Refitting the ship (without drydock)

As a child, I have very clear memories of the work my father used to do in the shipyards of Vancouver. For several years, he worked on the BC Ferries famous “stretch and lift” program, in which four of the major vessels in the fleet were hauled into drydock, sliced down the middle, and an 84 foot section was spliced in.  I can still recall, as a very young child driving across the Second Narrows bridge (as it used to be called then) to pick up my father from work, and seeing an entire ferry out of the water and literally cut in half.

It’s funny how those images sit in your mind, and percolate.

I’m jealous of the luxury they had, to remove all the passengers, separate the ship from the fleet, and complete the task in a separate “away” place.

But as leaders in education today, we don’t have that luxury.  Instead, we’re refitting our ship mid-journey, consulting with engineers and planners, even seeking input from passengers.  There’s no blueprint for change, just some guiding visions for progress and general directions for us to go. It’s creative, collaborative, and infinitely more complex than the work my father used to do. But, also much more important.



About Ron Sherman

I am the principal of Salmo Elementary/Secondary School, a small rural K-12 school in the Kootenay Lake School District. Happy to be part of the Grand Conversation, moving learning forward and joining with great people every day. Runner, triathlete, skier, blogger, loving husband and father of 2 great boys
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