Expect The Best


National Leaders Conference

The 2019 National Leaders Post Conference Call for Workshop Proposals are open until December 7. Apply here.

Strengthen Your School Leadership

CAIS values the constant and deliberate quest for excellence, and we recognize the vital leadership role that governors play, in partnership with Heads, in the success of our schools. We want all of our schools to have strong Heads who focus on supporting the students of the present, but we also want strong Boards that focus on supporting the students of the future.

The Governance Guide include new learning on a number of areas, including Human Resources, Risk Management, Head Transitions, and Consent Agendas.

CAIS members and non-members can purchase a hard copy here. And CAIS members can also view the full PDF in CAIS Connect here.

Pre-Conference Workshop 2

Leading from Within: Self and Team

Pre-Conference Workshop
Speaker: Heather Clayton, Heather Clayton Consulting
Date: Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 9:00am to 4:00 pm

Pre-Conference workshops [NEW to this year] – Are focused and hands-on full day workshops (not included in the conference package fee but can be added on upon registration).

Attendees may choose one Pre-Conference workshop taking place on Saturday, April 6, 2019 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
Breakfast, beverages and lunch is included for this full day session.

See the full schedule here and register here.

Workshop Overview

Our world is increasingly complex, requiring us to be agile, and awareness is key. Having to do more, faster, with less resources, puts incredible pressure on leaders. Often, under these conditions, creating space for crucial reflection and planning, gets pushed aside for other more urgent matters. Bring a colleague and join like-minded leaders for a day, in which we seek to PAUSE and to return to our understanding of awareness and aspects of leadership which will serve us and our teams in this complex world.


Participants will be introduced to concepts, strategies and tools, asked to share experiences and connections, given opportunity to practice, and to design a way forward. Together we will create a safe space, where radical candor, and deep responsive thinking and sharing will support all members as they seek to move their leadership to the next level.

Participants Will Learn

  • and practice strategies and develop a common language on key areas for leading (ie. change management, deep listening, effective questioning, feedback)
  • and share experiences and learn from the experiences of others
  • and leave with concrete strategies and tools to use with their teams, as well as a plan for next steps.

Part One: Leading from Within – Self as Leader

Leaders will explore their own experiences through the lens of:

  • Values – what’s at stake – identifying and using a tool to see how aligned you are with your values at work?
  • Inner critic – we all have one – 2-3 strategies for identifying and ‘dancing’ with our inner critics!
  • Aspirational Vision – remembering our own compelling ‘why’ and the potential that creates for change (Intentional Change Theory – R. Boyatzis)

Part Two: Leading from Within: Teams, Organization

We will explore skills, and protocols that support deepening communication, increasing awareness, and leveraging the vision of team. Participants will be asked to bring a leadership challenge which fully within their sphere of influence, that they want to work through.

  • Listening – we listen on 3 levels – identify your level of listening and watch the impact in your work.
  • Questioning – look at the 5 Disciplines of Questioning, consider purpose for both Open and Closed Questions, create and use some sample effective questions as you support your partners learning.
  • The gift of Feedback – Digging Deeper: Looking at intention vs actual impact, 4 steps to really enhance feedback conversations; tips for a 360 – participants will design a couple of informal feedback opportunities for the coming weeks….

Finally, we will pull together the learning from this day, as we seek to listen and support one another in our leadership challenges…protocols, processes will be used that can be duplicated back at the schools.

Speaker Details

Heather Clayton has been an educator, leader, speaker, and developer of teams for over 20 years. Travelling across Canada and the US, Heather has presented keynote addresses to groups from 5 - 1,500 people. Heather has a Masters in Leadership from Royal Roads University, an Executive Coaching certification through Adler and OISE in Toronto, and is certified through the International Coaching Federation. Throughout her career in education, she has seen both leadership potential and its challenges.

As of June 2016, Heather has been focused exclusively on her coaching and team development with leaders and teams in various sectors, including public and private education, as well as police and finance. Recently, she received certification in Systematic Team Coaching, and continues to work with both teams and individuals. In 2018, Heather is excited to have developed and be implementing an 18-month pilot project, in 3 school boards, entitled “Innovating Leadership: Building a Coaching Culture”. This project both aligns with and is collecting research (through the ON Ministry of Education) for conditions that create excellence in Leadership. Heather’s passion is doing this work in service of helping leaders and teams to bring their best selves to work every day.