Graduating Class 2017

Mabin Graduation Ceremony

Recently, I experienced my first Mabin graduation ceremony. What a proud moment that was. Although I have only known these young men and women for a year now, they have impressed me as a remarkably cohesive and compassionate group, and exemplify the principles of changemaking: empathy, leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving.

As I reflect on my own first year at The Mabin School, I feel very lucky. For me, as someone who has spent my entire adult life working in and learning about schools, Mabin is a little piece of heaven. I am grateful for the wonderful students you send us every day, the passionate staff members who make this place go, the devoted parents who choose Mabin because they care so deeply about their children and their education, and the many people who volunteer their time and energy to help create the magic that is Mabin. Thank you to each and every one of you for welcoming me so warmly into this incredible community. Imagine what we can do from here!

Before we break for the summer, I do want to share some exciting news. In September, I will be publishing a book about education. I wrote it with Dr. Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, formerly the Director of Research for People for Education and currently a Professor of Law and Society at Wilfred Laurier University. Kelly and I have been working on this book for 4 years now, and it is finally done! Pushing the Limits tells stories about great things happening in Canadian schools — inspirational stories about teachers, schools, and systems that, against all odds, are preparing students today for the challenges of tomorrow.

When we wrote the book, I drew mostly on my experiences as a principal in Inner-City Toronto, where I was fortunate to be part of some innovative and exemplary work around teaching and learning for children living in poverty. In the course of our research, Kelly and I met educators from across the country who are doing incredible things — sometimes in very difficult circumstances. We celebrate these stories, stories about inquiry-based learning, fostering creativity, effective use of technology, the teaching of social-emotional skills, the importance of parent and community engagement, and the power of the teacher. If you decide to read the book, I think you will find that many of the best practices we describe are happening right here at Mabin. The Mabin School has discovered the recipe for good schooling, and my hope, as I continue to teach and learn here, is that we will be able to share that recipe with others. As a Changemaker School, I believe Mabin has a role to play locally, provincially, nationally, and even globally. The idea that “the world needs more Mabin” is an exciting one for me. I hope you will help me spread the word about what works best in education.

So please, save the date. On Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Type Books in Forest Hill Village will be hosting a special Mabin book signing — and you are all invited! Many thanks to Type Books for hosting this event.

In the meantime, I wish you all a safe and happy summer, and look forward to seeing most of you back here in September. For those of you moving on, best wishes, and stay in touch. You will always have a home at Mabin.