Special Education for School Leaders Podcast Logo

With the support of the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Catholic Principals' Leadership Development | Ontario, Leadership en action and Principal Association Projects, the service partners for Catholic Principals' Council of Ontario (CPCO)L'Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO) and Ontario Principals' Council are preparing a series of three podcast episodes for principals and vice-principals titled Supporting Students with Special Education Needs and Students with Disabilities - Leading Authentically.

These podcast episodes are being developed to highlight school leadership with a focus on equity, accessibility, inclusion and full participation for students with special education needs and students with disabilities. 

Through this three-part series, principals and vice-principals will better understand how self-knowledge about their own complex identities can better prepare them to also learn about and understand the students whom they serve, to then intentionally and explicitly build inclusive learning environments. 

Principals and vice-principals can use this as a vehicle to build capacity within their sphere of influence to support students with special education needs and students with disabilities. This podcast series offers opportunities for development as an individual or within a community of educators.

Episode 1 - Leading Authentically - De-Centering Ourselves


Episode 1 - Transcript


This first episode of the podcast focuses on self-awareness and knowledge. It offers a snapshot of the voices of principals and vice-principals across the province reflecting on their own awareness, knowledge, identities and positionality to highlight school leadership with a focus on equity, accessibility and inclusion. 


Through self-reflection on a series of questions, this episode explores the experiences of school administrators defining their own identities. As you listen to the podcast, consider your leadership practices that may be

  • culturally responsive to recognize, address and reduce barriers to student success for students with special education needs and students with disabilities 

  • characterized by anti-oppressive anti-ableist and anti-colonial environments fostering accessibility, inclusion, and full participation and

  • supportive of the implementation of such practices in schools.


Reflection Questions From Episode 1

  1. Consider an area of discomfort or uncertainty when supporting students with regards to race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, language, ability and/ or ethnicity?

    • How are you navigating that discomfort or uncertainty in your own identities and leadership in school?

  2. When you consider your own lived experience, how have you come to understand issues related to your own power and privilege?

    • Could you give an example of how your lived experience/ privileges/ positions has enabled you to disrupt and dismantle systems and structures of oppression?

  3. What are some ways you are educating yourself about the history of Turtle Island (the part now known as Canada) and/or the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action to support your understanding of self and your role as leader within schools?

  4. How do you lead in ways that demonstrate your awareness of your own cultural biases and how did you get to that place?

 Consider: Where do we need to go to get to where we need to be?


Further Resources for Episode 1

Episode 2 - Leading Authentically - Centering Those We Serve
 Anticipated 2023-2024.
Episode 3 - Leading Authentically - Re-centering Learning Environments for Student Success
 Anticipated 2024-2025.