  It discusses how some conflict can be viewed as a positive for change, while another may be a serious conflict that can inflict damage. It also briefly reviews a process to follow to sort out issues.

ETFO:  Resolving Staff-Principal Concerns

This is an ETFO resource, and although it is targeted to teachers, it can also be helpful to principals.  Included are tips for resolving conflicts and ways staff members can try to work with the principal to improve the working and learning environment (so it can also be taken vice-versa).  There is another publication that supports this topic for purchase at shop ETFO.

Jim McGrath’s “Writing on the Wall” blog

This blog post is entitled How Do School Administrators Successfully Resolve Conflicts?  The author shares how conflict works in both ways as well as some strategies to deal with difficult situations while keeping the building moving.  He references the leader who possesses emotional intelligence during the hardest times as being the one who is successful.  He cites many other authors in his blog and summarizes their suggestions.

Module #4 – Resource Management — May 16, 2015

Module #4 – Resource Management

The Principal of Change

This blog was created by a man named George Couros, who is a Principal leader in Alberta.  On his blog, he has a section on managing school operations and resources.  He also offers links to other websites and articles to continue the thinking.  On his blog, he also has a link to a TedTalk he gave regarding change and student voice.  He proposes ideas such as using Google Apps for Education to allow for allocation of funds to other school resources, creating a staff development program in house that would enable some of the budget to be redirected to other areas.  There are several interesting ideas on his blog.

The Trillium List

This site comes from the Ontario Ministry of Education.  It contains titles of textbooks which are approved for schools in Ontario.  Those textbooks which have been approved have undergone evaluation (a link to the Guidelines are available on this site as well) in order to be placed on this list.  The site even offers a searchable option.

Ideas Into Action:  Aligning Resources with Priorities: Focusing on What Matters Most

This PDF is targeted to school leaders and system leaders and is published by the Ontario Ministry of Education.  It works within the five core leadership capacities from the Ontario Leadership Framework.  One of the key messages is that school budgeting needs to focus on teaching and learning.  It discusses ways of overcoming challenges such as establishing a focus, staying on track and making optimum use of available resources.  There are also a wide variety of resources to further investigate cited at the end of the PDF.

Module #3 – Instructional Leadership — May 1, 2015

Module #3 – Instructional Leadership


This website is from the Student Achievement Division of the Literacy Numeracy Secretariat (Ontario Ministry of Education).  It has a plethora of resources which are research based; including webcasts for educators and capacity building monographs that can be used with staff during professional learning and staff meetings.  There is also information posted regarding initiatives happening around the province.


This site was created by Stanford University Professor Jo Boaler, who is a leader in mathematics education.  She has a strong voice around building a growth mindset and using the Positive Norms for the Math Classroom.  There are videos, articles, and tasks from the latest research around math learning.  There is even an online Stanford course you can take on “How to Learn Math” for Teachers and Parents.


Curriculum Services Canada is a Not-for-profit organization that develops resources and is also known for being a standard and evaluation agency.  Some of the things offered on this website to support instructional leadership are:  Leading Student Achievement including print and video resources as well as real stories from schools on how they have improved student achievement.  There is also a resource library that lists Ontario approved textbooks, provincial resource lists and recommended resource lists. The project section has a wide variety of links to support an administrator such as Full day kindergarten and Assessment.

Module #2 – Communication Strategies — April 25, 2015

Module #2 – Communication Strategies

Ideas for School Newsletters

There are variety of tips, links, resources and activities here to include in your school newsletters or put on your school websites. Topics include communicating with parents about art and math, the 5 talk moves, everyday math, growth mindsets, math skills for the 21st century, and many more.   They are all to support the Ministry’s focus in math all over the province.  They also looking to build this repository through contributions from Boards, so check back often, as there will be new things added.


Here are 2 PDFs from the Ontario Ministry of Education regarding courageous conversations.  The first one is from the Ideas into Action series and focuses on the Ontario Leadership Framework as well as the 5 core capacities for Administrators.  The second one is a tip sheet for Principals and Vice Principals regarding performance appraisals and provides examples of effective questions.


– Ministry of Education, New Zealand

This website comes from the New Zealand Ministry of Education and is for School Leaders.  There are many different links provided as a guide for “Managing your school” and one of these is effective communication.  Once within this tab, are topics such as In-school communication, as well as ideas for connecting with your school community.  They have included an overview, things to consider and things to try.

Module #1 – Leadership — April 11, 2015

Module #1 – Leadership

Five Key things that OPC does for its members:

  1. Protective Services Team (PST) includes experienced principals and lawyers.  They give professional advice and legal support to OPC Members for employment-related issues.
  2. Professional development – workshops, conferences, The Register magazine
  3. Provides information – from the provincial government, media and other educational groups
  4. Provides resources – PPTs, PDFs, Toolkits
  5. Web Based Learning – includes web conferences to allow every the ability to access the support regardless of where they live

Leadership Development: Principals Want to Know

This site is connected to the Ontario Ministry of Education. It includes 25 tip sheets that will help principals around key issues they are facing in their schools.  For example, Having Courageous Conversations and Intentional, Play-based learning. They are based on questions the Ministry has received and tips, websites and resources are also shared to further support the principal in order to deepen their understanding.


This website includes core strategies and popular topics to choose from based on evidenced based strategies for K-12.  There is a school leadership section which may be of particular interest to an administrator.  Videos and video series are available to watch and use and you can even follow on Twitter to see what is trending.  This site was created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

ASCD: Learn, Teach, Lead

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) created this site to allow educators to deepen their knowledge through books and publications.  Although a membership is required, you can access many of the articles from Educational Leadership (EL.  A “top 5” booklist is also connected to an online store so that you can easily purchase the book if you want to.