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My Late Homework (please don’t dock marks)

Photo from my figure skating days... with my good buddy Hogues who has been a life-long hockey teammate.

Photo from my figure skating days… with my good buddy Hogues who has been a life-long hockey teammate.

There has been a chain of blog posts (or memes) going around with bloggers challenging others to share a bit about themselves, answer questions, and then ask others to do the same.  I am not a big fan of homework but I see the benefit of sharing who we are and letting people in.  Because I have procrastinated so long with this post, I have had a number of bloggers assign me more.  I was going to ask my mom to write a note to excuse me for part of it but instead I decided to pick my favourite questions that have been asked and answer those ones (because it is my blog… and I can ;-)).

As far as I know (and I may have missed someone), I have been assigned this homework by: Starleigh GrassKat MulskiAmy IllingworthBrent CatlettDr. Spike CookGlen ThielmannAaron AkuneVictoria OlsonPeter JoryBill Ferriter, and Tia Henriksen.  Rather than answer all the questions, I have chosen my favourite ones.

First, here are 11 random facts about me:

  1. One of my heroes growing up was Sylvester Stallone.  Why?  Well, the movie “First Blood” was filmed in my hometown so our grade 1 class got to watch some of the filming, my grandpa got to work on the film (with his backhoe), Rambo (and his stunt double) rode down the main street of Hope on his dirtbike for a scene and he happened to ride right in front of my dad’s sporting goods store, AND I got to spend some quality time with Sly and my buddy Brian Druet as we chatted and hung out in the movie theatre for a few minutes.
  2. I used to know every line to Dumb and Dumber, Forrest Gump, Tommy Boy, Ace Ventura, and Old School.
  3. I met my wife while I was teaching high school phys ed.  None of our department felt we could teach dance very well so we brought in someone from a local dance studio to teach hip hop.  This someone turned out to be the woman of my dreams… who apparently got swept off her feet by my mad skills on the dance floor. #notsomuch
  4. Because my future wife was a dance teacher, I did everything to impress her… including participate in a dad’s dance group (pure comedy) for a number of years. Once we were married, I even “starred” as “Daddy Warbucks” in her studio’s musical production of Annie.  (There may be a video or 2 out there of my lengthy dance career… and I use the term dance very lightly).
  5. My wife and I have seen every Friends episode… two or three times.
  6. My mom helped me get my first admin job.  She was a retired teacher and happened to be working as a teacher on call at the school when she heard that they were looking for a VP.  I applied, went through the process… and started my career in admin!
  7. I am colour deficient.  A lot of people call this being “colour blind” but I actually can see colours… I just struggle to differentiate between red/green/brown and blue/purple.  My wife has to help me plan my attire so I match.
  8. Our first born’s middle name, Jovie, was named after one of the lead characters in the holiday movie “Elf”.
  9. I used to be a figure skater.  Prior to starting to play hockey, I spent 2 years (ages 4-5, with a number of my buddies) learning to skate in the local figure skating club.  During that time, I was in the carnival as a “purple-people eater” and an “usher”.
  10. I did not like to read when I was growing up.  I cannot get enough of it now.
  11. Snakes are the most feared organism on the planet… my dad agrees with me.
  12. BONUS: I was the 2-time goat milking champion at the Agassiz Fall Fair.

My responses to questions by others:

  1. What’s your favourite Seinfeld episode (or line)?  Definitely George when he “discusses” collaboration on his “Jerk Store” comeback. 
  2. What would you like people to say about you after you are gone?  He helped to create the conditions to bring the best out of me.
  3. Dog or a cat or an animal person?  Definitely a dog person… REAL, committed, friendship.  I wish everyone was as happy to see us as our dogs.
  4. What book are you currently reading?  Just started Learning In Depth by Kieran Egan; just finished “Orr” (story of Bobby Orr) and Covey’s “The Speed of Trust”.
  5. What is a major change you would make to the BC Education System?  Movement away from a focus on grades (particularly up to grade 9) which will help align formative and summative assessment practices.
  6. Best Place you’ve vacationed?  Jamaica for our honeymoon (although my backpacking trip through Western Europe was unreal too).
  7. Who do you look up to the most?  For personal advice and mentorship, I most often go to my mom, dad, sister and wife. I am so lucky to have people close to me to guide me in my life.
  8. PC or Mac?  I am definitely a fan of Mac for their reliability and speed… although I am seeing the benefit of other devices in schools.
  9. How do you spend a day electronic-less?  This is an interesting question and one I will participate in this summer… although I would have to drive there using a truck that uses electronics, I would LOVE to spend a day fly fishing on the Skagit River… with a break for lunch with a sandwich and a good book.  I have not done this for years and it is something I need to get back to doing as there is nothing that grounds me more than being in the river.
  10. What actions do you take to combat racism?  My goal is to always say or do something to take a stand.  As a white male, I have experienced very little (if any) prejudice in my life; in the past 7 years (especially), I have worked to analyze and reflect upon my “invisible backpack of privilege” and attempt to see the world through the lens of others. This has helped me to become more wide awake to the racism around us and to take a stand against it.  By doing and saying nothing, we state that it is acceptable; therefore, we always need to speak and stand up.
  11. How would you describe your interactions with the first peoples on whose territory you currently live and/or work on?  I am a bit embarrassed to say that my relationship with the first people’s in the Langley area is very surface level.  I have lived here for years but not made the effort to seek understanding and awareness of the local cultures.  I am proud of the relationships that were built with the first peoples in the Agassiz region (my former place of work) as I believe that I worked hard to understand the people and truly listen and learn from the local communities.  I look forward to learning more about the cultures and traditions of my local community in which I now live and work.
  12. What is the best gift you have ever received?  My first response would be getting the gift of twin daughters (and their hugs, art, gifts)… but most parents would say this.  I am not sure about the BEST gift but I recently I received a gift from the Aboriginal community when I left my former school that brought me to tears.  The gift of a steering paddle, hand carved and painted by local artist Harvey Robinson, was given to me to symbolize leadership, wisdom, and teaching.  It is a gift that I hang proudly in my new office… and one that means so much.

My challenge is for the following bloggers to share 11 facts about themselves,  answer the questions below, and ask 11 questions to 11 others:

  1. Steve MacGregor
  2. Stacey Garrioch
  3. Hugh McDonald
  4. Darcy Mullin
  5. Kyle Timms
  6. Shawn Blankenship
  7. Aaron Rowe
  8. Jesse McLean
  9. Remi Collins
  10. Deirdre Bailey
  11. Roxanne Watson

Questions:

  1. What was the biggest AHA moment that changed you as an educator?
  2. Provide an example of an activity you do that symbolizes your family tradition or culture.
  3. Do you like the use of school-wide awards?
  4. Left or right handed?
  5. What is your favourite line from a movie?
  6. If someone has to share a concern with you, what is the best way to do it?
  7. If you could retire tomorrow (or are already retired) how would (or do) you spend your time?
  8. In your final days/minutes, when you about to take your last breath, and you think back to all that you have done or going to do… you will be most proud of ________.
  9. Which book is next on your “to read” list?
  10. Describe a moment on social media stands out to you as something that has had a significantly positive impact to you or someone else?
  11. How do you make the time to be quiet, still and alone?

 

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Chris Wejr

Proud father of twin girls and a son. Currently working as the Principal of James Hill Elementary School (K-5) in Langley, BC, Canada. Passionate about strengths-based education and leadership, reconciliation, assessment, and human motivation.

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