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The principal is an accomplished teacher who practices quality leadership in the provision of opportunities for optimum learning and development of all students in the school.
My teaching career has led me in many unanticipated and diverse directions. The experiences I have had, and the lessons I have learned along this journey are the platform of my skill-set and knowledge as a professional teacher and educational leader. I believe that more often than not, the path chooses us.
I have taught at least one subject to kids from grades one through ten. I taught a first and second grade split class during my first year teaching at Tall Cree Indian Reserve in northern Alberta. From that jump-off point I continued my growth and development as a teacher for five years in grades three to six within two other Aboriginal communities. I moved to Red Deer and joined the Alternative School Programs in my seventh year of teaching. I worked with grades six to ten over the next eight years within two different segregated programs addressing severe student behavior. I completed my Masters Degree in Leadership (focus on school counseling,) during this period. I then took a position as a counselor for what turned out to be one year at the middle school level. At this point my direction shifted once again, and I was fortunate to become a school administrator at Mattie McCullough Elementary School.
With every teaching and administrative position I have held, I have assumed different formal and informal leadership roles designed to optimize learning and development opportunities for all students. Additionally, I have assumed leadership roles throughout my career putting me in a position to support the ongoing and purposeful professional development of my teaching colleagues and beyond as a conference speaker, workshop writer, blogger and author.
This reflection summarizes my teaching experiences, my personal professional growth and my perspective as a learner and teacher relative to the leadership dimensions contained within Alberta Education’s Principal Quality Practise Guideline. These are the elements that form the foundation of my practise as an educational leader. Over the course of my career I have formulated a set of personal beliefs that guide my practise. Many, if not all of these beliefs, permeate my life away from school in ubiquitous ways also. I will reference these as “I believe” statements where appropriate throughout this reflection.