My dad lives near Salmon Arm, and that is where my three brothers grew up and went to school. When we were all together, my dad was terrible with names, especially if we were pushing his buttons. If we got him a little elevated, it was typical for him to bark out each of our names in rapid succession until finally landing on the right one. I used to find it funny, until I became a father.
It isn’t uncommon now for me to do the same with my daughters, correcting myself, sputtering out each of their names until I find the right one. The thing is, I usually add a name: that of my sister.
My sister is six years my junior. Growing up, I spent a lot of time watching out for her. Living with a single working parent, my sister was my responsibility in the hours before and after school. And I took my responsibility very seriously. I would wait at home for as long as I could, knowing that she was due to return from school. My strong imagination would take over, and I was tormented by the worst-case scenarios for her delay. I would march towards the school, intent on finding her. And then I’d see her, bending down to the sidewalk, counting the ants or making dandelion bouquets, oblivious to my anxiety. After my lecture, she dutifully dawdled home behind me, unruffled by my demands for her to hustle.
Most of our commutes between school and home were uneventful, with two exceptions. On one occasion, we took an ambulance ride to the hospital after a careless driver failed to notice pedestrians. On another, we encountered Gordon.
Gordon was a boy in my class. He was short like me – but loud, unlike me. We had met up with Gordon before, once in an elevator where he asked loudly, “Is that your sister?” Gordon had a lot of energy, and I expect he owned many action figures. On the school playground, he was a runner and a jumper, striking action poses and measuring out kicks. On this day, he came upon my sister and me outside in the parking lot. He jumped in our path and struck an action pose with a butter knife clenched in his fist.
Now, some clarity: looking backwards in time, I don’t believe Gordon was planning to attack us. He was more likely playing at being a hero, or perhaps a villain. Either way, my ten-year-old self – already not a fan of Gordon’s – was afraid. My alarm was not for myself, but for my sister. I had to protect her. I surprised myself with an action pose of my own: the ‘disarm the thug’ kick. Quite out of character, I kicked the butter knife from Gordon’s hand, sending it spinning, end over end. We all stood there for a moment, a little shocked. Then Gordon collected his utensil and went home, and we turned toward our apartment and did the same.
When you are responsible for someone, that weight comes down hard in the face of unexpected, unpredictable, and unacceptable behaviour. Each morning, families across BC send their children to safe, caring, and orderly schools where they expect that leaders and staff will protect them and keep them from harm. This weight becomes very heavy when a dozen Gordons walk through the hallways of a school, intent on making a statement, on striking a pose, with instruments of conspiracy and intimidation clenched in their fists.
This scene played out in a small number of BC schools last week, with a disturbing impact on our Principals, Vice-Principals, and their communities. Thankfully, there have been no further incidents of bold trespass inside our schools, and generally demonstrators have respected the boundaries of the school grounds. Last week’s invasions were preceded by vocal demonstrations at district buildings in this and other regions of the province, diminishing a critical sense of security and safety for school district employees.
We are now at a crossroad. On one side is the fundamental freedom of thought, opinion, and peaceful assembly, and on the other the fundamental responsibility to preserve the security and safety of students and school employees. In the middle of this intersection stand BC Principals and Vice-Principals, fulfilling their promise to keep those in their schools from harm, holding up stop signs, and re-directing the misguided. The Gordons counter that schools are public buildings; this is true, but schools are not open to the public for informal use, spontaneous gathering, or loitering. It should be a disturbing signal to all that to keep the school environment safe and orderly, and to uphold our responsibility to our communities, we must now lock the doors or entertain provincial orders of protection.
I was asked in recent days if I had ever encountered a similar situation in my years as a Principal. I answered honestly and said, “Yes.” Being the Principal of a high school, I have dealt with student protests both on school premises and inside the school. And, as an educator, I took advantage of these opportunities and made them teachable moments about the dynamic relationship between rights and responsibilities. The teachable moments from such incidents will be complex, and can feel divisive. But the responsibility of a school – and a society – is to teach children and adolescents, and to make space in a safe environment for them to learn what it is to be a responsible citizen.
This week it seems we must teach these lessons to adults whose perception of their own rights trumped their societal responsibilities to our children. They neither recognized nor respected their own obligations at that crossroad. The actions of our members to intercept the misguided and ‘disarm’ them were swift, decisive, and firm. We hope and believe that the actions of districts, government, and society will follow their lead.
Darren appeared on Global BC News, September 20 2021https://globalnews.ca/news/8205821/covid-19-bc-principals-exclusion-zones-protests/
Darren appeared on Mornings with Simi, CKNW, September 21, 2021https://globalnews.ca/pages/audio-vault-cknw/
Select September 21, 2021Select 7:00 amAdvance the slider to 38:30This audio clip will be available in the CKNW audio vault until October 1.
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 is a member of the WorkSafeBC K-12 Advisory Committee, including it's sub-committee the Violence Prevention Working Group. The work of the committee has been shared by it's members and WorkSafeBC this past week. To see our Member Update from September 16, 2021 and access all of the links, please click here.
Please take a moment to watch the video the committee produced regarding violence in the workplace.
We would like to announce that Elizabeth Bell will retire from the BCPVPA on November 1, 2021 after five and a half years as a Director of Professional Learning and Development. Prior to BCPVPA, Elizabeth was a secondary educator and administrator in the North Vancouver School District for 25 years, where her passion for building a thriving learning community extended to her work with students, staff, parents and the community at large.
This same passion continued for Elizabeth as she endeavoured to enrich school leadership through her work at the BCPVPA. Elizabeth always enjoyed sharing conversations about professional learning and educational leadership with her colleagues across the province and beyond. Through inspiring new ideas, creating professional learning networks and providing leadership opportunities, Elizabeth delighted in supporting school leadership development.
Through October, Liz will continue to support the transition at BCPVPA to new PLD Directors Andrea McComb and Peter Johnston as they assume the reigns of current and future PLD programs and activities.
We will miss Elizabeth greatly, and wish her all the best as she embarks on her next stage of learning and living including time with family, travel, and life in the great outdoors.
The BCPVPA is a member of the WorkSafeBC K-12 Advisory Committee, including it's sub-committee the Violence Prevention Working Group. The work of the committee has been shared by it's members and WorkSafeBC this past week. To see our Member Update from September 16, 2021, please click here.
Our annual Leading: Back to School digital magazine includes articles from your colleagues, BCPVPA staff, and other educators and experts. Read this week’s featured articles:
Orange Shirt DayOn September 30, we observe Orange Shirt Day. It’s a time for meaningful discussions about the inter-generational trauma caused by Residential ‘Schools’, and to have conversations about how we can decolonize and create pathways to reconciliation. Find out how your school can participate through activities and resources for educators.
Supporting Mental Health During Back to SchoolOn top of the typical back to school nerves, fall 2021 brings additional anxieties. Students are dealing with more mental strain, as COVID-19 amplifies social stressors and existing mental health conditions. The Foundry helps students and educators with resources, tools, guides, and counselling services for youth (12-24).
Making your Professional Health and Well-being a Priorityhumanworks President & Founder Jack MacNeill reminds us that no-one is immune to struggles with mental health; it's precisely why BCPVPA & humanworks created the Early Intervention Program. The EIP can help members address wellness concerns & find a sustainable way to return to work.
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: BCPVPA Documents under the Resources tile is your one-stop-shop for materials that include our Codes & Constitutions, Strategic Plan, Annual Reports and Leadership Guides, along with documents related to our negotiation representation initiative.
Visit the Member Portal, and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Thank you again to the more than 1,000 BCPVPA members who completed the Thriving in Education Survey in May. Look for updates this fall, and an article by Rochelle Morandini, BCPVPA Director of Member Health and Well-Being, in the November issue of Principl(ed) magazine.
Chapter Council members can mark their calendars for these meeting dates: more information will be available soon!
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 October 8, 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 October 8, 2021
Chapters: Place Your Order Here
More than 580 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.
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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.
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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 the week of September 27.
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
This limited series podcast is a companion piece to 'Spirit to Soar: Mashkawi-manidoo bimaadiziwin', a CBC documentary by Tanya Talaga.The series aims to unpack how we got to where we are, telling the story of colonization and it's lasting impacts from the perspective of Indigenous knowledge keepers.
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider expresses surprise at the number of Indigenous parents who are willing to allow their children to attend settler schools and argues that reconciliation will require educational transformation.
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: Let's Talk Skin Cancer Prevention
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
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.
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.
Reminder – Half-Masting Protocols:
As the September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation approaches, school districts are reminded that they have the autonomy to follow their own policies with regard to flags. Districts wishing to lower, or keep their flags lowered, to half-mast are entitled to do so subject to the School Regulation. In the event the Province provides direction on half-masting for government buildings, the Ministry will relay this information to school districts in case they would like to follow the same approach.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
A series from Take Me Outside, and our Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners!
Outdoor Learning in the Early YearsThursday, October 14 at 4pm PST | 7pm EST
Play is the best way children learn in the early years and the best place for play is outdoors! Following the lead of the children and supporting them with the time, space, materials and permission is our role as adults. What does that really look like? We will explore this together and you will come away with practical ideas and resources to support outdoor play in the early years.
Christina Pickles has been connecting people of all ages with the natural world for 20 years in the badlands, forests, streams and streets. For the past 7 years she has focused on outdoor play in the early years and now believes that it is the best way children connect with nature, their communities, their bodies and each other.
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.
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.
NEWAssistant Superintendent of SchoolsSD 35 (Langley)Find out moreClosing October 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWSecondary PrincipalSD 41 (Burnaby)Find out moreClosing October 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWSecondary Vice-PrincipalSD 41 (Burnaby)Find out moreClosing October 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWElementary PrincipalSD 41 (Burnaby)Find out moreClosing October 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWElementary Vice-PrincipalSD 41 (Burnaby)Find out moreClosing October 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
NEWVice-Principal - BC Provincial School for the Deaf K-12SD 41 (Burnaby)Find out moreClosing October 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Elementary PrincipalSD 34 (Abbotsford)Find out moreClosing September 27, 2021 at 10:00 am
Secondary 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
NEWDistrict Principal of Indigenous EducationSD 28 (Quesnel)Find out moreOpen until filled
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