Project |01 Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce
Early in my leadership (Fall 2020) at NBCCD I created an EDI Taskforce that comprised of students, staff, faculty and management to identify some key areas of learnings for the college and create an action plan. In the subsequent year and a half, we have:
Hired Elder-in-Residence, Wabanaki Grand Chief spasaqsit possesom Ron Tremblay
Held an all staff EDI Foundations training with Tara Flippo
Held an all staff Gender Diversity training with AJ Ripley
created a standardized email signature template that includes land acknowledgement and pronouns
Hosted an Evening with Ivan Coyote in partnership with Fredericton Pride
Held a staff Community of Practice, reading Me & White Supremacy by Layla Saad together
Created a Truth and Reparation Day for staff and students on Sept. 30th that included ceremony at the Old Burial Grounds
Created a Wolastoqey Language Learning video series with senior leadership doing language lessons with Ron Tremblay: Wolastoqey Latuwewakon/Language Series - Part 1 - YouTube
Had a student design contest for a welcome wall at our main entrance with the word welcome in our 4 languages: Mi'kmaq, Wolastoqey, French & English (seen in the adjacent image)
Project |02 Coaching & Leading
Through NB's Emerging Executive program, for which I was 1 of 16 chosen to participate in 2021-22, I have been focused on growing in how I lead change and in how I coach and lead my senior leadership team. Much of my work has been directed by Parker Palmer's sentiments that "New Leadership is needed for new times, but it will not come from finding more wily ways to manipulate the external world. It will come as we who serve and teach and lead find the courage to take an inner journey toward both our shadows and our light - a journey that, faithfully pursued, will take us beyond ourselves to become healers of a wounded world." I have helped my team do that inner work and growth required to be stronger leaders - we have made this conversation a part of all of our management meetings with a probing question about leadership & self, a thoughtful reading or video to reflect on and looking at celebrations for the college. I have also fostered each leader creating and following a growth plan and make this a part of their performance expectations and 1:1 meetings with me. Additionally, I strive to transparently share my own growth so that they feel it is safe to do so as well. The results are an energized, cohesive leadership team doing its utmost for NBCCD. We are still #wip (work in progress) but each of us has grown, as we share in our CICAN presentation title 'Soul Shines on Deck'.
Project |03 Paddles & Pedagogy: A Course in Experiential Place-Based Learning
With the idea of getting instructors out of their comfort zones by getting them to 'unplug' and go to 'strange lands', I have taken three cohorts of 10 professors from multiple institutions on 6 day kayak trips, in March 2018, January 2019, & Feb. 2020, to engage them in a course in experiential place-based learning. The results included colleague connections and inspiration and a renewed vigor for change in the challenging work of leading students in learning. As one instructor said "Paddles and Pedagogy was legitimately a transformative experience for me as an instructor. It helped me identify the things I was already doing right but more importantly it provided tons of feedback about how I can improve the things that aren't aiding my students' learning.”
Project |04 Yurt Teaching Lab
Coast Mountain College (formerly Northwest Community College), under my leadership, built and opened our yurt teaching lab in 2018. The purpose of the lab is to serve as an experimental place to 'play' with teaching and learning. Quite literally, it is for out of the box teaching, or, what we have come to identify as 'round teaching'. To teach in the yurt, instructors must identify an intention to do something different in their practice, document and share their actions. In the first semester we had 7 instructors from Geoscience, Trades-Automotive, Biology, Social Work, Early Childhood Care & Education, and Business instructing 22 hours/week in the yurt. To read about the results of this work see: https://bccampus.ca/2019/06/25/round-teaching-how-shapes-shape-learning/
Project |05 Award winning film - Jon and Carrie on the Path of the Paddle
The Film won 'Best Inspirational Film 2016' in the Waterwalker Film Festival.
Project |06 Short Term Training for visiting Afghani members of the Ministry of Education on Gender Equity
In fall 2013, myself and co-presenter, Dr. Nicki Rehn, presented a workshop to visiting delegates from the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan on gender equity in education in Afghanistan.
Project |07 Innovative Learning Project - Student work connecting communities
The purpose of the project is to connect school to community by making learning public and having an audience for student work. Students conceptualize and implement a project that serves or solves for someone else, considering their own learning experience and resulting pedagogical implications for their future classrooms (as they are pre-service teachers). The video to the right contains footage of my students reflecting on their learning.
Project |08 Student Engagement: Rocky Talks - Action Research
In the spring of 2013, I had the privilege of documenting student engagement in Stephanie Bennett's Biology class at Cochrane High School as a university partner for the action research project with Rocky View Schools. Stephanie and I gave a talk on her action research, available here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avGtYw8yaw0. The video I made of the students that was part of our talk is to the right.
Project |09 Published Article
Title: Meaningful Hope for Teachers in Times of High Anxiety and Low Morale
Abstract: Many teachers struggle to maintain or build hope among themselves and their students in today’s climate of high anxiety and low morale. This article describes and responds to those challenging conditions. It offers teachers and scholars of education a philosophically sophisticated and feasible understanding of hope. This notion of hope is grounded in pragmatism and grows out of the pragmatist commitment to meliorism. Hope is described as a way of living tied to specific contexts that brings together reflection and intelligent action alongside imagination and gratitude. Such hope is realistic and generative, rendering it well suited for teachers struggling in schools today. The article does account for some school conditions, including fatalism, passivity, and lack of persistent motivation, that pose obstacles for achieving pragmatist hope. The article closes by describing specific actions teachers can take to build and sustain hope in their schools, including developing supportive communities of inquiry, cultivating habits of hope among students, and practicing confirmation. To download article, click here.
Project |10 Workshop
Title: Artifacts and Audiences – How sharing ‘objects’ across social worlds shapes learning, presented at the Association of Experiential Education's 2013 International Conference
Experiential educators often ask students to forge connections across social worlds through community-based projects. In this workshop we will describe learning that happens across the edges of different communities, as people negotiate and make meaning through shared objects (‘things’ and ‘purposes’). Merging theory, practice and ongoing research, we will explore a way to understand and design experiences that foster ‘boundary crossings.’ Hear about 7th graders from Maine’s project on the civil rights movement and teacher education students from Alberta and their democracy and education work. Leave with ideas for incorporating ‘boundary objects and crossings’ into your own practice. Co-presented with Alison Rheingold, PhD. To see powerpoint that accompanied presentation, click here.
Project |11 Education Consultant and Teacher Trainer
In 2010 and 2011, under a Trillium Foundation grant, I helped develop and model the ‘Lessons-in-a-Backpack’ curriculum. The lessons were developed to experientially expand opportunities for school children to develop skills and knowledge about the local environment in Parry Sound, ON. I also served as a teacher trainer by hosting a professional learning day-long workshop for teachers regarding environmental education. For a sample lesson click here.