I’m definitely behind the eight ball here as session four was two months ago, but better late than never! This will also be a shorter reflection as I had to leave this particular session early to return to my school for Grade 8 Open House to welcome prospective students and act as an ambassador for Westdale’s French Immersion Program. As such, I was only able to participate in the introductory activities regarding the Ontario Leadership Framework (OLF).
Some highlights that I noted for myself about the framework were that it is evidence-based and backed by sound research. It also provides all members of Ontario’s education system a shared vision and common language with which to discuss and engage in leadership activities. After a brief introduction to the merits of the document, we were asked to skim the chart on School-Level Leadership and highlight or jot down a few points that stood out on a first read-through. The proceeding discussions with the other teachers in the course were very interesting. Although there were some similar threads touched on by multiple people, most of us each selected different aspects which I think speaks to the richness of the document.
It was at this point in the evening that I had to leave, so I had a quick discussion with Beth Woof, a vice-principal and facilitator of the session about what I would be missing. After outlining the coming activities, she said something that really stuck with me. She shared that effective school leaders know the framework and its dimensions so well that they don’t have to think about it. It is embedded in their thoughts and actions and becomes part of how they operate and interact in their school. This has stuck with me as a very profound description of school-level leaders and as a seemingly tall order right now as the OLF is still new to me.
One final piece is that right around the date of this session, I came across a beginning series of blog posts by George Couros analysing each dimension of the OLF from the viewpoint of a non-Ontario educator. He crafted posts on three of the dimensions which you can access here, and I am interested in reading his analyses of the last two dimesions.