My name is Flora Nordoff and I am the Principal of the largest Elementary School in the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board with a population for 1,159 students from JK to Grade 8.
I am humbled and honoured to have received the award for “Canada’s Outstanding Principal” for our Board. It has always been my belief that it is incumbent upon us to teach social emotional learning and self-regulation to our students, and it has to begin at a very young age.
When I was introduced to Tools for Life nine years ago, I quickly agreed to pilot this program at my school. My teachers were trained, embraced it, and implemented the Strategies for building healthy relationships and used the Tools for problem solving. Now, it has become part of our culture, our “way of being”. The Tools for Life philosophy is embedded in our whole day, in everything we do. We are all speaking the common language. We share with families the strategy we are working, the language that is being used, and we encourage them to use it at home as well.
You know a program is successful when the children are now using the language and are actually putting the strategies into practice. We hear children saying:
“I need to go to the calm down corner”
“I think we need to compromise”
“My friend and I were in a fight, but we talked it out”
I believe firmly that through the implementation of Tools for Life, we have a school culture that is respectful, caring and safe!
One of Canada’s Top 40 Outstanding Principals
St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School