Last week, my daughter got ambitious and decided to do a bit of cleaning around the kitchen. There is very little counter space, and more countertop appliances than necessary — some seem to have only a decorative function. Take the Instant Pot, for instance. We bought one near the height of its fad; it is a remarkable timesaver and can produce some excellent meals. So, why don’t we use it more often? I would stow it out of sight If all the cupboards below and above were not already full. The remaining counter space is taken up by the coffee maker and the toaster – both essential, and certainly not decorative.
In her attempt to be thorough, my daughter was actually lifting appliances and washing the counter space below. It was while lifting the toaster and cleaning the space beneath that my twenty-something daughter made her discovery. With some surprise at the novelty, she proclaimed, “I was today days old when I discovered that a toaster has a crumb tray!” It took some convincing on my part before she accepted that every toaster she has encountered to date had a crumb tray – whether she knew it or not. It just happened that she was 9,048 days old before her eyes were opened.
Today, I am 20,826 days old; if you round that up, it’s very close to the number in the title of a Moody Blues’ song. Back in 1981, the Birmingham band (which just happened to form the year I started to count my days) had a song on the charts entitled 22,000 Days. At the time, this number was a relatively accurate forecast for the average life expectancy of a human. Thankfully, more recent expectations mete out more than 25,000 days, on average. This is good, because I have much more to learn and to do.
When my daughter used the now-popular phrase as an expression to describe her unexpected discovery, it made me think of my own epiphany which happened long before this sensation was a meme or a Pinterest page. I would have been nearly the same age, about 8,400 days old.
I wasn’t the coach, but I was aboard the bus, heading with the volleyball team to a neighbouring high school. The teams did have coaches, but they were not staff; policy dictated that a staff member sponsored each team, attending all practices and traveling for tournaments. I had never been involved in school sports, but I wanted to support extra-curricular activity in my school, and to have a chance to spend time with students outside the classroom setting. In the seat directly behind me sat a few players, facing backwards to talk with the players in the next set of seats. They were engaged in animated debate with loud voices and laughter. At one point in their conversation, a decision had to be made and they chose to resolve it with an old standard: “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe”.
I was only half listening to their chatter as they began to recite the rhyme from my own childhood. It had been years since I had heard or used this sorting chant myself; I found myself silently reciting along with them. When the students sang out “…catch a tiger by the toe…,” my teacher-self kicked in, and I started to swivel around in my seat to correct them. They were reciting it wrong: the correct line was…
And I was ‘that many days old’ when I realized what I had been saying my whole childhood.
Those of my vintage understand what finally registered for me that day on the bus. For youthful readers, a quick Google will fill in the blank with an imperfect rhyme for ‘tiger’.
In the last one thousand days, similar moments of illumination have registered with me. Time and again, I’ve tripped over a practice or a phrase – even a single word – which has been a source of harm, a signal of embedded racism to which I’ve been blind. These anachronisms have not been in hiding; they have been in plain sight and common use. What has changed is that we ‘see’ differently: our awareness and understanding of the challenges we face in addressing systematic racism are growing. Changed, too, are the expectations of a diverse society which is committed to being heard at the highest levels.
In the initial days of my term as President, I received an invitation to the Anti-Racism Community Roundtable from then Minister of Education Rob Fleming. The BCPVPA was invited as a valued education partner to listen and learn alongside Minister Fleming as we heard “from people with lived experience.” This conversation and sharing of personal experiences was to inform “improvements and enhancements related to anti-racism” in BC’s education system.
Nearly 300 days later, a second Anti-Racism Community Roundtable was convened by the Honourable Jennifer Whiteside. Valuable listening and learning was again on the agenda; but so, too, was discussion of an anti-racism action plan to develop not only system leadership and system support, but also our people. This week, in relation to this work, the BCPVPA joined with partners on the Anti-Racism Learning Resources Advisory Committee. The work of this committee is to support the development and compilation of resources for educators to teach truth, to raise awareness, and to confront racism. Our school leaders have much to contribute to these conversations.
I was today days old when I realized my remaining days as BCPVPA president number 286, and I am resisting the feeling that time is running out.
Like my predecessors, I will not be the one to finish everything that I have begun in this role. The important work that I leave unfinished will be taken on by new hands in service of our members. But until the number of my days comes to pass, I will devote time to connecting with our school leaders so I may gather the voices of our members, bringing them forward to influence the days to come. And when I am 21,113 days old, I will turn the calendar page and continue this journey of learning and growth that I am grateful for each and every day.
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.
Join us Monday:
Leading the WayRegistration
The virtual Leading the Way: Women in Leadership event is this 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.
Chapters: Place Your Order Here
The BCPVPA is sorry to say farewell to Emily Rogness, but we are delighted to announce that she has accepted an executive assistant position with the Langley School District. Emily has worked as the Assistant to our Member Support Services team, has been involved in a variety of BCPVPA initiatives, and has supported the BCPVPA Committees, BC Student Voice, and BCPVPA Student Scholarships. We will miss Emily, and we wish her all the best as she begins the next phase of her career.
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:
What Guides & Directs Our Practice?Need a refresher on the regulations, policies, and standards that guide the roles & responsibilities of school leaders? Check out ‘What Guides & Directs or Practice’ in this issue of Leading: Back to School.
Fall Health for LeadingHow can school leaders ensure a healthy, thriving school community? The answer is in the well-being of their employees. Rochelle Morandini, BCPVPA Director of Member Well-being, outlines the leader’s role in creating a culture of connection & well-being, and ways to support staff members who may be struggling.
Affinity SpacesAffinity Spaces create a place for conversations about race, identity, and lived experience; they are a way to promote diversity and inclusion in our communities and the education sector. Learn more about the Asian Edchat sessions hosted by our member Wayne Chow (SD42), created to talk about the challenges of being an Asian educator, to share thoughts on addressing anti-Asian racism in education, and to discuss what educational leaders are doing in their schools to bring about change.
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: The Member Support Services tile in the Member Portal has information on compensation – salary and benefits, contracts, and pensions & retirement, along with a number of guides and legal & regulatory resources to support your practice. This library will continue to grow, and we’re here to answer any questions!
For more information about the Member Portal, contact email@example.com
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
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!
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
More than 550 participants so far. Don't Miss Out!
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.
Save-On-Foods meets the needs of neighbourhoods by carrying more than 2,500 locally made and grown products, and generously donating to children’s hospitals and food banks across Western Canada.
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
HUB is a leader in providing tailored solutions for complex insurance and risk management needs, offering a vast range of resources, a deep bench of industry experts, and a focused strategy that is unique to each client.
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn
Leading a Culture of Learning supports leading learning through focused dialogue that is grounded in a clear vision – all to enhance a culture of learning in your school. Participants will work with colleagues to develop curious questions that inspire learning for all. More information on upcoming sessions will be available soon.
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
Friday February 25, 2022 - CanadaSaturday February 26, 2022 - Australia
Thursday April 28, 2022 - CanadaFriday 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
Reconciliation - what does it mean? More importantly, what does it mean to Indigenous peoples of Canada? It is a word that has been used over and over by the government since the TRC was initiated. What we learn from Kaniehtiio and Indigenous voices on the podcast is that the word reconciliation needs to be decolonized and redefined by Indigenous communities.
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.
Read the latest article here: The Most Important Leadership Competency | Rotman School of Management (utoronto.ca)
The PLD team also includes strategies you might use to process the piece with your staff and teammates. Read here
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider explains that school boards that have an equity allocation formula but fail to assess the impact of the formula on student outcomes are just ‘virtue signaling.’
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.
ReFresh is a BCPVPA health resource with simple exercises and information to explore in your breaks at work. ReFresh appears as a Member Update every Wednesday. All ReFresh posts are archived here.
Read the latest ReFresh: Balance – Defined by YOU!
Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) have gathered Indigenous learning resources in advance of Orange Shirt Day, September 30th. Thank you to CBEEN for gathering these resources and sharing them with the BCPVPA and our members.
CBEEN, in partnership with GreenLearning Canada and Wildsight, have added two new Indigenous Learning resources for elementary students: Sila and the Land and The Heart of a River.
In partnership with Strong Nations, CBEEN are now offering a learning resource for secondary students and a Strong Stories Bundle, a collection of 48 books that share Indigenous stories and knowledge.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
Indigenous Learning, District PrincipalSD 43 (Coquitlam)Find out moreClosing September 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Principal and Vice-Principal PositionsSD 43 (Coquitlam)Find out moreClosing September 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Elementary PrincipalSD 34 (Abbotsford)Find out moreClosing September 27, 2021 at 10:00 am
NEWSecondary Vice-PrincipalSD 34 (Abbotsford)Find out moreClosing September 27, 2021 at 10:00 am
Elementary 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