I am a bit of a technology geek, and I love my cell phone. I really love it. My wife will tell you, with frustration in her voice, that I spend far too much time glued to it, and that every buzz, tweet, and ping captures my attention, regardless of what I’m doing. I say she exaggerates.
This little handheld marvel came into my life when a mobile phone was nearly the dimensions of a pound of butter, sporting an antenna you pulled out with authority. It seldom rang. Around the same time, personal data assistants came into being. I was one of the first on my block to own a Palm Pilot. Digital technology was expanding at an amazing pace, and taking over photography at the same time. In those days, as I patrolled the parking lots of our high school – a common activity for high school Vice-Principals – my belt was draped with clips for all my hardware. I hoped for the day when all these devices might merge into one, but that was the stuff of science fiction.
Then, that day arrived: a Telus window display for the three-in-one miracle Palm Treo stopped me in my tracks. There was no going back; three years later, the iPhone accelerated digital communications to a breath-taking pace in multiple lanes at once.
Today, we communicate by text. About ten years ago, I conducted a very informal study of our students’ use of text messaging in our school. I came up with an average of 31 texts per day, per user. This closely aligned with a serious study which found users exchanged an average of 41 texts per day… more than a decade ago. More recent estimates peg the daily average somewhere between 94 and 128 messages per day.
Today, we communicate by email. There is no point in unpacking these numbers; everyone reading this is painfully aware of the overwhelming surge of email traffic since its introduction… particularly one BCPVPA colleague whose inbox screams – in five clear digits – the number of unread messages! We all share the enormous challenge of taming the inbox.
Today, we communicate with multiple social media platforms, and we do this to such a degree that the numbers defy comprehension.
We use our phones to engage and communicate in all three of these lanes, and others: pictures, wav files, slideshows, webinars, podcasts… all comfortably stored in the dedicated zipper pockets of our latest pair of casual pants – no more belt clips!
I wonder what the statistics would say about our use of phones for the purpose behind their invention: one-to-one direct conversation. My daughters are of a generation that avoids using the phone for its original purpose. In fact, if I call my daughters, they reply with a text. And while we’ve ditched the weight of belt clips, we’ve also ditched the leash of land lines. Home land lines, like 8-tracks, are a novelty from the past. In my household, you will not hear a ringing phone but rather an assortment of ring tones. Much less frequently, you will hear the nostalgic refrain, “Hello?” Incoming calls are either from our contacts, or they are unknown and, therefore, suspicious. Who answers calls from unrecognized numbers anymore?
Long before the isolation of this pandemic, we felt great concern for the growing distance of people from one another, despite the marvelous, plentiful, and popular ways for us to connect. As connected as we are, sometimes it feels like we don’t talk to each other, especially at a time when we really need to. It can be easier – more convenient, and less vulnerable – to engage through digital mediums, avoiding the raw conversation that is unscripted and cannot be edited before pressing send. So, when an effort at a personal connection is made in the old-fashioned way, it may be frustrating and disappointing to hear a recording at the end of the line, assuring us that our call is important. Who leaves voice messages anymore?
Well, last week someone left me a voice message… on a land line. It was during the busy days of our Board Meeting and Chapter Council, which connected me to our members but separated me from the leash of the office phone. The message was from was a number I did not recognize. When I played it back late on Monday, the message began, “Darren, hi. It’s Jennifer Whiteside. I just really was calling today to catch up.” Minister Whiteside expressed her wish to check in and hear how our members are doing, particularly those under incredible strain in the areas currently affected by flooding and landslides. The Minister went further to express gratitude for the work of Principals and Vice-Principals, and closed first with an assurance that the Ministry and staff are here for our members, and then with an invitation to the BCPVPA to reach out for any assistance the Ministry can provide.
Not a text. Not an email. Not a tweet. Minister Whiteside picked up the phone, and called when it mattered. I called back. As I anticipated, Minister Whiteside was not available, but it was her own recorded voice at the end of the line. And, to be sure, after the tone, I shared my own gratitude for her thoughtful call, and then I gave her my cell number.
November 24, 2021 | Pique NewsmagazinePotential staffing shortages top of mind when considering vaccine mandate
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.
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
A month ago we heard from a SOGI Sexual Health Support Teacher, Amy Witt, in SD83 who was going to be providing SOGI-inclusive training to administrators in the school district. She said how important visual signs of safety are for staff and students to feel like they are free to be themselves in their school. The message was received – we put together and had BCPVPA pride post-it notes printed and sent out to be distributed at the SOGI training.
Here are some photos of North Okanagan Shuswap BCPVPA members posing with the newly created, SOGI-inclusive BCPVPA Post-It Notes at their SOGI training event.
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.
Member Portal Highlight: Check out the research, reports, and surveys that we have assembled under the Resources tile. Here, you will be able to find reports on Principal's wellness, member surveys, and other research that the BCPVPA has gathered.
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. You can also find her presentation slides used for the November Chapter Council in our November 24, 2021 Member Update.
Chapter Council members can mark their calendars for these meeting dates:
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.
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!
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.
Yesterday, November 25, was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, so this week we chose media that has featured this topic.
Podcast: It's Been a MinuteTwo True Crime Hosts are Highlighting Missing Persons Cases that People Often Ignorehosted by Sam SandersSam Sanders, the host of It's Been a Minute, interviews two hosts of true crime podcasts. What makes these true crime podcasts different than others? One is about an Indigenous woman, Stolen: The Search for Jermain Charlo hosted by Connie Walker, and the other is about a young Black girl, Through the Cracks hosted by Jonquilyn Hill. Many true crime podcasts and news coverage about violence against women focus on crimes against white women. Sam speaks to Connie and Jonquilyn about the differences in police response and media coverage Black and Indigenous women receive in comparison to white women.
Article: The StarHundreds of women have been killed during the pandemic. How B.C.’s inquiry could help tackle gender-based violence in CanadaSince the beginning of the pandemic, organizations that support survivors of violence against women have seen an increase in violence and requests for help by 20 - 30%. Quarantine has allowed abusers to live in close quarters with survivors and block partners who may want to escape an abusive relationship. Organizations like Battered Women's Support Services provide targeted solution to stop hate.
The BC Office of the Human Rights Commissioner have launched a yearlong inquiry to examine all forms of hate in the province, citizens of BC are free to make submissions to the BCOHRC. If you want to make a submission, click here.
Read this month’s article: Transactional or Transformational: What’s the Difference?
This series written by Read Jorgensen, SD61 Principal, appears in the BCPVPA eNews on the last Friday of each month.
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider describes what he does to try to avoid putting carts before horses.
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: Grief is Love with No Place to Go
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: How Might We Equitably Access The Things That Matter?
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.
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.
Supporting Children and Youth During Natural Disaster Events:The past several days have been extremely challenging for school districts and communities that are dealing with the aftermath of the floods that have severely impacted parts of our province. Supporting Children and Youth During Natural Disaster Events is a new resource with suggestions and links to other resources to consider in responding to the mental health and wellbeing needs of those affected by these floods and other severe weather-related events.
Ensuring Safe Access to Schools:The B.C. government has introduced new legislation that will help maintain access to critical services that British Columbians rely on and that protect those who provide those services, as the Province moves to prevent disruptive behaviour from affecting schools and health-care facilities. More information is available in this news release.
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.
NEWVice-Principalship OpportunitiesSD 40 (New Westminster)Find out moreClosing January 10, 2022
NEWPrincipalship OpportunitiesSD 40 (New Westminster)Find out moreClosing January 10, 2022
Elementary 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