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Leadership Talks

  • EP 15 - Special Education 6-week Co-learning and Instructional Cycle

    12 JUN. 2024 · This conversation is with Dinusha Gunasingham and Samantha Stephen, who join us as representatives of the Transformational Administrators' Network; a group of administrators and educators invested in championing change management. With a focus on whole school implementation (for the benefit of ALL students), this group co-created the Transformative Administrators' Toolkit (TAT), an administrative toolkit that includes resources, materials, tools and frameworks that can be utilized by administrators to shift white supremacy culture by deprivatizing practice, employing evidence-based processes, setting direction through high expectations, centering and affirming students’ intersecting identities and fostering a climate of collaboration, responsibility and accountability that includes students, families and staff as active agents.    Dinusha and Samantha highlight for listeners how they have used the 6-week Co-learning and Instructional Cycle, included in the TAT toolkit, to foster positive student outcomes. It is a proactive, responsive and intentional tool created to action a transformative process to address disproportionalities in special education. The framework provides scaffolded support for educators to work in community with students, families and colleagues using critical discourse to complete an evidence-based process with a focus on problematizing practice and not students, as well as encouraging ongoing and purposeful critical reflection of current pedagogy.     Dinusha and Samantha were not able to consolidate all 6-weeks of the cycle for us in the podcast episode due to time constraints, however, they wanted to express for listeners that Weeks 4 - 6 continue with the collection of student and staff driven dialogue and data. Then analysis of the specific goals and intentional teaching strategies for when, in Week 6, a review team comes together to assess if the cycle should: - (a) Continue. - (b) If a referral to ISSP for a more intensive evaluation of supports (both school and / or community based) is required. - (c) Discontinue with monitoring.   The purpose of the 6-week Co-learning and Instructional Cycle is to action, in the most effective and intentional way, an individualized program to meet students' specific academic and socio-emotional needs using informed instruction.    To further benefit students and support colleagues the Transformational Administrators' Network is open to sharing more information* on the TAT toolkit. Contact Dinusha at mailto:sharlene.gunasingham@peelsb.com or Samantha at mailto:samantha.stephen@peelsb.com.   *Note, the tool will only be shared with support in understanding the conceptualization. This allows the creators to ensure that the elements, use and framework are not used in a manner that operates outside of their original vision. They welcome inquires from anyone who is interested and open to a conversation and/or learning session. OUR GUESTS - Dinusha Gunasingham, Peel District School Board - Samantha Stephen, Peel District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Consultant, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning and Engagement, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.spreaker.com/11140357_OPC/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-15---Special-Education-6-week-Co-learning-and-Instructional-Cycle.pdf
    Escuchado 32m 7s
  • EP 14 - Debunking the Myths Around Virtual Learning

    29 MAY. 2024 · As the school leaders of Peel Elementary Virtual School, Raquel Cariati-Cardoso and Sumeeta Merwar, have comprehensive understanding of virtual learning's role in the educational landscape. Their insights are backed by practical experience that focus on ensuring that students' diverse needs are met effectively in an innovative virtual space. Having been at the forefront of implementing virtual learning methods that cater to individual student, Raquel and Sumeeta have many success stories and examples that demonstrate how virtual learning has positively impacted the students that attend virtual school. There is flexibility to provide comprehensive support, specialized resources and an inclusive learning environment for all students. This is not the same virtual learning that happened during the pandemic. OUR GUESTS - Raquel Cariati-Cardoso, Peel District School Board - Sumeeta Merwar, Peel District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Consultant, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning and Engagement, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.spreaker.com/11140357_OPC/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-14---Debunking-the-Myths-Around-Virtual-Learning.pdf
    Escuchado 19m 33s
  • EP 13 - Equity and Mental Health: Strategies for Navigating Challenges

    15 MAY. 2024 · For this episode of Leadership Talks, we welcome Anjali Bajaj, a secondary vice-principal with the Toronto District School Board. Anjali shares how leading for equity impacts the mental health of school administrators, a topic which she presented in the spring of 2023 OPC Vice-principal Symposium. While acknowledging post-pandemic realities, there is a greater need to support student & staff mental health due to tensions faced by school leaders. The impact of trauma / stress on our health and practice, include compassion fatigue and racial battle fatigue. What then are the tangible practices that are available for aligning both self & community care. How do we to hold colleagues/staff accountable to equity practices, while also maintaining personal wellness? This is where strategies such as mentoring/coaching of equity conversations, the SMHO cultural humility tool and the importance of partnerships can be used to widen the circle of care around a school community. OUR GUEST - Anjali Bajaj, Toronto District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Consultant, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning and Engagement, Ontario Principals’ Council https://icreate.principals.ca/11140357_OPC/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-13---Equity-and-Mental-Health_-Strategies-for-Navigating-Challenges.pdf
    Escuchado 23m 30s
  • EP 12 - STEM Education Leadership through Inclusive Design

    1 MAY. 2024 · In this episode, Lisa Cole shares how inclusive design approaches may provide an opportunity to co-design and co-implement programs that make system impact in STEM education. She plays a pivotal role at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, which launched k2i (kindergarten to industry) academy in June 2020 with a mission to create an ecosystem of diverse partners, committed to dismantling systemic barriers to opportunities for underrepresented students in STEM. The k2i academy engages with youth by bringing STEM to life – connecting directly to school boards and their classrooms, offering innovative work-integrated learning programs, and partnering with community organizations to provide unique, hands-on STEM learning opportunities. Today, they have grown to reach 27,000+ students, teachers, families, and community members, spending 230,000+ hours in virtual and face-to-face engagements, generating almost $6M in funding.   The k2i academy works with system leaders in publicly funded school boards. They are committed to working with diverse partners to question current systems, create opportunities for collaboration, investigate challenges, and design approaches to implement in partnership.   - About k2i: https://lassonde.yorku.ca/about/our-values/kindergarten-to-industry-k2i-academy - About Lisa Cole: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisa-limcole OUR GUEST - Lisa Cole – Director of Programming, k2i academy | Lassonde School of Engineering | York University HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Consultant, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning and Engagement, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-12---STEM-Education-Leadership-through-Inclusive-Design.pdf
    Escuchado 20m 18s
  • EP 11 - Leading Through Challenging Situations

    17 ABR. 2024 · School leaders are tasked with ensuring the health and safety of the students and staff in school buildings. Many would wonder how to manage when a challenging situation elevates to a level that is out-of-the ordinary. Steve Oliver joins the Leadership Talks team for a conversation to share his journey and what he learned from handling a high profile situation so that colleagues can recognize the resources that are at their disposal to navigate challenging circumstances, while leading in a way that prioritizes and supports the wellness and resiliency of the students and staff in their school community. OUR GUEST - Steve Oliver, Halton District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Consultant, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning and Engagement, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-11---Leading-Through-Challenging-Situations.pdf
    Escuchado 18m 25s
  • EP 10 - Personal Leadership Journey as an Arab Woman

    3 ABR. 2024 · Diane Merhi's story is a testament to the fact that there is no one set pathway to leadership. In this Leadership Talks, Diane shares her personal journey, beginning as an office administrator, transitioning to educational assistant, and eventually taking on teaching and leadership roles. Her lived experiences as a first-generation immigrant navigating the school system, combined with her experiences as an educator, have deeply informed her approach to leadership.   Diane also discusses the importance of representation, including different perspectives when building your staff team and actively cultivating inclusive spaces for students and the school community so that they feel they belong. She points out that there is no “easy button” to leadership and encourages colleagues to believe in their self-determination, hard work and resilience. She invites everyone to continue to question current practices and processes to create positive change.   Listen now for more valuable takeaways shared by Diane Merhi. OUR GUEST - Diane Merhi,  Ottawa-Carlton District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Consultant, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning and Engagement, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-10---Personal-Leadership-Journey-as-an-Arab-Woman.pdf
    Escuchado 18m 37s
  • EP 09 - Neuroaffirmative Human Rights Informed Practice

    20 MAR. 2024 · Our conversation with Karen Timm spotlights her passion and expertise in neurodiversity. Neuroaffirmative practice is an essential skill for school leaders, though many may not yet feel equipped to lead in this area. As the growing body of authentically informed research shows, embracing neurodifferences through human rights informed practice is not just beneficial for neurodivergent students and staff, but it fosters anti-oppressive thinking and helps to create habits of mind which are anti-colonial, anti-racist and anti-ableist. When activated through an intersectional approach, our efforts to embrace communication differences, normalise stimming and foster acceptance of authentic ways of being, can have a lasting impact across all dimensions of equity. By challenging ourselves to reframe outdated notions of “normal”, we can become better equipped to lead change that benefits all. By unlearning with intentionality alongside our school communities, we can build safe, inclusive and accessible learning and working environments. Neuroaffirmative practice is pivotal on this journey. As an Autistic school leader and founder of the https://sites.google.com/ddsb.ca/nine/home and the NeuroRealMe affinity network for school leaders, Karen is uniquely positioned to support critical reflection, unlearning and neuroaffirmative school improvement planning. Join as a co-learner on this journey to reframing normal!   To continue this work in community with NINE or NeuroRealMe, or access resources aligned to neuroaffirmative practice, refer to the NINE website: https://sites.google.com/ddsb.ca/nine/home Or find us on X: https://twitter.com/NINE_On_Can and https://twitter.com/KarenAnnTimm OUR GUEST - Karen Timm - Durham District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Advisor, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-09---Neuroaffirmative-Human-Rights-Informed-Practice-with-Karen-Timm_Timestamp-1.pdf
    Escuchado 31m 17s
  • EP 08 - Leveraging Student Voice through Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy

    6 MAR. 2024 · At Andrea Carnegie’s school, they work on leveraging student voices, especially the voices of Black, Indigenous and students who have been historically marginalized. This empowers students to have more ownership and agency over their learning. For this episode of Leadership Talks, Andrea shares with us the importance of grounding teaching and learning through a variety of pedagogical practices, such as, Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy (CRRP) and the emphasis on students' intersecting identities. She touches upon how student voices are leveraged, the tools and resources that are necessary for student voices to be amplified, how amplifying student voices can have the ability to re-culturize learning spaces, and the impact that centering student voices has on student learning and well-being. OUR GUEST - Andrea Carnegie - Peel District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Advisor, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-08---Leveraging-Student-Voice-through-Culturally-Relevant-and-Responsive-Pedagogy.pdf
    Escuchado 18m 7s
  • EP 07 - Supporting Technological Education

    21 FEB. 2024 · With the current demand for Technological Education for K – 12, Brent Coakwell joins us on Leadership Talks to share his passion for the trades. He’ll discuss how it’s possible to empower and enhance the experience for students, while supporting principals in an area many are looking to develop a deeper understanding. There are ways principals can help each other through the deep work needed to build capacity in Technological Education. Brent also talks about considerations for planning, timetabling, budgeting, and safety, as well as supporting and mentoring new Tech staff as they enter the field of education. Don’t miss this episode! OUR GUEST - Brent Coakwell - Halton District School Board HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Advisor, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-07---Supporting-Technological-Education.pdf
    Escuchado 18m 8s
  • EP 06 - Teaching Learning Walks and Rolls: Co-creating Learning

    2 FEB. 2024 · Update - Shortly after the release of this episode, we received feedback that the term “walks” is not inclusive as not all individuals walk. We should have included terminology that is universal and does not stem from ableism. We decided to keep this episode available as it does highlight ideas and strategies to support instructional leadership. As we re-evaluate resources, strategies, etc. to support leadership, we are committed to intentional learning about ableism in schooling and society, including our language, that perpetuate bias, barriers and oppression. We encourage our Members to learn more about ableism in education and to reflect on how that shows up in their practice as they find other learnings within this podcast. In this conversation, we chat with Bev Freedman about how COVID disrupted the ways we, as leaders, engage in schools and classrooms. She reminds us of the importance of intentional monitoring of teaching/learning in classrooms. Teaching Learning Walks and Rolls (TLWR) provides a framework to capture observations not only individual classrooms, but rather a broader analysis across classrooms creating a tapestry of learning. There isn't an emphasis on a single data point, instead TLWR uses the data across multiple visits to classrooms, across all grades and subjects, as assessment for learning. When combined with other information, observational data can be used to develop trends and patterns to inform system/school planning. Providing collegial feedback using observational data becomes a form of pedagogical documentation providing the basis for collaborative inquiry, which can increase collective efficacy. Presence in classrooms also increases principal credibility, because feedback is job-embedded, based on on-going, evidence-based teacher practice. TLWRs moves the practice from automatic to intentional using a framework to focus on various forms of evidence in teacher practice. Effective leaders are present and collaborative. TLWRs are evidence-based. Engaging and collaborating – purposeful presence is good for your health and your mind. Let us engage, be purposefully present and learn together! If you are interested in a copy of the monograph that is referenced in this episode, https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/leadership-talks-podcast.aspx. OUR GUEST - Dr. Beverly Freedman, Educational Services Consultant HOSTS - Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Advisor, Ontario Principals’ Council - Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning, Ontario Principals’ Council https://www.principals.ca/en/professional-learning/resources/Leadership-Talks-Podcast-Transcripts/Leadership-Talks_-EP-06---Teaching-Learning-Walks-and-Rolls_-Co-creating-Learning.pdf
    Escuchado 19m 35s

This podcast engages school leaders across Ontario in authentic conversations about their passion and expertise within K-12 education. We hope listeners will gain practical insights and strategies from each other...

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This podcast engages school leaders across Ontario in authentic conversations about their passion and expertise within K-12 education. We hope listeners will gain practical insights and strategies from each other to enhance learning and strengthen their school communities. Most importantly, this podcast will highlight excellence in practice and the joy of school leadership!

HOSTS
  • Lawrence DeMaeyer – Professional Learning Advisor, Ontario Principals’ Council
  • Susie Lee-Fernandes – Director of Professional Learning, Ontario Principals’ Council
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