The very first group of students I stood before as a teacher – or nearly a teacher – was an English 12 class at Maple Ridge Secondary School. The class belonged to a master teacher named Mike Josiah, and I was remarkably fortunate that he agreed to mentor a student teacher from SFU. On this first occasion, when I stepped forward as a teacher, I didn’t feel much like Mr. Danyluk. I had just celebrated my twenty-second birthday; most of the students in that class were seventeen.
After I’d been ‘teaching’ for about 10 minutes, a hand went up among the students. I didn’t know any student names, so I simply paused my lesson, made eye contact, and said, “Yes?” The boy lowered his hand and said, “Who are you?” Good question.
Exactly one year later, fully certified and barely twenty-three years old, I was teaching my Grade 10 English class. Again, a hand went up among the students; it belonged to Shane. When I called upon Shane, he asked with complete and candid sincerity, “You get zits? How old are you anyway?” It took everything in me not to be childish in my response.
In the case of each question, I felt a creeping sense of transparency overtake me. It was as if I were see-through, my insecurities clearly on display. Otherwise, how could they have known? I felt a momentary flash of that same transparency – an exposure of my shortcomings – when I read an early morning email from a BCPVPA member which popped up in my inbox this week. The email was short and simple, stating: “Is everything okay? We are here if you ever want to chat.” What? How did this member tune in to my self-doubt?
In the first week of school last September, I started to send very brief messages to school leaders when they first issued exposure notifications to their communities. Although I encouraged our Principals and Vice-Principals not to reply, but to spend their valuable time on higher priorities, a great many school leaders fired back a response. They shared with me insight into their experiences with the start-up, with notifications, and with anything demanding their time and attention. Thanks to the time they gifted me, I gathered an understanding of our members’ day-to-day challenges, and I felt equipped to communicate those challenges at every opportunity.
Despite a direct exchange with more than a thousand of our members, our spring survey surfaced this lighthouse for me (lighthouse = something to watch out for, pay attention to):
“… I delete the [BCPVPA] emails without reading them because I am overwhelmed with real work… and don't feel they align with the realistic nature of my day.”
The survey elicited hundreds of comments, offering both positive and critical feedback from participants. But this one comment served to inspire me to double my efforts to connect with our members, first to understand and better represent their day-to-day realities, and second to foster a sense of meaningful membership in the Association. As October begins, I am critical of my own progress on these two fronts.
In 2020, exposure notifications served as a vehicle for me to open an exchange with our members. September 2021 saw a shift in this process in the sector. I am not advocating for a return to last year’s process as a means to my messaging, nor am I advocating for our members to add ‘update the President’ to their to-do lists – those lists are long enough! What I wish to do is make myself visible, a question asked this week of our newest school leaders.
This week, our participants in Essentials for New School Leaders (ENSL) from July attended the first of three extension webinars for this school year. In each webinar, our Professional Learning and Development team leads our ENSL participants in reflections on their leadership journey, through the lens of the BCPVPA Leadership Standards. This first webinar provoked reflection on the relational domain of leadership, with one question being “How have you made yourself visible in the school?” I was invited to join this webinar, and to listen in on the conversations. In response to that question, I heard our members talk about being out there, among their school community and in their spaces. Point taken.
Although tentative and delicate, I’ve noted there is a developing comfort with meeting face-to- face. Twice in September, I was very grateful for invitations to meet with BCPVPA members in person at their schools. Each opportunity was powerful for me, both in impact and insight. In addition, I am beginning to mark dates on the calendar for upcoming Chapter visits, the hopeful default being an in-person meeting. Of course, a virtual option is prepared in the wings should a pivot be desired or required.
After reading that early morning email from a member a bit more closely, I discovered it had been intended for someone else, mistakenly sent my way thanks to predictive text technology. I believe in serendipity, and I welcomed the unexpected opportunity to connect. Know that if, in your busy days, you find time to intentionally send me an email – maybe with a question, a comment, or a concern – you can expect a reply. Don’t be surprised if I offer to bring coffee for a visit. Let me know if you prefer tea.
October 1 – CBC All Points West with host Rohit Joseph, a conversation about BC's updated guidelines for masks in schools.
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.
We’re celebrating National Principals’ Month in October – it’s an opportunity to recognize the amazing achievements of our members, and to acknowledge the important work that you do every day.
BC Principals and Vice-Principals are there for their students, staff, and communities – and for you, their colleagues! We’re asking our members to offer a shout out to a colleague who has helped you, inspired you, or made you laugh. Send your short story, and we’ll share it in eNews this month. Email your stories to email@example.com
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.
On episode 14 of the #Principl(ed) Podcast, host Chris Horton speaks to Principals Tara Zielinski (SD 45) and Tom Aerts (SD 61) in a live interview for EASL 2021. They discuss the importance of creating authentic relationships and positive engagement with staff to build a successful team.
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.
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:
Leading a Culture of Learning at Barriere SecondaryExplore “what is possible when educators step into the arena to challenge the mindset of ‘tradition’ or ‘what has always been done’ and embrace the uncertainty of the unknown”, as some BC educators change their pedagogical approach during the pandemic to the benefit of their students.
Connecting Leaders Conference 2021Learn more about the 2021 Connecting Leaders Conference: Leading for Equity, hosted by the BCPVPA’s Metro Region Chapters. This year we will gather virtually, with keynote speakers: Nouman Ashraf, Anna Maria Tremonti, and Candy Palmater.
Everyone Deserves a SmileThe Everyone Deserves a Smile initiative started in 2003 as a way for students to both empathize with and help people who are homeless. Find out how students have helped more than 2,000 people living on the street or in shelters.
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.
Please take a moment to watch the video the committee produced regarding violence in the workplace.
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. You can easily update your account details under the 'My Profile' tile if you change roles, schools, or personal contacts.
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: Check out the many articles, guides, documents, research, and reports that we have assembled in the Resources tile. One resource you’ll find under Guides is the PPT template that can be modified for your own local PAC presentation: The Role of the Principal in your School.
Visit the Member Portal, and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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!
Chapters: Place Your Order Here
More than 650 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
Coffee Connections, hosted by BCPVPA President Darren Danyluk and senior staff. Find the link to register for all fall sessions in the September 27 Member Update, or under Member News/ Hot Notes in the Member Portal. Register for all sessions, and attend when you can! Register
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 Canada’s diverse communities.
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 Erin Hughes.
Podcast: Code SwitchWho You Calling 'Hispanic'?hosted by Gene DembyHispanic, Latino, LatinX — all terms used to describe multiracial, multinational, pan-ethnic identities, but when did this happen and how? More importantly, who does it include? In this episode, the podcast looks into the term "Hispanic" to learn how and why it continues to unite and bewilder people.
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider addresses the question: Are there sound educational reasons why students should receive different resources and treatment, and achieve different outcomes?
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
After a busy back-to-school period in September, humanworks president Jack MacNeill offers advice on how to transition from work to home. It is important to find mechanisms that help you be present at home once you return from full day at work.
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.
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: Never underestimate the power of little gestures…
Every 2 weeks, your PLD Directors will upload
pertinent articles, blog post, or podcast on BetterEducate and in the new Member
Portal and in the BCPVPA Member Portal under Resources/ Readers’ Corner for your quick learning opportunity.
Read the latest article here: All Canadians should take Sept. 30 to observe National Truth and Reconciliation Day
The PLD team also includes strategies you might use to process the piece with your staff and teammates. Read here
In a notice sent to all Trustees, Superintendents, and Secretary-Treasurers the BCSTA provided an update in regards to the notice of liability letters that were received by many school districts and boards of education.
The BCSTA consulted with Harris & Co. to provide the update. The update concluded that "there is very little risk that school districts would be generally liable for having vaccination clinics in schools or for requiring students to wear masks". This was in response to legal threats that stated "it is unlawful for the district to 'practice medicine' by having vaccine clinics at schools and requiring students to get vaccinated" and "it is unlawful to require students to wear masks in school".
Any law or legal action quoted in the notice of liability letters were deemed either not applicable to the jurisdiction of British Columbia or represent an inaccurate legal summary of the laws cited.
Please read the entire update here.
The Indigenous Youth Mental Health Literacy Curriculum Project is looking for BC Youth Ambassadors and Elder Mentors to participate in the project from October to December. Indigenous youth and elders will connect through sharing circles and collect wellbeing approaches from community members that participate.
Meetings will take place over Zoom, so access to a computer and comfort with technology are needed.
Please see the project posters below for more information:
Youth | Elders
The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Society (VSCF) was established in 1981 as the newspaper's in-house charity, with a mandate to raise funds to help children in need throughout the province. The purpose of the charity is to:
Information | Application
BC Retired Teachers’ Association (BCRTA) is pleased to offer the Golden Star Awards Program again this year. Adjudicated by the Excellence in Public Education Committee, the awards acknowledge outstanding intergenerational programs in BC’s public schools. This year, due to the restrictions of COVID-19 measures, established programs will proceed differently but we are hopeful that some teachers will find safe ways to facilitate communication between students and seniors. One of last year’s winners is developing the use of technology and letter writing, for example, to continue their program. Although in-person activities are not permitted at this time, students and seniors can still learn much from one another. If teachers are able to continue intergenerational programs during these difficult times, we want to acknowledge their efforts.
April 10-12, 2022 in Banff, Alberta
uLead 2022 - the Summit of Educational Leadership! This year’s conference is focused on the theme of Reimagining School Leadership. This three day conversation on leadership will provide every delegate with an opportunity to both see a variety of models of innovative leadership and to also discuss the direction we should be moving in as school leaders and systems in our age. A unique opportunity awaits to join educational leaders from around the world in the beautiful world heritage location of Banff, Alberta at one of the world’s premier conferences for school-based leaders, district-level leaders, and provincial and state education leaders.
Information | Register
BCPVPA members are offered an exclusive rate, use the code "BCPVPA-MEMBER" for a 40% discount
A series from Take Me Outside, and our Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners! Are you having
trouble keeping track of all of the great things going on? Well, to help you
keep track, here's a handy 'top 10' list for the season ahead:
Expanded Health and Safety Measures for K-12 Students:Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced updates to the Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools and the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings to require masks for kindergarten to Grade 3 students. The rollout began on Monday, October 4 when all students in B.C. schools will be required to wear a mask when inside a school building, including while at their desks and on buses. This measure builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to all students in Grades 4 to 12. If any school district or school requires assistance to identify suppliers of face masks or other PPE, please contact email@example.com. Beginning this month, the Provincial Health Office will also be releasing a new monthly report that will inform British Columbians about the virus and how it affects school-aged children. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
Please take time to review this month's BC SOGI Educator Network Newsletter, which includes helpful resources for SOGI-inclusive education and learning opportunities for school leaders.
We are delighted that Michelle LaBounty (SD 45) has been appointed to the British Columbia Teachers’ Council (BCTC) for a term ending April 23, 2024. We wish Michelle all the best in her upcoming work with the Council.
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.
NEWDistrict Principal, Inclusive EducationSD 45 (West Vancouver)Find out moreClosing October 11, 2021
NEWPrincipalSD 85 (Vancouver Island North)Find out moreClosing October 18, 2021
NEWDirector of Human Resources, Employee ServicesSD 39 (Vancouver)Find out moreClosing October 20, 2021 11:59 pm
Secondary PrincipalSD 38 (Richmond)Find out moreClosing October 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Elementary PrincipalSD 38 (Richmond)Find out moreClosing October 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Vice-Principal Elementary/Middle/SecondarySD 35 (Langley)Find out moreClosing October 15, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Vice-PrincipalSD 44 (North Vancouver)Find out moreClosing October 15, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Assistant Superintendent of SchoolsSD 35 (Langley)Find out moreClosing October 8, 2021 at 4:00 pm
District 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