All I Have Learned from Swimming Lessons…

October 14, 2015

Having now done probably about 10 years’ worth of swimming lessons with kindergarten to grade 6 students, I have learned a lot about education from those students…

You have never truly gotten to be an educator and until you are the only adult in a locker room with 40 boys trying to help them get ready for swimming lessons… Aye Caramba!


Parents, please do me a favor. Actually, please do me a few favors…


Please teach your child how to dress before they come to swimming lessons…
It is often hard enough for them trying to get clothes on when they are still wet from the pool as compared to if they have never dressed themselves at all.


Please teach your child how to dress themselves in a somewhat reasonably acceptable rate of speed…
We go all the way from having students ready in 20 seconds after they get out of the shower (no exaggeration!), to kids that still don’t even have their swim trunks off when 90% of the rest of the class is ready.


Please teach your child to recognize their own stuff…
It is painful going through the stuff and having to get a student’s mom to identify his gear because he could not. Going through all the lockers for trying and trying to help the student is a wee bit frustrating…


Swimming lessons are amazing as it is a great opportunity for students to learn to take risks based on their own abilities and knowledge, where the challenges are tailored to their level of comfort.

Swimming lessons are amazing as our students grow in independence in huge ways over the course of a week.

Swimming lessons are amazing, as one dad put it, it is amazing what growth the Ks show as they move to grade 1, the grade 3s show as they move to grade 4, etc.


It is amazing what I can learn, as an educator, from helping kids get ready for swimming lessons and afterwards. I am sure I could write most of their report cards just from those experiences.

And to all the dads and grandfathers (as well as moms and grandmothers) who have volunteered to help me out over the years, all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!


And, just for your amusement, here is how I did thank all of our parent volunteers this year…,AAABPhvTOmE~,OCApyahQOXoFCT3rfJaXwh7ZNh4dag9f&bctid=4546608793001


Work hard and learn tonnes!


Learning with Classroom Champions

October 1, 2015

BelPark grade 3/4 students, through the leadership of Mr. Geoff Kearney, will be working, learning and communicating with Olympic athletes through our partnership with the Classroom Champions program. We can’t wait to get started!

Steve Messler (an Olympic Bobsled gold medalist and friend of Mr. R’s), the founder and CEO, wants to go beyond a one-off session in a school to where relationships are the foundation of the learning, which make it so more than just a “presentation” on one afternoon. The athletes we are paired with will work with kids both face-to-face as well as online and through video conversation to work on concepts such as resiliency, hard work, effort, sportsmanship, goal-setting, and fair play.

BelPark is so close to Canada Olympic Park (COP) and we can actually see it from our field!

The program started out by focusing on how we can support at risk students. Steve and I both believe that education is the great equalizer and that through role modeling we can help them to grow and develop the skills they will need to be successful human beings in academics, work, sports, activities, relationships, and in life. The major goal is to work to changing student’s engagement in school to help them be successful later!

For more information, go to the Classroom Champions website at

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