I have introduced our readers to the members of my immediate family. I have introduced my wife, a source of inspiration in perpetual motion. The latest is that she feels I need to find myself a bike, and that I would probably really like triathlons. I've introduced my daughters, sharing memories of their childhoods, sometimes to their chagrin. We also have a cat and a dog, but they are rather recent additions to our family pod. I have, however, overlooked a 'roommate' that came into my life long before my pets, my children, and even my wife. Let me tell you about my fern, the indomitable ‘back to school’ purchase which has endured through my entire career.
At 4:00 am in late August, at the very beginning of my career, I drove into Fort St. James behind the wheel of a cube van. Inside the cargo area of the van was my newly purchased old furniture and every other possession I'd gathered to this point in my young life. The cube van was more empty than full. Leading my caravan of two vehicles was my younger brother, driving my new old car. It had been a long long drive from Port Coquitlam: we really should have left the coast well before lunch, and probably should have enjoyed a much shorter dinner break in Cache Creek. At least the cube van had a tape player, something the new old car didn't yet have installed.
As the sun began to brighten the eastern sky, this caravan of two pulled into the parking lot of the old walk-up apartment block on the hill which was to be my new home. Stepping out of the van and standing in the lot afforded a grand view of the massive Stuart Lake and the small town on its shore. There was no movement or sound; it literally seemed the entire community was still asleep. Sleep was something we were also desperate to enjoy so, without unpacking a single item from the van other than a pillow and a blanket, we climbed the stairs to the fourth floor, crossed the threshold of my new old suite, and crashed on the green shag carpet, asleep in minutes.
We woke a few hours later because that's what happens when the rising sun shines through windows without curtains. We really wanted some coffee, and my new (actually new) coffee pot was in the cube van. The van was unpacked rather quickly, a benefit of my sparse furnishings. After showers and caffeine, it was time to venture out into the city and find the grocery store: the fridge contained a pound of coffee grounds and an ice-cube tray, and we hadn't eaten since the Slim Jims from a Prince George gas station.
‘City’ is a generous description; ‘town’ is a better fit. We rounded a corner into the business sector and, before we realized it, had passed right through it! Most shops and amenities were collected into two blocks, with one grocery store on each. For this outing, we chose the large and familiar chain store where we could find groceries and maybe some last-minute back to school supplies.
By this time, the town had woken and many shoppers were moving through the aisles and filling their carts. My brother and I mirrored their patterns as we tried to shop like the responsible adults. That meant filling the cart with more than Pop-Tarts and Pizza Pockets. It was at the end of one aisle that I happened across the display of plants, plenty of them potted ferns. Grown-ups have plants; my apartment had all the essentials (only the essentials), but there was nothing growing and alive. So, I looked over the collection of pots and chose the one I thought looked the fullest and most healthy – the one which showed the most promise.
It was a spontaneous decision, and inconsequential; I never imagined it would result in a relationship that turned thirty-four this year.
We moved through the store, making our way to the check-out. One by one, we placed the items on the moving conveyor belt, and the young man in the store apron rang up the purchase – this was well before scanning! The final tally was the largest grocery bill I’d ever had to pay, probably because it was my first as a stand-alone adult. I asked if I could pay with a personal cheque, expecting to be told that cheques were not accepted. The cashier named Matthew took me in, awkwardly standing there, cradling my new plant, and said, “You’re the new teacher, aren’t you? Yeah, we’ll take your cheque.” I think the fern gave me away.
A few days later, the fern and I said farewell to my brother, and he left us alone to get comfortable with each other. And we did.
After we finally agreed upon fern’s living space, things really took off. It flourished and spread its fronds, selfishly taking up a lot of room in my life and demanding a lot of my attention. Beyond the watering, I had to feed it Jobe’s fertilizer spikes. I gave fern regular ‘cuts’, cleaning up the split-ends and air roots. Then there is the constant shedding of the crispy dried up little leaves. I’ve cleaned up constantly after fern. If opportunities arise for me, I must make arrangements for fern. And, sometimes, I’ve been irresponsible. I once left fern in the sun, which scorched; and I once left fern in the cold, which froze. Twice I decided that fern was rootbound. Twice, repotting reduced fern to a shadow of itself: three frail fronds, weak and intimidated. With patience, care, and attention, fern recovered and flourished once again. Fern has survived the arrivals of each family member, and the neglect each caused as my attention and love was drawn elsewhere.
And fern has been there every single morning as I left for work. Parents and siblings excluded, one could say fern has been the longest relationship of my life!
Well… next to teaching.
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.
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.
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
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:
Developing a Staff VisionKevin Reimer, BCPVPA Executive Director, proposes developing a staff vision through collaboration and storytelling, learning what is important to your staff through their own ‘hall-of-fame’ moments, and discerning the values and beliefs at the core of those moments.
Looking AheadWhat does Professional Learning and Development have planned for this fall? Read the department recap regarding new directors, advisors, and upcoming events. PLD has many programs lined up, like Leading a Culture of Learning, Leading the Way, Coffee Connections, Lone Leaders, and Connecting Leaders.
New StaffWe have three new friendly faces in our office! Carmen Eberle is a new Director of Member Support Services, and Peter Johnston and Andrea McComb have both taken on the roles of Directors of Professional Learning & Development. We welcome them to our team!
Visit the BCPVPA Member Portal
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 overview, and we’ll bring you highlights each week in eNews as we continue to add content to the site.
This week’s highlight: We know that during busy times, you might miss BCPVPA news and information that comes to you by email. Issues of eNews and all Member Updates from August onward are archived just a click away in the Member Portal, anytime you need them!
For more information about the Member Portal, contact email@example.com
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
September’s Principl(ed) Podcast dropped 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.
The BCPVPA requests expressions of interest from current BCPVPA members to plan Essentials for New School Leaders (Formerly called Short Course I)
ENSL is a grounded experience with the BCPVPA Standards and Planning Guide to support newly appointed Principals and Vice-Principals in their new roles. The committee discusses and plans: the structure, delivery, theme, keynote speakers and breakout sessions for the program.
The tentative meeting dates are:
Applications due Sept. 22, 2021
The BCPVPA Leadership Planning Guide is responsive to and reflective of current organizational practices. Much of the guide relates directly to responsibilities found in the School Act and Regulation, the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Fire Safety Act and other statutes, Ministerial orders, and policy documents.
This review will include a focused look through the lens of equity. Each revision is undertaken by a committee of practicing Principals and Vice-Principals, and we invite you to apply to be part of the review team.
The BCPVPA Leadership Standards were first established in 2007 and they have been continually reviewed and revised to stay current and relevant. This review will include a focused look through the lens of equity. Each revision is undertaken by a committee of practicing Principals and Vice-Principals, and we invite you to apply to be part of the review team.
The tentative meeting dates are:
Applications due Sept. 22, 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.
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.
Chapter Council members can mark their calendars for these meeting dates: more information will be available soon!
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
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
Learn about the first Mosque in Canada, Al Rashid Mosque, built in Edmonton, Alberta in the late 1930’s. A project led by Lebanese Muslim Women and supported by local Albertans of different faiths and cultures. A quick listen and a happy piece of history for you to listen to!
hosted by Connie WalkerThis Podcast
series, hosted by Connie Walker, is an investigation into a decades-long
mystery – what happened to Cleo Medonia? Cleo was Cree, taken from her family and
community in the 1970’s by Saskatchewan social workers along with her other
brothers and sisters. Now, her siblings want to know where she is. In this
series, we listen to and learn about the wrongful apprehension and adoption of
Indigenous and Metis children to white families in Canada and the United States.
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 blogpost, Charles Ungerleider argues that recent legislation in California exposes a truth about schools everywhere that many of us avoid discussing.
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.
A Message from the Deputy Minister - Half Masting Protocols:
School districts may have received inquiries about half-masting protocols in recognition of the on-going impacts of the events at the former residential school in Kamloops. Please note that the federal government regulates flag protocols for its own buildings but does not dictate practices for provinces. In the July 11 Special Update, the Ministry relayed direction from the Office of Protocol about the half-masting period ending at sunset on July 11, 2021 for BC. However, boards of education have the autonomy to follow their own policies with regard to flags, subject to the School Regulation.
Virtual Truth and Reconciliation Week (Sept 27-Oct 1):
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is hosting a free five-day virtual event to continue the conversations from Every Child Matters. Open to all Canadian schools for youth grades 5-12, this event will provide historical workshops, exclusive video content and activities for students, supported by artistic and cultural performances by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. Districts are encouraged to reach out to the local Nations to collaborate and plan in preparation for this week and Orange Shirt Day.
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.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
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
October 22, 2021 (BC Provincial Professional Development Day)Location: Langley Regional Airport and/or virtual
Who should attend: Teachers, administrators and career advisors / support staff who are teaching aviation, or who want to contribute to the conversation about teaching aviation, or who are supporting students as they pursue learning about aviation.
The day will begin with a keynote address from Cathy Press, CEO and Owner of Chinook Helicopters, Chief Pilot, Airline Transport Pilot (Helicopter & Aeroplane), and most recently the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Technology degree from the University of the Fraser Valley. Panel discussions (industry leaders, training institutions, and career seekers), curriculum collaboration and sharing, and some hands-on STEM will be included. We hope to be able to include some airport facilities tours but this will depend on COVID protocols in place on the date.
A new series from Take Me Outside, and our Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners!
Indigenous Resources & Perspectives for Outdoor LearningThursday, September 23 at 4pm PST | 7pm EST
Faye O’Neil is Ktunaxa and a member of ?aqam just outside of Cranbrook, BC. Her career in Aboriginal Education spans 22 years and she presently works for Southeast Kootenay School District 5 as an Aboriginal Education Coordinator, and is also on the board of directors for the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN).
Explore Faye’s perspective around outdoor learning related to her understanding and knowledge of her Ktunaxa roots and being born to the land. She will discuss the resources offered in the Indigenous section Canada’s Outdoor Learning Store and offer her point of view on how you can braid these resources into your classroom and livelihood.
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/
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.
Associate Superintendent - Employee ServicesSD 39 (Vancouver)Find out moreClosing September 13, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWIndigenous Learning, District PrincipalSD 43 (Coquitlam)Find out moreClosing September 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWPrincipal and Vice-Principal PositionsSD 43 (Coquitlam)Find out moreClosing September 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWElementary Vice-PrincipalSD 39 (Vancouver)Find out moreClosing September 27, 2021 at 8:30 am
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