Like many of us, I have a complicated relationship with social media. Each week in my personal life, I lose more hours down the Facebook rabbit hole than I care to admit. I am generally a browser, always catching up on others’ posts and rarely posting storylines and pictures of my own. As much as I curse this digital sinkhole, it does have its moments. Because I post so little, Facebook seldom offers me a ‘memory’. But this week, Facebook presented me with a rare post from seven years ago; it was the second time in less than a week that this picture bubbled up in my life, capturing my imagination. It felt like a nudge for me to share.
The Facebook ‘memory’ is a picture of my eldest daughter in her dorm room at university, her first day of sorts. It was only a week ago that I dug up this picture myself, placing it alongside another first day – my own.
If I were completely honest, I do not truly remember the details of that first morning. The photograph my mother took, which captures me in the moments before I left for school, stirs recollections; but it is hard to know what is true memory and what is projected into this moment by my experiences between then and now. There are elements of the pose that I do remember: the sunny morning on the front steps of our house, the feel of new school clothes, my little brother – with messy hair and a diaper – peeking out of the front screen door, and mom behind the camera. Like every amateur photographer, she had the sun at her back and it shone directly into my eyes, prompting my pained squint. As I look at this picture, I imagine that my face may reveal something more.
I concede the following interpretation of that little boy’s expression may be more creative fiction than true recollection, but it isn’t an unlikely stretch.
You see, his anxious face was likely more than just the sun in his eyes. While he had many friends in the neighbourhood, few if any of them would be joining him for the first day of grade one – his very first day of school. Most of the local children were walking the few blocks to the public school; this boy, in a new striped shirt, was about to board a school bus which would take him to the closest Catholic school. Would he know anyone? Would he find friends at recess and lunch? Would someone like him, and be his friend? Would he belong in this place?
A lifetime later, the same boy is walking the university campus with his daughter on her first day of school, ‘move-in’ day. We walk around the residence buildings, visit the library and the cafeterias, and shop for supplies at the pop-up kiosks. I was excited for her, and more than a little envious. I repeated several times that I would love to swap places with her. I was imagining my life if all I had to do was keep up with some reading, attend lectures, and write some papers, literally sleeping and eating on campus, rolling out of bed with just enough time to get to my lecture – no transit, no traffic, no parking! The swipe of a single card to pay for my food, my laundry, and my bus trips. My parents as voices a thousand kilometres away. My own post-secondary experience was the polar opposite: living at home, working part-time, and hanging with my friends who moved into ‘real life’ with full-time jobs and paycheques.
My daughter seemed less enthused by the prospect of campus life. In the pictures I captured of the day, including the one I posted, she has a subdued expression and seems preoccupied. As many times as I noted how wonderful her life was about to become, she repeatedly noted something else. “I haven’t had to make friends since I was in kindergarten.” In the moment, she didn’t realize how wrong she was: she had never really had to make friends – ever. At two years of age, she and her mom joined ‘moms & tots’ where she became part of a group of children who would spend their entire school lives together – for better or worse. Effectively, she had never had to put herself out there to forge relationships from scratch. It’s probably for the best that she didn’t think about it too deeply during our campus tour.
Like the six-year-old in stripes on the front steps, my young adult daughter was anxious about finding someone to play with at recess. She was unsure about finding her people at a time when she so strongly felt the need to belong.
Before Facebook’s reminder, I was invited to join a BCPVPA Chapter for a portion of their leadership retreat to start their school year. It was their theme for this gathering that set my imagination down this path of recall. The theme for these initial days of preparation and working together was ‘A Time to Connect’. It was evident from the buzz of animated conversation that this group was very glad to gather safely in person for the first time in many months. The theme was resonant on many different levels for these school and district leaders, and it was wonderful to be among them.
I shared my ‘first day’ pictures with this group to reinforce the importance of connection, particularly at a time when people may feel adrift. Like the subjects of my photos, seated among the audience at this retreat were many leaders facing new roles, new assignments, or new communities. Today, as the Labour Day weekend arrives, I imagine the wider audience of our membership, reading these words as they look ahead to Tuesday morning and this year’s first day of school. Behind all their composed expressions is that same preoccupation: “Will I find my people?”
We are your people, and the BCPVPA is here. Through representation, advocacy, and leadership development, the Association is ready to meet your needs. Never hesitate to share with us what those needs are.
Driving away from my daughter that Labour Day weekend seven years ago was difficult: her face showed no sign of relief as I gave her a hug and said, “You know how to reach me.” But I had to drive away, trusting that she would be okay – and that she would call when she needed me.
She was… and she did.
August 24 - Darren Danyluk spoke with CBC hosts about the
August 24 release of the province’s back to school plan on All Points West, On the Coast,
and Radio West.
BCPVPA staff are
working both in the office and remotely, and continue to monitor and align with
the Province’s health and safety guidelines. We are here to support our
members: please do not hesitate to contact us, or check our App for updates.
Darren Danyluk would be delighted to connect with your Chapter through a virtual meeting or town hall this Fall and, should health protocols allow, Darren may be able to book travel to your community for a visit. To discuss a booking, please contact Sharon North.
The BCPVPA has extracted an abbreviated guide which provides a summary of changes to the plans and guidance issued on August 24, 2021, by the BC Ministry of Education and the BC Centre for Disease Control/ BC Ministry of Health.
BCPVPA Member Guide: Provincial Health & Safety Update August 2021
These are the links to the documents released August 24:
BC K-12 Education Recovery Plan
Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings
BCCDC Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools
BC COVID-19 Protocols for School and District Administrators and Staff
The BCPVPA Member Portal is now available
To set up your password, follow the simple instructions sent
in the August 31 Member Update, and log in anytime via the Sign In
option on our website.
What will you find in the Member Portal? Check out the
and we’ll bring you highlights each week in eNews as we continue to add content
to the site.
This week’s highlight: Who do you contact about your
membership? What if you have a question about your pension or retirement, or
your workshop registration? The Contacts tile offers a list of Quick Contacts,
introduces our Board and their Chapter responsibilities, and outlines the work
of our BCPVPA staff. We look forward to connecting with you!
For more information about the Member Portal, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapters: Place Your Order Here
Our annual Leading: Back to School digital magazine is now available. You’ll find articles
from your colleagues, BCPVPA staff, and other educators and experts, sharing
tips and tools for back to school and thoughtful articles to provide
inspiration on your leadership journey.
Read this weeks featured articles:
Building Your School Start It’s almost time – you are about to welcome your staff and students back to school. Are you ready? We asked seasoned school leaders about their go-to plans for building a school start – you won’t be surprised to hear that relationships topped the list! Find out more about building connections and how to ensure a smooth start-up.
Precedented TimesAfter 17 months of ‘unprecedented’ times we are hopeful for a year that is more typical or – as some may put it – ‘precedented’. BCPVPA President, Darren Danyluk, talks about understanding the impact of the pandemic on others, being culturally responsive, and helping to build competence, confidence, connection and more as we look to the important work ahead.
Anti-Racism Reminders for BC AdministratorsThe Leading: Back to School article, Anti-Racism Reminders for BC Administrators, calls on all educators to understand the necessary work of anti-racism and decolonization, and to create safe, brave, and inclusive spaces for students and staff so that they can feel both seen and empowered.
Thank you again to the more than 1,000 BCPVPA members who completed the Thriving in Education Survey in
May. Rochelle has been engaged in reviewing the data with Verita HR Services,
as there is a great deal of complex information to assess, collate and connect.
In August, Rochelle presented the Executive Survey of
outcomes to the BCPVPA Board of Directors. We expect
to have a preliminary report available to members soon.
The BCPVPA annually awards up to 20 scholarships, in the amount of $1000 each, to students who are graduating from the BC public school system and will proceed to a post-secondary institution. These scholarships recognize students who have demonstrated academic achievements and school or community leadership. More Info
View 2021 Application Form
Applications due Sept 17th, 2021
We would like to invite BCPVPA leaders who are women of colour to contribute their voices to a proposed upcoming article in Principl(ed) magazine. This collaborative article would weave together the stories and perspectives of several women to talk about their leadership paths, the challenges, the rewards and where they find inspiration.
If you are interested, please contact Sandra Murphy.
September’s Principl(ed) Podcast will drop on Tuesday September 7 in honour of ‘back to school’! In episode 13, host Chris Horton shares his live conversation with BC Vice-Principals Katie Marren and Holly Zurak, recorded at BCPVPA’s 2021 Essentials for Aspiring School Leaders. As a Principal or Vice-Principal, how do you represent your core values in your school leadership?
Listen on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more! Link to your favourite platform here.
The Principl(ed) Podcast is a made-in-Canada monthly series that connects with BC school Principals and Vice-Principals who are working everywhere in the province, from the smallest rural schools to the bustling urban centres.
More than 480 participants so far. Don't Miss Out - Early Registration Ends September 10!
Registration | Information
The 2021 Connecting Leaders Conference: Leading for Equity, hosted by the BCPVPA’s Metro Region Chapters, will be happening October 21 – 22, 2021. Leading us in conversation will be Keynote Speakers: Nouman Ashraf, Anna Maria Tremonti, and Candy Palmater.
Registration for LCL 1 & 2 is open for 2021-2022 Cohorts! This robust program offers practical learning, connection with other leaders, and opportunities to sharpen your leadership skills. View 2021 -2022 LCL Flyer
Specific dates to be determined (health protocols considered)
In-Person Northern Cohort (Prince George) and Virtual CohortRegistration | Information
In-Person Metro RegionRegistration
Register Now for the Leading the Way virtual event on Monday September 20 at 7:00 pm. Yes, it is election night,
but we are ready to go!
The theme will be Resilient Women Thriving in Leadership and we are delighted to announce that our feature interview will be with Robyne Hanley-Dafoe. Principal Paula Gosal from Chilliwack Middle School (SD33) will join us as a guest speaker, as will Carleen
Thomas, Special Projects Manager for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
Being the captain of the ship can be challenging, but it
does not have to be lonely. You are invited to join a collaborative journey to
navigate the waters together.
This experiential series for educational leaders,
facilitated by Miriam Miller and Dr. Hagar Goldberg, explores and practices
research-based tools to build connection, resilience and social and emotional
competencies for ourselves and our teams.
This leadership course is composed of four two-hour online
synchronous sessions, and ongoing asynchronous communication beginning September
23 and concluding Spring 2022.
Registration | Information
Join the Global Network of Professional Learning Leaders for Lone Leaders, a series of three webinars designed to offer ideas, support, and inspiration. Participants will hear from experts on leadership in remote schools, and will have the opportunity to connect with colleagues from Australia and Canada.
All webinars hosted on Zoom:
Saturday October 16, 2021 - CanadaSunday October 17, 2021 - Australia
Thursday February 24, 2022 - CanadaThursday February 25, 2022 - Australia
Thursday April 28, 2022 - CanadaThursday April 29, 2022 - Australia
Lone Leaders Promo
Registration - $50 CA | Information
BCPVPA President Darren Danyluk, Coffee Connections is an opportunity for
BCPVPA members to reach out for a virtual conversation with colleagues. What
began as a pandemic experiment – unstructured ‘chat’ time, 100% drop-in – has
emerged as a great opportunity for members from across the province to share
stories and laughter, and to hear about what is happening in other districts.
While our gatherings are often small enough for us to remain in one Zoom
‘room’, the connections have been long-lasting and significant. Please
join us for one of our upcoming sessions! Look for your invitation in September.
Our BCPVPA Retirement Seminars address questions around retirement-readiness, the specifics of the Teachers’ Pension Plan and any other questions that you may have. Each seminar will have a 40-person limit. The next virtual (Zoom) seminars will be:
Register here! Please register early as sessions have limited attendance.
Since February 2021, eNews has shared book titles, articles, videos and podcasts to encourage continuing the work of anti-racism and equity, and to help deepen our understanding of the history of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and marginalized communities in Canada.
We would love to hear if you have found this column helpful, or if there are other ways that you would like to see BCPVPA share resources. Contact Sandra Murphy
Every 2 weeks, your PLD Directors will upload
pertinent articles, blog post, or podcast on BetterEducate and in the new Member
Portal for your quick learning opportunity. Enjoy!
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider reviews the Government’s dance
routine during its announcement of the mask mandate for K-12, speculating about
what it was trying to do (or avoid doing).
Read the latest blogpost here
Charles Ungerleider is a Professor Emeritus of Education at The University of British Columbia and Managing Partner at Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in the OpED articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, policy, or position of the BCPVPA.
Read Jack's Blog Post
Jack MacNeill offers some guiding tips to start this school year off with wellness at the forefront of your practice. Ensuring that you are functioning at your highest capacity means that you are managing and maintaining self-care.
Jack MacNeill is a registered clinical counselor and organizational counselor who has worked in the education sector, specifically with teachers and school leaders, for more than 25 years. He is the founder and president of humanworks consulting group inc. Jack’s column appears in eNews the first Friday of each month.
Share the joy of reading in your community by becoming a ONE TO ONE
virtual volunteer tutor.
ONE TO ONE connects emerging readers with volunteer tutors across
Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. We know that this valuable connection between
tutors and students directly affects their confidence and chance of succeeding
academically and in life.
For Fall 2021, we are looking for volunteer tutors for
our virtual after-school program (3:30-6 pm). You will read once a week for 2-3
hours from October to June, excluding school holidays. The students will be at
home with a parent/caregiver nearby in case they need technical support. We are
looking for volunteers who are comfortable with technology and reading with
children in a virtual environment. Virtual tutoring requires:
We’ll teach you the rest and ensure you have the
practice and support before you get started on your reading journey.
It’s easy to get started – fill out an application form online, complete
a free criminal record check and then have a chat with ONE TO ONE on the phone
to make sure we’re a good match. Initial training sessions for new volunteers
will be held in September 2021.
Find out more and apply now at https://one-to-one.ca/get-involved/become-a-tutor/.
It's a new school year, and it's time to think about
The myPITA Fall Conference is open for registration! We will be
online again this October, and we have a fantastic line-up. Explore our offerings
and register now to be guaranteed your first choice of sessions, as popular
presenters and topics can fill up fast! Join us on October 22nd for a great day
of professional development.
Check out the other offerings and register now at https://mypita.ourconference.ca/
Aug 31 Release – Education by the NumbersAug 31 2021 - BC’s Ministry of Education has released a snapshot of BC’s K-12 education system.Education by the Numbers
A Message from the Deputy Minister - Use of School Facilities for Federal Election:
Returning officers from Elections Canada may contact school districts to discuss the use of schools as voting places for the upcoming federal election on September 20. and/or for advance voting on the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Superintendents will assess the ability of districts to support Elections Canada in this important process to use school facilities while ensuring voting can be carried out in a manner safe for students and staff in accordance with the current health and safety guidelines, and education delivery disruption is kept to a minimum.
School Foods Data Collection: The Ministry is establishing a web-based school foods data collection to inform opportunities to enhance existing school foods programs across the province. To assist with this process, school districts are asked to access the School Meal Program Survey beginning on August 24 and provide information on the school foods programs provided in each school in their district. The deadline to provide this information is Friday September 24. If you require clarification on any of the survey questions, please direct your inquires to email@example.com.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
A new series from Take Me Outside, and our Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners!
Outdoor Learning Tips, Tricks, Tools & ResourcesJoin Jade Harvey-Berrill, Farheen Kadwa and a diversity of other educators from Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners who will share tips, tricks, tools and resources to enhance your outdoor learning practice. Whether you are new to this and looking for starting steps, or you are a seasoned outdoor educator, this group will be sure to offer you some insights that you can put into your teaching practice.
In addition to her work with Take Me Outside, Farheen also works with WWF Canada in marine conservation, and she helps run a not-for-profit organization, Hijabi Ballers, which supports and celebrates Muslim women who play sports. In addition to her work supporting outdoor learning, Jade hosts youth rock climbing and outdoor skills camps, is a Level 1 Professional Mountain Bike Instructor and also runs a variety science workshops and field trips for K-12 in schools.
With the ongoing need for continuity of learning in our system, the BCPVPA has opened up free access to BetterEducate for all BC K-12 educators. Develop a BetterEducate Profile | Collaborate with Colleagues | Browse and Share Resources | Develop your Plans – All on one platform!
Learn more here
If you haven’t yet signed up for BetterEducate, visit the site and sign up for your free membershipwith the promo code BCPVPA123. View Sign-Up Instructions
The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a province wide professional support service provided by the BCPVPA at no cost to you and is completely voluntary and confidential. The program supports BCPVPA Benefits Plan members experiencing health-related personal and/or professional challenges. Find out more
Are you or a colleague thinking of retirement soon? Please check the BC Retired Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association for benefits offered to retired members, such as affinity, health & travel insurance, prestige coverage, pensions & other topics of interest, and you will also find a mail-in application form on the site. The BCRPVPA looks forward to hearing from you if retirement is in your near future! Contact the BCRPVPA
Visit Make a Future for an up-to-date job board with all of the latest opportunities in the BC Education sector. Career opportunities will also be available in the Member Portal.
Principal, Individual Learning Centres SD 63 (Saanich)(Grades 9-12)Find out moreClosing September 07, 2021 at 9:00 am
Associate Superintendent - Employee ServicesSD 39 (Vancouver)Find out moreClosing September 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Vice-Principal VacanciesSD 23 (Okanagan, Multiple Locations)Find out moreClosing September 27, 2021 at 8:00 am
Elementary School PrincipalKispiox Community School (Gitksan/Wet’suwet’en)Find out moreOpen until filled
School PrincipalKitsumkalum ‘Na Aksa Gyilak’yoo School (Terrace)Find out moreOpen until filled
PrincipalYukon EducationKluane Lake School, Destruction Bay, Yukon TerritoryFind out moreOpen until filled
PrincipalYukon EducationChief Zzeh Gittlit School, Old Crow, Yukon TerritoryFind out moreOpen until filled