Category Archive: Educational Updates

Feb 24

Chris Smeaton

Learning for all staff

Yesterday morning, I addressed our support staff as they began their day of learning. It is an annual event that coincides with Teachers’ Convention and invites ALL of our support staff to come together for an opportunity to learn. You see, learning or being a learner is not owned by only the teaching profession. Learning or being …

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Feb 12

Chris Smeaton

Open to learning

Sometimes it is in the simplest of conversations or actions that we learn the most. But that learning can only take place if we are truly open to it. Our opportunity to learn should be constant and not encumbered by our own decision of whether the situation we are in, or person we are talking …

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Jan 25

Chris Smeaton

Connecting the Dots

The following blog was published in the Lethbridge Herald on January 25, 2017. I recently came across a visual from Marzano Research that illustrated the differences between the old factory model of schooling and the new paradigm we are striving for in education in Alberta. The old mentality had us simply collecting dots, placing high …

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Jan 04

Chris Smeaton

Teaching Grit

As an individual who grew up in a highly athletic environment, grit and/or mental toughness were almost natural byproducts. You played and worked hard, you didn’t quit and you earned what you deserved. I can’t ever recall just showing up and automatically winning a prize! But I also recognize that the attributes of grit and mental …

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Dec 11

Chris Smeaton

Keep it simple!

I grew up with a friend who was absolutely brilliant and he had a vocabulary to match. You almost needed a dictionary to understand the words he used on a fairly regular basis. When I did understand his vocabulary (which was usually rare), I would often tease him by rephrasing his statement in common and …

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Nov 30

Chris Smeaton

Why Change Curriculum?

The following blog post was published in the Lethbridge Herald on November 30, 2016. Alberta Education is undergoing the aggressive task of updating the curriculum currently being taught in our schools. While it may seem that curriculum changes are always occurring, the truth is that Alberta’s curriculum actually ranges in age from eight to thirty …

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Nov 27

Chris Smeaton

TRUST

Last week, my good friend and colleague Michael Chechile, Director General for Lester B. Pearson School Board sent out a tweet that asked Michael Fullan to summarize his day/ presentation/ approach/ strategy/ deep learning/ in one word to make it happen. It really should come as no surprise that Fullan’s one word was TRUST. One word, …

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Nov 12

Chris Smeaton

Alignment counts!

This week our senior administration completed our school continuous improvement plan reviews with all of our school leaders. The process is fairly simple in that each school administration team comes into the board office and shares their plan with our senior education leaders. While I understand that it can a little intimidating for our newer leaders, it is meant …

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Oct 23

Chris Smeaton

Issue + Gift = Change

The following article was published in the Lethbridge Herald on October 19, 2016. Last week I attended the Education Research Development and Innovation (ERDI) Conference in Banff. ERDI, on a semi-annual basis, brings together 50 Canadian superintendents to discuss educational trends with corporate partners from across North America. As part of the conference, a plenary …

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Sep 24

Chris Smeaton

In support of common assessments

Last year our Division took a giant leap forward when our own teachers developed common math assessments for grades 1-9. Through grade level meetings supported by our Director of Learning, teachers met and created these assessments. The assessments were given near the end of the school year. During the next couple of weeks, our grade level …

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