Although I was born in New Westminster, I lived for a short time in Edmonton when I was quite young. One summer, I remember a road trip through the Rockies to Vancouver. The Yellowhead Highway had yet to open, so we travelled through the Crowsnest Pass and along Highway 3 to Vancouver. A stop along this journey was a viewpoint on the edge of the Hope Slide. The slide was considered a recent event at the time, and my parents made this stop to take in the magnitude of nature’s shrug, and to remember the lives lost there. And while I was very young, I can remember the vision of all those rocks stretching away as far as I could see… all those very large rocks, and this road that cut through them.
Coincidentally, when my eldest was close to the same age, we spent a week camping in the East Kootenays and Southern Alberta. One of our stops was at the site of the Frank Slide. In the shadow of Turtle Mountain, the debris field stretches across a river and well up the opposite side of the valley. Estimates and theories propose the debris avalanche may have travelled at 112 kilometres per hour. Our family walked with a guide on the path through the debris field that was littered with boulders larger than most homes. We also spent time in the interpretive centre on site where we watched a film that dramatized that tragic morning. It was part of this narrative which would stick with my daughter, the way the mammoth rocks stuck with me.
Driving away, headed for our next destination, I listened to my daughter’s voice from the seat directly behind me as she recited, over and over, the many details of Frank’s history. For most of the 170 kilometres between stops, one detail particularly gripped her imagination: the discovery of a child who had survived the devastation. As the story goes, a baby was found in a pile of hay, having been flung from her home by the force of the disaster. This miraculous note is what my daughter took away from the site of Canada’s most tragic landslide, while my mind was drawn to the ribbon of asphalt which wound through and atop the three-square kilometres of debris.
I believe we rebuild the course of such devastating events out of necessity, in an attempt to reconnect the points of the compass and preserve a passage, a route. But I also believe we rebuild through a sense of resilience and a persistence, a determination to keep open our pathways to each other, and perhaps to defy the sentinels of rock and debris by the roadside.
These markers on our highways serve as memorials to those who were suddenly and utterly at nature’s mercy, and remind travellers of nature’s awesome power and our own fragility. These markers imbue each visitor with visions of occurrences nearly impossible to imagine.
I learned as a child what it is to lose all my belongings and my security, and saw first-hand how this devastation can affect a parent. Even with that insight and those embedded memories, it is hard to imagine watching my home floating downstream in a swollen river, especially when such images are played on heavy rotation in the media. I struggle to imagine the weight of displacement for a community, especially when both fire and water have threatened within the same calendar, separated only by the pages of September and October. I dig deep to imagine the selflessness of Principals, Vice-Principals, and community leaders as they support their people, concern for themselves tucked away.
The atmospheric rivers experienced this season have been unrelenting; this week’s onslaught has broken at least 20 precipitation records. With this severe weather came severe outcomes for so many in our province. The communities under an evacuation alert or an evacuation order are home to more than a million residents. We have seen the tragic loss of at least one life. We have seen the impact on stranded highway travellers, households without power, and innumerable livestock. There is much from which we will have to recover.
The debris of this week is overwhelming and heartbreaking. As the waters eventually recede, the extent of damage and loss comes into focus as does the relative connection of… well… everything. Over the next two days, some of our members will come together in-person for the first time in twenty months, at a time when all roads to and from our largest city are impassable. One might be tempted to see irony in this, as we navigate as many months of a pandemic, but that would be glib and insensitive to the enormity of what has happened to the people of our province. On this unpredictable road of life, alongside the tragedy, are we able to spy a miraculous note which has survived at its edge, as my daughter did?
A Principal who works in a community where schools have become shelters for the stranded and the displaced provided insight to what she has experienced: “Staff have really pulled together… great stories about community, and people helping people… inspiring how people pull together during difficult times.” Yes, it is. This weekend, Chapter Presidents and Representatives have time together, and we will honour that gift of time. If we can safely traverse the distance, and be together, we will be grateful for that opportunity. And when we meet, we will acknowledge the suffering, and be mindful of the continued challenge facing so many BC communities. We will return to our homes, offices, and schools with fuller hearts, to support our students, staff, and families, whatever the next turn in the road may bring.
For all of our members, if there is anything that the BCPVPA can do to support you in this difficult time, please reach out to me. Keep well and safe.
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 are delighted to announce the return of IDEAS (formerly Issues Forum):
Friday February 11, 20229:00am – 3:30pmRiver Rock Casino Resort, Richmond BC
A ‘team’ needs all of its members: our feature keynote will be Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team goalie Sami Jo Small, who relates her own story of facing adversity and becoming a powerful force of positivity for her team. Additional speakers and sessions will be announced soon, and registration will open in January. Save the date!
BCPVPA’s 2021 Connecting Leaders Conference: Leading for Equity marked the beginning of our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion focus for professional learning. We are pleased to announce that we are further extending these learning opportunities in the new: 2021-2022 BCPVPA Leading for Equity Series.
In this series we will be hearing from Nouman Ashraf, Carolyn Roberts, Beth Applewhite, and Bryan Gidinski. For more information and registration details please see the link below.
Register for Webinars
Register for Session
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
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 15 of the Principl(ed) Podcast, Vice-Principals Tu Loan Trieu (SD 40) and Stefan Stipp (SD 36) discuss their approaches to instructional leadership with our host, Chris Horton.
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.
Do you know someone looking for a new role with scope? We are seeking two new teammates who are eager to learn and grow alongside a friendly, committed, and engaged group of colleagues in our Vancouver office. Find out more:
Member Support Services Assistant
Professional Learning & Development Assistant
The new issue has been printed and mailing will begin soon! We expect
that the issue will reach our members and friends within the next one to two weeks – stay tuned!
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.
Coming soon: members who are part of BCPVPA’s Standing Committees will be able to access their meeting agendas, resources, and materials directly through the Member Portal!
Visit the Member Portal, and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
For an overview of some of the findings of the survey, look for Rochelle Morandini’s article 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
In this webinar session hosted by BCPVPA, we invite Lee Smith to share his doctoral research on Moral Distress with our members. He will define Moral Distress, differentiate it from other ethical dilemmas, and speak about the possible implications of moral distress that educators and leaders face. This webinar will offer information and context to PVPs who may feel they are facing greater public scrutiny and stress regarding the administration of COVID-19 guidelines in schools while provincial mandates are constantly evolving.
Watch for Lee’s article about Moral Distress in the November 2021 issue of Principl(ed) magazine.
RegisterDec 7, 2021 03:30 pm
Lee Smith has worked as a teacher and then administrator, mostly internationally, since 1996. In August of 2019 he moved back to Canada to pursue full-time PhD studies in Educational Policy Studies - Ed Admin and Leadership at the University of Alberta. Lee spent nine years working in BC Offshore Schools near Shanghai, including five years as a Principal in two different schools.
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.
Save the dates:
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
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.
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.
Resources: Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of RemembranceThis week we are sharing a few resources with our members that we have gathered during Transgender Awareness Week. Please take a few minutes to read and explore these videos, resources, and organizations.
Qmunity"QMUNITY is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver, BC that works to improve queer, trans, and Two-Spirit lives. We provide a safer space for LGBTQ2SAI+ people and their allies to fully self-express while feeling welcome and included. Our building serves as a catalyst for community initiatives and collective strength."
SOGI UBC: Gender & Sexual Diversity Inclusion for Educators
SOGI 123Check out the many curriculum resources that SOGI 123 has to offer BC educators and, if you haven't already, read the article ARC Foundation wrote about SOGI 123 for our publication Leading: Back to School.
Out in Schools"Out In Schools is BC’s award-winning 2SLGBTQIA+ education program. We use film and facilitated group discussion to engage youth in building safer, more inclusive communities."
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider discusses implicit bias in education. Read his blog here:
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: Winter Safety
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, and find Discussion Tips and Prompt Questions: Trust
This past week was Transgender Awareness Week, and tomorrow November 20th is Trans Day of Remembrance. Take a few minutes to read the SOGI 123 Newsletter, which has resources and suggestions for educators on how you can honour trans lives that have been lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
BCSTA’s Indigenous Education Committee has launched the Trustee Knowledge Series in response to the B.C. Tripartite Education Agreement.
The objective is to help trustees, educators, leaders and the general public learn more about Indigenous issues in education.
The BCPVPA is pleased to announce that we will again be partnering with the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation for the Jean Up! campaign in May 2022. The 2021 campaign raised more than $308,000 to fund innovative research, and tailor care to the specialized needs of kids in BC. Our friends at BCCHF have told us that a large part of the success of the campaign can be attributed to the support of our members! As we look ahead to 2022, if there are any materials or assets that would help you to fundraise in your schools, please contact email@example.com, and we can communicate those wishes to BCCHF.
The Ministry provides over 13,000 scholarships each year to graduating students. In this webinar, participants will learn about the different awards and how they work, from eligibility criteria and key dates to how to avoid errors that can cause students to miss out; participants can also take part in a question-and-answer session. This is a must-see webinar for scholarship administrators, career educators, school counsellors, staff entering data into student information systems, and others supporting student transitions to post-secondary study.
The webinar will include an introduction by Rob Hicks. Rob Hicks is the Ministry of Education’s Director of Student Transitions, overseeing the Provincial Scholarship Program in addition to dual credit policy and post-secondary partner relations. Followed by a presentation by Shona Perron, Program and Policy Lead, and Lescia Raagner, Provincial Scholarships Administrator.
RegisterNovember 24, 2021 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Topics: Student Inquiry, Passions, Interests & Questions
The inquiry teacher is regularly inquiring into his or her students as learners and asking, ‘What are they revealing to me?’, ‘How might I respond?’ and ‘What next?’ (The Power of Inquiry p. 135).
Last year NOIIE were able to bring Kath Murdoch to you via Zoom for an introductory session on creating inquiry-oriented classrooms. This year, NOIIE are pleased to be offering a three part series, in which she will be introducing us to many of the ideas included in her forthcoming book due to come out before the end of 2021. The focus of this new book is on personal inquiry: how to work with children’s personal passions, interests and questions. While Kath’s focus is primarily on K-8, her ideas cross all grades and ages.
In this 3 part professional learning series, Kath Murdoch will work with participants to explore ways in which NOIIE can offer young learners the opportunity to inquire into the questions, interests, issues and passions that are important to them. In conjunction with shared inquiry journey, opportunities to explore personal passions are highly engaging and allow learners to build their capacity as independent, thoughtful, reflective contributors to their communities. Over the three sessions, Kath will share strategies and structures for supporting and guiding personal inquiries, various contexts in which personal inquiry can be developed and the role of the educator in the process, Drawing on her extensive experience working with teachers and children around the world, Kath will share many practical examples. Importantly, participants will be invited to reflect on the way they can include opportunities for personal inquiry in their own lives.
Minister's Youth Dialogue Series: Minister Whiteside will be hosting a Youth Dialogue Series to hear directly from Grade 7-10 students on their lived experiences of racism and discrimination and/or commitment to social justice. Please share this information with students who may like to participate. Expressions of interest are due to Equitas (facilitator) by December 6.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
Only a few more programs left until the end of the year from the series by Take Me Outside and Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners!
Join Laura Sacks and Shea Wyatt for an interactive workshop to explore strategies to address climate change using grounded conversations and the cutting-edge climate simulator En-ROADS. The resulting experience is hopeful, scientifically-grounded, action-oriented, and eye-opening.
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 membership with 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.
NEWElementary Vice-PrincipalSD 45 (West Vancouver)Find out moreClosing November 22, 2021
NEWElementary Vice-PrincipalSD 39 (Vancouver)Find out moreClosing December 01, 2021
Direction Générale Adjointe (Associate Superintendent)SD 93 Conseil Scolaire FrancophoneFind out moreClosing December 10, 2021
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