Message from Myles (COSL chair) – Nov 2018

COSL Chairperson Report Nov 2018

With Halloween behind us, report card season kicks into high gear. Along with the editing of comments comes Parent-Teacher-Student meetings in whatever format your school uses. Before you know, it will be December and Winter/Holiday/Christmas concert time and all of the excitement (and exhaustion) that time of year brings.

I have had a very busy month of October and first few weeks of November. Several of my meetings have centered on the topic of Workplace Safety and Health. The number one topic that comes up is violent incidents in the workplace and the reporting of such events. We will be examining this topic around the Directors’ table at our upcoming Directors’ Meeting in November.

On October 15, James Bedford, MTS Vice-President and liaison for COSL, and I, travelled to Brandon. While in Brandon we visited 5 schools and conducted our October Leadership Team meeting while in Brandon as 2 of our 6 member Leadership Team, Angela Voutier (Linden Lanes) and Chad Cobbe (Crocus Plains) work in Brandon. A third Leadership Team member, Sheri Haney, works close by in the Turtle Mountain School Division at Holmfield Colony School. Special thanks goes out to Brandon Teachers’ Society Vice-President Cale Dunbar for being our guide for the day.

After our visit, I raised the question with James if he thought that we could visit 100 schools this year, as it is the MTS 100th Anniversary. After some discussion, we decided to give it a shot. The plan is to invite local MTS presidents to accompany us on our tours. We hope to get a sense of what is going on in schools, listen to COSL members’ questions first hand and to, as James likes to say, back up our words with actions. We hope that by getting out and connecting we will show our members that we are here for them and that as a collective; the Council of School Leaders values its place in the Manitoba Teachers’ Society. We are in the process of arranging to make this work. Hope to see many of you as we embark on our “100 in 100” Anniversary Provincial tour.

We had a very successful Fall Conference on October 19 with 179 registrants. The focus was on our own health. Positive feedback has flowed back to the committee along with some suggestions for future conferences. The winner of the free Winter Conference registration is just being confirmed; check out December’s message to see who it was. Big thanks to Joyce Wong and Michelle Sacco from Tec Voc for all of their hard work and assistance. Kudos also to Angela Voutier and Lisa Calvez, our conference co-chairs, and their planning group for organizing a day of thought-provoking professional development for those who attended.

I attended my first Canadian Association of Principals Board meeting over the Remembrance Day weekend in Ottawa. Conversations from around the country were shared with many of the issues raised common place everywhere: violent incidents and reporting, legalization of cannabis and the shortage of teachers in rural areas as well as a lack of qualified substitutes to name a few.

That is it for this month. Go Bombers Go!

Myles Blahut
COSL Chairperson