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Day 4: Rachael Corneil, Principal (Beach Grove)

September 10, 2012

There is nothing quite as fascinating as being a school principal and being “schooled” by a seven year old.

Not too long ago, it was summer holidays (I’m sure it was). I was sitting in the back seat of a car with a seven-year-old girl, after spending the day at the beach hunting for Gooey Ducks – thankfully a species not fond of human contact. We never actually saw one, and when we got back to the car, the young girl was curious as to what it was that we were actually chasing.

As we sat together, we pulled out the technology that was accessible to us to continue our exploring. We found that although it is much more fun to call them Gooey Ducks, the scientific name for them was geoduck. We learned about why people would actually want to pull them out of the sand in the first place, looked at endless pictures and watched videos of “real” geoduck hunters. Her quest for knowledge was continuous and when one question was answered, another was asked.

Her very last question to me when we seemed to have exhausted the subject was, “What do you want to share with the world today?”

Wow. I was left asking myself that question daily. “What do I want to share with the world today?” “What do I have to say that people other than my loved ones would want to hear?”

Why am I telling you this story you ask? I have an admission to make. As a principal and strong supporter of the use of technology as a learning tool and a way to develop online professional communities, I have never written a blog post. Why? Perhaps in reading the blogs of others I wondered what I would have to share that would be worthwhile.

The truth is, that as I embark on this new school year, there is much that I want to share and to communicate with others. At Beach Grove Elementary School, I am working with my staff to bring to life new initiatives in the areas of Inquiry Based Learning, the use of technology to support learning and assessment, and true collaboration. I feel like we are on the edge of something exciting and I am revitalized.

I want students to be engaged in their learning.

I want them to have opportunities to develop questions about the world that surrounds them and solve real-life problems.

I want teachers to feel empowered and confident to support this type of learning. The journey will be, as any journey, filled with successes and obstacles, but I am ready to learn alongside my staff and students.

This first blog post of mine, marks publicly that I, too, am engaged in 180 days of learning.

And its not just me – look at the amazing questions that students have about the world – if we just take the time to ask…

Rachael Corneil is a Principal at Beach Grove Elementary. She has a Masters’ in Curriculum studies from UBC and has worked with SFU to support their Teaching and Learning Through Technology programs. 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2012 7:17 pm

    Nicely done Rachel! Now I want to know…Why can’t birds fly upside down? Or…can they? Thanks for your words and the impetus to keep wondering and learning

  2. Mum and Dad Corneil permalink
    September 12, 2012 1:22 am

    There is never an end to learning, so there is never an end to questions! As parents, it has
    been a joy and a privilege to witness our children’s development, and to know that there is so much to see, question and enjoy as they share their understanding.
    Now we must find out what a geoduck is !

  3. Mum and Dad Corneil permalink
    September 12, 2012 1:41 am

    As we never stop learning there will always be questions!
    It has been a joy and privilege to witness our children’s development
    and even as adults the questions keep coming, the answers shared.
    Love those enquiring little faces.

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