Leeann Waddington presented on appreciative inquiry and how it can transform education. We started this session by talking about what we like because it fosters positivity. Focusing on strengths in thoughts, questions and actions is about changing one’s mindset. How do we seek opportunities?

Leadership to the rescue!

In education we strive to be collaborative but are often deficit based. Instead of focusing on the lowest scores or how to fix things we should focus on spreading and expanding on what we are doing well. Moving towards being more collaborative and strengths based has potential to transform education. It helps us move towards achieving our organizational goals.

Leadership is about relationships. If our job is to build relationships. We need to shift the focus from what is wrong to what could work.

Seeking to understand others, gathering experiences and engaging others is important. We need to be inclusive and inspirational. Creativity and leadership are important in education.

We need to ask ourselves: How can we be more strengths-based? In classrooms, one strategy is to create a classroom of preference.

Re-framing Challenges

We took challenges and identified what we want to work towards and what things will feed towards that. By taking a problem like “lack of time” and crating a goal of “improving how to spend time more meaningfully” it helps us visualize strategies that can be implemented to reach that goal.

Focusing on the core business is important. The only way to make a shift is to work towards rewiring it to think positively. Ask yourself what you really like about your role? What is going well?

What are your three wishes about the team? What are your best experiences? Understanding why things when well can help us foster a more positive future.

I need more of this in my life. I have been working on being more positive but need to determine how to make it spread.

An appreciative leadership slide.


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit http://nursekillam.com/.


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