Recently TCS hired Mrs. Heidi Blokland as principal. Sharon Schuler, our board chair person, interviewed Heidi to help us learn a little bit more about her.
Congratulations on the new role as Principal of TCS!
How long have you been teaching for? I have been teaching since 1994. I have had the privilege of teaching in many different schools and at many different grade levels.
Always in Canada? I started my teaching career in British Columbia where I taught for 6 years. After, I moved to Honduras in Central America where I taught for 4 years. I worked in a bilingual school where I taught in English to Honduran children. Then I returned to Canada in 2005 and have been teaching in Ontario ever since.
Do you speak any other languages? During my time in Honduras I learned to speak Spanish. It was an amazing experience to live in another culture and learn to speak with the people, being able to hear their stories in their own language.
I noticed that you write choose joy; hanging in your office, at the end of your emails and on your coffee mug. What do these words mean to you? When I think about joy, I don’t think about my circumstances or what is going on around me. I think about joy as a choice, that I can choose the way that I will respond to things. I can choose joy because I know that Jesus loves me and has died to forgive my sins. I try to surround myself with the word joy in order to remind me of that choice. Too easily life can become about me what’s happening to me. Joy focuses me on Jesus!
What is your favorite part of TCS, and why did you choose to work here? I came here in 2012 when I married Albert Blokland. It just so happened that there was a 20% position at the school that I applied for and was hired. I loved that it was a smaller school, where you could get to know all the students. And I also loved the amazing supporting community behind the school. It was evident that there are a lot of people who support and pray for TCS.
To you, what is the most important part of being TCS’s principal? The most important part of being principal is to have a vision for the school and to make sure that everything we do is to bring about that vision. At TCS, I believe that we are called to ensure that in all things we are Christ-centered, that it is our faith in Christ which drives all our decisions.
Any changes that you’ve already made as Interim Principal? We’ve made a few changes in the last couple of years. We’ve changed the structure of our school day, moving to a Balanced Day. We’ve also added a Morning Meeting to our daily routine. We’ve done winter electives and other projects. I hope that we can continue with the changes that we have made and to expand on them.
What can we expect from the Principal’s office? You can expect that the door is always open. I love for people to come and visit and share their concerns, questions, joys, and wonderings with me. I believe that as we come together around the table and share our ideas it will help TCS to be an amazing school.
Any new PBL’s (Project Based Learning) on the horizon? We’re just starting a project with the whole school about the Old Testament Tabernacle and where we see Christ in the Tabernacle. Every class will be learning about an aspect of the tabernacle, from the lamb to the bread to the water for washing, and we will bring it all together at the end of March for a Celebration of Learning.
What days are you in the office? Where can people get a hold of you at? I am in the office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. People can reach me at the school on those days. I am also available through email (email@example.com)
What do you do to “get away” from the demands of the responsibilities as principal? Pottery has been my hobby for many years and recently I have purchased a pottery wheel (or two!) and a kiln so that I can do pottery at home. I love working with clay and challenging myself to make new forms and better made pieces. I also love the symbolism of clay – thinking of God as the potter and that I am the clay in his hands.
If you could dream big, what would TCS look like in 10 years? I see a school full of curious and creative students and teachers. I see a community of learners who are making connections and forming relationships in the community outside our school walls. I see projects that enable us to create things that will make a difference, that will work to change our culture for Christ.
If you could ask the TCS community for help in one or two areas of the school or school life, what would it be? I ask the community to pray. I believe that TCS is God’s school and that he has called all of us to play a role in his Kingdom work here. To do his work we need to constantly be praying, asking God for his wisdom and guidance.
I’m very thankful for this opportunity to serve God in his school.