When Will We Get Serious about Teacher Stress?

This post was last updated on December 20th, 2017 at 10:55 am

I’m privileged to work with some of the very best educators around the world. I’m continually inspired and in awe of their expertise, energy and commitment to their craft. They are true artists.  I marvel at these artists and the different ways they approach teaching and learning.

Of late, I’ve become acutely aware of one sad commonality among these very good people. Teachers are stressed. One could argue teachers have always been stressed but I’m sensing something new and disturbing. Today’s headline confirms some of my hunches. I’m sure some will read this article and suggest teachers are weak or lazy or manipulative. However, it’s the increase that needs to be noted. Perhaps teachers are taking better care of themselves and thus are taking time to recover rather than bringing their sickness back to the classroom. If that’s the case I see a problem in a job that requires employees to take that much time off.

In Ontario, mental health and well-being is now a mandated goal. While I applaud that move, several educators questioned the strategies suggested that are designed to deal with the stress … Read the rest

My Back to School Speech

This post was last updated on August 7th, 2019 at 12:31 pm

It’s been interesting watching the various ways schools and districts kick off the new year. Some begin in a very low key fashion with staff meetings and prep time. Others start with professional development for large or small groups and some bring together the entire district in a pep rally atmosphere. I’m not sure there’s a right way or a wrong way but in most cases, leadership tries to convey a common, if not inspiration message to set the tone for the upcoming school year.

So I got to thinking, what message would I like to hear from leadership?

So I thought I’d write it out.

Good morning everyone,

I don’t want to keep you long because I know you have a great many things to do in preparation for the upcoming school year but I did want to be sure to share what’s on my mind. 

I hope you had a relaxing, restful summer because you deserve it. The more time I spend in education, the more  I realize how difficult the job has become. Teaching and caring for children with such diverse needs is taxing. The

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Stop Following Your Passions…the Celebration of Work

This post was last updated on December 21st, 2018 at 12:37 pm

As a parent, I’ve struggled with the advice I give to my children. Growing up I was never told to “follow my passions.” I don’t remember any specific advice my parents gave me but I think it was pretty much like most people my age: Get a good education, get a good job, retire as soon as you can. My wife and I have made the transition as most my age who became parents to encourage our kids to follow their passions. Hopefully we’ve provided an environment that allows them to explore and experience many different things that help them discover what those passions might be. If you asked my kids, I’m not sure, even though 3 of them are adults, that they really know what their passions are. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing or particularly unusual. 

I’ve been fortunate that I’ve fallen into my passion over the past several years and even more fortunate to be able to make a living off of that. I think that’s a message we need to stop placing on our kids and students. Not only is it a lot Read the rest