Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Sullivan Heights- Transforming Challenge into Innovation

          I recently had the opportunity, along with several of my Sullivan Heights Secondary colleagues, to attend the second session of the Surrey school district's "Continuing the Conversation". The theme of each session revolves around nurturing and celebrating a positive school culture, as well as examining the attributes of resilient schools and leaders. In discussion with my colleagues, we were asked by session leaders to identify some of the strengths, as well as some of the challenges, that our school is currently facing. 
          Without question, we have our challenges. We are currently in transition, recently welcoming our new principal, Raj Puri to our Sullivan Heights family. As well, our ever increasing student population initiated a move to an extended day schedule within the last few years.  And yet, what we discovered during our discussion at "Continuing the Conversation", is that it is partly due to these challenges that Sullivan Heights has evolved into a dynamic and innovative place of learning. We have had to explore new methods to communicate effectively with our students, our staff and our community, such as Twitter, and Blogging. Our Technology and Pro D committees have worked to support teachers as they integrate digital learning into their instruction. Shared teaching and prep areas have created opportunities for increased collaboration and collegiality, leading to impromptu discussions around assessment and student achievement. Our Learning Partners program further facilitates and supports this collaboration by providing release time and creating initiatives such as our "Teacher Drop in Day". An expanding student population has provided a wealth of student leaders, resulting in the addition of our Junior Leadership group this year. 
          And so interestingly, the very elements that poise the greatest challenges at Sullivan Heights, have also inspired some of the most innovative and exciting initiatives. Would it have been preferable to arrive where we are today without these various challenges? Of course. But we because we have faced these challenges together, as a school community, we have become stronger, and ultimately, more resilient. 


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