Head Lines

Thursday, March 28, 2019

This past March Break, I had the pleasure of reconnecting with some of our school’s graduates, current and past parents as well as a current student in the historic cities of Dublin, Ireland; Edinburgh, Scotland; London, England; and Osnabruck, Germany.

Not surprisingly, the primary topic of conversation was our beloved Trinity College School. (Brexit was a distant second!) And, while everyone is keen to talk about their own past experiences at TCS, alumni and parents are even more keen to hear how things are going today at the School; how we are best preparing the students in our care for the future; and how TCS distinguishes itself from other very fine schools around the world.

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Wednesday, March 06, 2019

All of us spend a great deal of time thinking about the future: our future, the future of the planet, our kids’ future.

At TCS, several months ago, we began the in-depth and collective process of developing our next five-year strategic plan; when complete, this comprehensive plan will help chart the course for the future of the School. Hundreds of surveys were completed, listening sessions with faculty and staff were held, a workshop of community members representing all constituencies was hosted on campus, conversations and opinions were welcomed and encouraged, and a strategic planning committee was formed. The fundamental priority being considered and discussed throughout all of these opportunities, is how best to prepare our students for an uncertain future.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I had one detention when I was in elementary school. I cannot remember what I did to warrant the consequence, but I do remember what I did during those 60 minutes.

The teacher supervising the detention put a large battery operated clock at the front of the classroom, leaning it against the blackboard. He then had the few students in the classroom sit in our chairs, within arm’s reach of the clock. With no desk, paper, books, pencils (or cellphones!) to occupy our time, he made us look at the clock for one hour. I clearly recall the sound of the second hand ticking, and I remember it as the longest hour of my life.

What you choose to do in your working life makes up a large portion of the hours in your lifetime. For example, if you work continually between the ages of 25 and 65 years of age, for 7.5 hours a day, five days a week, for 50 weeks of the year, that is 75,000 hours. To maybe state the obvious: that’s a lot of hours!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

While there are a lot of “hot” topics in education, one of the more recent issues worthy of discussion and consideration is artificial intelligence (AI). But, as we all contemplate the future impact of artificial intelligence, and particularly its impact on young people, my concern is that society at large still does not fully appreciate the meaning of “intelligence.”

Many people still believe that Intelligence Quotient, commonly known as IQ, is the most important determinant of a child’s future success. In the “IQ-is-paramount” scenario, schools are expected to focus disproportionately on the cognitive development of young people: reasoning, logic, literacy, numeracy, memorization, skills, content and mastery.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

How often do you tell your family and friends how much they mean to you?

My guess is, not enough.

Prompted by our Valentine’s celebrations this week, I offer an unsolicited suggestion: You should do more of this. So should I!

Just tell people how much you love them or appreciate them, be they family, friends, employees, neighbours or relatives who you don't see as often. And not solely on one day in mid-February.

Let's begin today!

I'll get you started by offering some suggestions of things you could say to the people in your life that matter most; chocolate hearts, cards and flowers are not required:

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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

In this week’s blog post, I thought I might share the result of a conversation which I recently had on the topic of school culture. Last week, journalist Denise Deveau asked if I would be interested in speaking with her about modern-day independent schools and, specifically, the culture that we aim to nurture at Trinity College School. As speaking about TCS is one of my favourite things to do (as you may know, I often state that “I have the best job in the world!”), I agreed to chat. My reflections were captured in the following article which ran in the National Post’s Private School supplement on January 30, 2019.

School culture then and now
By Denise Deveau
As published in the National Post, Private School supplement, January 30, 2019

From technology innovation to curriculum changes to new teaching methods, the evolution of schools has been significant in the last three to four decades.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

In the province of Ontario, graduating high school students wishing to remain in the province for their post-secondary studies, apply to their top three preferred universities via the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC).

Generally, a student’s admission average is calculated from their best six Grade 12 courses. Though program requirements and prerequisites can be a part of this admission average, teachers’ report card comments are rarely seen by post-secondary institutions. Meaning, that many universities and colleges look solely at a student’s average to determine their post-secondary admission.

As parents and teachers, then, how do we continue to emphasize to kids that the comments that appear on their report cards are as relevant as, if not more important than, grades?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

As a teenager, looking to my future, I had very few ideas of what I wanted to do when considering careers; however, I had a host of feelings about what I did not want to do. Even as a university student, I wondered what skills I could develop in order to make me more employable. Indeed, young people spend a great deal of time in school, college and university discovering or honing a skill, or skills, that will lead to a job, a true calling or lifelong vocation.

As we get older, and sit on the same side of the professional table as colleagues and/or sit across the table interviewing potential candidates, we learn that it is the soft skills that often determine “fit,” employability or compatibility with a particular organization, company or community.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This past Monday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m., in Trinity College School’s Memorial Chapel, I was able to witness an impressive display of power. To be more specific: student power. I will eventually provide some insight into this event, but first, a few thoughts and insights into power.

It is commonly thought that individuals are interested in attaining power in order to control things or others. An article by Julie Beck that appeared in The Atlantic magazine on May 22, 2016, however, introduces an alternate view of why people want power. She posits that people want power in order to gain better control over themselves!

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

If there was one particular aspect of our most recent break from our academic schedule that I most enjoyed it was reacquainting myself with the joy of reading. Like you, I do actually read a lot, in manageable chunks. Virtually every day of the year includes me reading emails, letters, various publications specific to education, online articles directed to me by colleagues and friends, portions of the Globe and Mail newspaper and essays from entities such as The Atlantic, The New Yorker and the New York Times. I also have three piles of books on my bedside table; I have started them all and finished none.

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