It is always comfortable for me to go back to the world of education.  I attended the CAPSLE Conference a couple of weeks ago.  CAPSLE stands for The Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education.  I love to hear lawyers talk about cases and get insight into the interpretation of language that is justice in our country.  I also appreciate the caring concern of school trustees and teacher union representatives as they work to create safe schools for everyone.  The timing of the conference is good.  We just finished our book on Principals in Schools and it is time for a new education project.  Maybe a discussion of mediation in education is next.  Ten years ago I spoke at CAPSLE on the subject.  There was little or no mediation going on in the field of education at that time.  I wonder if anything has changed.  No one really mentioned it at the conference except to say that the new Human Rights Tribunal in Ontario was offering the option of mediation to complainants to speed up the process. 

The new book is out!  I am excited about it.  Some say it may bring on a little controversy.  I hope that means interest in the book will be high.  Marjorie Munroe, Mel Blitzer and I co-authored the new book on principals in schools called Principals: Faces of Change.  It is based on the research I did for my PhD and has the added influence and editing genius of Mel and Marjorie added in.  It is the story of five high school principals:  The Sherpa, The Gardener, The Coach, The Impresario and the The Rescuer.  Each approaches the job in a different way and each experiences success  as measured on Student Test Scores.  (That could be the controversial part!)

The Sherpa carries the administrative load for his teachers.  The Gardener nourishes and tends to his staff and their needs.  The Coach provides the instruction and encouragement from the sidelines.  The Impresario works from behind the scenes to create “The Greatest Show in Education”.  The Rescuer pulls staff and students from the fire and sets them on a safe and secure path to educational excellence.  All of the principals lead from the hallway.  They are Vicarious Leaders … accepting responsibility for things they experience and influence only through story and conversation. 

It has taken many years to get this book to print and I am proud of what we have accomplished.  The use of the metaphors creates archetypes for the role of principal.  Our proof readers could see themselves in each of the archetypes.  We envision a workshop this summer where principals will be asked to take on one of the roles and deal with difficult scenarios from educational adminstration through the lense of the metaphor.

Now we look to other metaphors for schools and school leaders.  Any suggestions???

With the book out and a plan in place for a five-day workshop , August 16-20, 2010 in Canmore, the work to market the book and workshop is beginning.  We are all so confused about how to go about getting the word out in an effective way.  We have contracted with someone to get some of the social media going and I am mentioning it here so that you can tell your friends.  We are sending out 5*7 cards to promote the book and the workshop through the mail.  We will likely get an ad in the ATA Magazine and its equivalents across Canada.  If you can thing of other avenues to get the word out please let me know.

Any way it is good to be back in the saddle with the Blog.  See you again, soon.