Creating a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment by fostering effective relationships was the goal of the second Red Deer Public Schools’ Aspiring Leaders session.

Nearly 60 Red Deer Public staff including administrators, teachers and support staff attended the session on January 11.

Hosted by the Division’s Human Resources department, the session, titled ‘Fostering Effective Relationships’, allowed attendees to take part in an empathy mapping exercise. The exercise gave participants a leadership scenario in which they each had a role. After reviewing their scenario, which included a choice between a coworker or a  classroom scenario, participants then reflected on the series of events from the scenario from the perspective of the role they were playing.

Associate Superintendent, Human Resources Corrine Thorsteinson shared that relationships are the foundation of good leadership and successful leaders rise to the occasion in the way they navigate through difficult or challenging conversations and situations. “There are two key leadership concepts upon which effective relationships are built: empathy and compassion. These two concepts work hand-in-hand to provide a lens for perspective taking and staying out of judgment,” she said. “The result is meaningful connections which help us work towards solutions.”

More Aspiring Leaders sessions will take place throughout the rest of the school year.

“We enourage staff, who haven’t already registered, to consider signing up for any of our sessions through the remainder of this school year,” said Corrine. “These sessions are a perfect opportunity for any Red Deer Public employee who wants to explore whether a formal leadership position is right for them; wants to build or enhance their leadership toolkit; wants to lead where they are at; or wants an opportunity to learn from and engage with other colleagues interested in leadership.”

teachers attending seminar