Tag Archive: Educational change

Apr 13

Chris Smeaton

Schools adjust to parenting styles

I was born in the early 60’s and grew up in a traditional family setting for the time. Dad worked and for the majority of my school days, especially when I was young, I had a stay-at-home mom. We always had time for family supper and found time to attend church. I had a fairly …

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Nov 21

Chris Smeaton

Maintaining the status quo is falling behind!

Alberta continues to be recognized as one of the best educational systems in the English speaking world. Parental choice, high-quality teaching, centralized curriculum and significant government funding are examples of the many reasons for this recognition. Given that, it may be surprising to many of our public that Alberta Education and local divisions continue to …

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Oct 21

Chris Smeaton

Learner Engagement

When I first began my career in education, great teaching was often defined by a classroom where students sat quietly in rows. There was such an emphasis placed on classroom management as an effective teaching tool. And while I believe that classroom management is required for excellent teaching to occur, students sitting quietly in rows …

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Oct 08

Chris Smeaton

The Change Continuum?

There are those who thrive on change. Most of us however, prefer to default to our own comfort zone. The reality is change is inevitable. I would suggest that because we often think of change as an either/or action, we tend to fear it and in many instances avoid when possible. All this talk about transformation in …

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Aug 23

Chris Smeaton

Time for Action

Last week, I participated in our annual summer conference in beautiful Waterton Parks National Park. This event brings together senior administrators from 10 school divisions in southern Alberta as well as representatives from Alberta Education, CASS, ASBOA, ASBA and ASCA. It signals the beginning of the school year for us and provides an excellent opportunity …

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Jul 19

Chris Smeaton

Renewing public confidence in education

There is no doubt that public education in North America is under attack. The lack of confidence is more pronounced south of the border than here in Canada. But even so, everybody has an opinion on education and more often than not a ready-made solution for our ills. Just because you attended school or you are …

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Jul 10

Chris Smeaton

Fail Forward

During my opening address to staff last year I termed the phrase “Fail Forward” as a way to promote an environment of risk taking and culture of transformation. Although I was fairly confident in my own definition of the phrase, I erred in not fully understanding the potentially negative connotation of it.  Failure is not a word that …

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Jun 24

Chris Smeaton

Evolving Practice

I was struck by a conversation I was involved in with our leadership program participants last week. We began to reminisce about the teachers who had taught us and some of the practices that were considered the “norm” in those days! Each of us could recount many examples of those teachers who made such a positive …

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Jun 13

Chris Smeaton

Where lies the enemy?

There is considerable finger pointing in our world today. We’ve replaced responsibility with accountability. Too often, society is quick to blame somebody or something else for their own woes. This really struck a chord a couple of weeks ago when I was involved in a Twitter chat that blamed everything beyond themselves. Even trying to …

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Apr 15

Chris Smeaton

Dissatisfied not critical

Last week, I read the LeadershipFreak blog, “Being Dissatisfied without Becoming Critical.” I’m a great fan of the Leadership Freak but this post has haunted me ever since I read it. A leader, a teacher, even a parent has that same challenge. We are all dissatisfied with something or somebody, but the key point is to …

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