Archive for the ‘education’ Category


The newest paper for “Supporting the Ontario Leadership Strategy” is out.  Volume number 1 highlights include 5 strategies for aspiring leaders to the formal role of Vice Principal and Principal.

  1. Act like a leader, think like a leader.
  2. Reach out, cultivate a personal network.
  3. View leadership as a personal learning journey, not a destination.
  4. Adopt a no surprises outlook about the role–observe, ask questions, learn.
  5. Remember that taking care of you is the first priority.


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Well…. welcome back to school!  I have seen almost all of the staff in the last weeks.  I have also seen evidence in the school that all of them have returned safely from trips and family excursions to prepare our school!  Everyone has put in so much work to prepare our school for the welcoming of its students and KPS families!  There are a few preparations we are still waiting on (shelves, some furniture, etc.).  Thanks for everyone’s’ patience.
We may have over 540 students registered for school this academic season!  If we realize this population there could be some change to our registers.  Any changes to class lists and structures will wait until reorganization day (Sept. 19th).  We will look to maintain as much as we can when a possible reorg. is on the table.  I will keep you as up to date as I can.
With so much to prepare and do for the first day of school Vice Principal Winney and I want to take one thing off the teachers’ plates (well actually put it on their plate).  Staff need not pack a lunch on the first day as we are happy to provide all staff with a Subway lunch.  We will have subs and all the fixin’s ready for your first break through second break.  We offer staff this lunch in recognition of a great start up, their hard work in preparations and in celebration of another amazing year at KPS.
First week events are limited.  It is always my intention to give staff the time they need with our students, get to know our groups and to begin our timetable right away. Staff are asked to communicate with each other if you would like to alter the schedule slightly on day one. We get right into the timetable so we can trouble shoot any issues heading into reorg. day. Our students know who their teachers are and where their classrooms are. Some may have forgotten.  Please make the time to circulate on the playground starting at 8:50 am on Day one, classlist in hand just in case.  Welcoming our families and students on the playground is always a great way to start the year.  Those teachers without homerooms can circulate as classes begin and make sure every single student feels welcome and part of our amazing school (especially our newest faces).
Over the summer I did some thinking.  I share these next few lines with you in an effort to put on paper a few of my key beliefs as your lead learner:
  1. The most important thing is to be kind.
  2. Collaborative, supportive and positive school culture depends solely on the bonds of interrelational trust within and among all stakeholders.
  3. Learning depends on opportunities to think, do, assess and repeat.
  4. Our primary purpose as an organization is to provide learning opportunities for all.
  5. Learners at KPS will leave each day better prepared, happier and more confident than when they came.
  6. We will learn about, from and with each other every day.
  7. The way we treat each other and our students is the way our students will treat each other.


    McKena, Zoe and Gavin in back to school garb and pose wish you a great day one!

Welcome Back to Kingsville Public School Everyone. . .
A Rich History,
A Bright Future,
Leading, Learning, Now.

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T.E.L.L. 2016


Not able to attend the TELL conference this season?

You can check out the TELL microsite at:


Also you may choose to follow along with the twitter hashtag


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On August 11 and 12 I will be participating and presenting with Chris Moore (EdCamp you School!) and Dustin O’Neil and Kerry Green-Duren (These are you Morning Announcements) at the TELL conference.  TELL is represented by the four associations of Administrative Leaders in Ontario:

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The two days will include 4 learning sessions for Principals and Vice Principals.  I will be sharing at 2 of them with my fellow colleagues.  Included in the two day program are keynote addresses with these educational thought leaders:

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Chris @ICprin, Dustin @PrincipalONeil and Kerry @KerryGreenDuren are happy to include the content of our conversations here at Cowpernicus.com.  Our agenda for the two day experience will include:


You can also choose to stay in touch with the latest technology enabled learning and leading educators at TVO’s Teach Ontario.



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Principal @PrincipalONeil, Principal @KerryGreenDuren and I presented at Connect 2016 in Niagara Falls on April 28, 2016.  Our session was well attended and the feedback was flattering.  We decided to keep working on our approach to school announcements and then brought our learning work to the TELL Conference in August. TELL is an OPC sponsored event titled: Technology Enabled Learning Leaders. Here is the updated slidedeck.

“These are your Morning Announcements: Sharing School News has Changed!”

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To me INTERCULTURAL Competence is the ability to effectively mesh cultures by way of understanding and being understood simultaneously. It is an acceptance that goes beyond tolerance I would say. While in Chongqing and Beijing I made an intentional and concerted effort to learn as much language as possible and experience as much of the culture as I could. How? Speaking, Reading, Listening and eating as many different foods as possible.


Well I came with a one sheet wonder of phrases that would see me through a trip to the market or a restaurant. Miss Buksa took good care of me by giving me these. I learned quickly that mimicking the “accent” was an exercise I need some teaching around. There are accents in Chinese that combine volume, pitch and “tongue rolling”. I’m getting pretty good at it. Getting the accents or “ tongues” correct. There are 4 main accents. Going low with a sound. Going up or high with a sound. Going down then up. And most confusing: up down and up again. I am sure I got that wrong. DR. Xu made a joke about some of her students using “Chinglish” phrases or words. I took this to mean a combination of English words and Chinese understandings. Some things just do not translate well. Anyway. I kept a few notes here about the words I learned. I’ll save foods for another post.

Phonetically Spelled Words I have Learned to use:



Zrwai bien-go left

Yow bien-go right

Tien bien-go straight

Hoh(m)-go backward –you barely need to say the m at the end.

Do Sow Chen; better said very fast ending up sounding like: Doesachein. This is a way to demand a price, like… How Much is it?

Tie Qwai La; better said fast sounding like: Tiekwayla. This is a way to say the price is too high or you will pay less, like… Too Much!

ShayShay; better said with no pause in between. This is the most common way to say Thank You.

Boo Youwn Shay; better said Booyun Chien, quickly meaning Your Welcome.

Mio Mio; once or twice means No.

Nee How; better said Nihauw meaning Hello. You can add Maa meaning Hello how are you or Hello you are good?

How; can be pronounced fast like Ha,Ha sometimes sounding like people are making fake laughing sounds. This means Good.

LauShir; meaning Teacher. If pronounced fast (and incorrectly) it also means Ten, Yes, and (wait for it) “excrement” Again. The accent is extremely important.

Da Shwai- meaning University. Translated more closely to big or high learning.

Da- Big

Shwai- school

Towwwchien- Sandals or Flip Flops

(f)Houng jiao – Red Wine

EeByQwai- 100 Yuan (the primary denomination of Chinese Yuan) the equivalent to about 22 CDN dollars.

Teeann- money

Counting in Chinese Phonetically:

1-Ee, 2-Ar, 3-Sain, 4-Shzur, 5-Woh, 6-Leol,7-Chi, 8-Baa, 9-Cheou, 10-Xi (I can also count to this with one hand now as they do all over the country.)


I have learned to look at the characters from right to left while reading the English (which is usually underneath) from left to right. Constantly looking at the signs and forcing myself to “understand” has done me well. I believe that my mind can figure it out. I certainly do not possess the ability to read Chinese characters. Finding patterns is key. Everywhere I went I looked for the symbol for learning or school. I figured it out.


I just started copying things I saw and tried to figure out the patterns… I didn’t even come close to figuring this one out! My good friend Will from Chongqing is an expert character writer. He has won competitions. He makes Chinese writing look so beautiful. It truly is art that you can read.

This one means “The Speaker”.

I would just love to be able to speak this language. What I have noticed is that the longer I am here the more I hear. What I mean to say is that over the time I have been in China I am detecting more differences in the sounds that are made to vocalize the language.

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How many people live here!?!
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