I make my bed in the morning. I’m sure I read somewhere that this is a good strategy to start the day well. It’s how I end my routine that begins my day – every day, for years now, even on weekends, holidays, and breaks, and even if it wasn’t me who slept in my bed. During this winter break, both of our daughters were home for a few weeks. They are in their early twenties and nearing the end of their post-secondary studies. While my wife joined me on a short road trip to visit BCPVPA members in their communities before the break, our youngest daughter tucked into our bed rather than sharing one with her sister. My youngest is about to turn twenty-three, and she apparently doesn’t subscribe to the same morning routine I’ve developed. So, after arriving home and before I unpacked, I set to making our bed. It was then that I spied something peeking out from under a pillow.
At first glance, I thought it may be a pair of flannel pyjamas, folded and tucked beneath the pillow until bedtime. I smiled at the habits we carry with us from childhood. Lifting the pillow, I discovered I was wrong about the pyjamas, but right about the habits. Under the pillow on my wife’s side of the bed was a well-worn piece of pink flannel, about the size of a hand-held flag, folded in half once, and then once again. I recognized it immediately, my smile growing melancholy with the images rising from twenty-three years which have passed so quickly. The folded piece of pink flannel is all that remains of the original comforter.
If we reach into our own histories, many of us can identify something that helped us feel secure. Parting with these comforts – or worse, losing them – can be hard to accept and work through. It’s been more than fifty years, and I still remember my search for Jojo. I had been living in Edmonton with my parents, until they didn’t live with each other any longer. There can be many things gained and lost in the tallies of a home divided, but in this move I lost my first comforter: a stuffed monkey.
Parents go to remarkable ends to retrieve, repair, or replace their child’s favoured comforter. With Jojo in mind, I made sure we had a ‘back-up’ of our first daughter’s Piglet, just in case. She also had a blanket she would not sleep without – and, yes: we backed that up, too. The favourite of our youngest was a soft, knitted, baby blanket with a satin border. The border proved more resilient to the active life of a toddler than was the wool, which began to disintegrate long before kindergarten. To hold together the fraying blanket, my wife stitched to it a pink flannel backing. Over time, the soft wool disappeared entirely; eventually, even the satin border gave up, leaving only the flannel fabric. That the original shower gift had completely worn away didn’t matter to our daughter, and apparently still doesn’t. She finds security in the meaning behind the flannel, not necessarily the actual blanket. Although its practical purpose is modest, that little piece of fabric continues to bring her comfort.
Nearly two years ago, seeking safety and security, our societies embraced several comforters. Our hands have never been more clean, and a little piece of fabric became a prominent signal of duty, compassion, compliance… and division. And the breadth and depth of this division has become disturbing in recent days.
My daughters will be nurses, and one of them is working as a student nurse in the Fraser Health Authority. On the eve of her last shift, she discovered that memos had been distributed to health care workers in Metro Vancouver; these memos encouraged staff not to wear scrubs while travelling to and from work. For their own safety, it was strongly advised that health care workers pass among the public unrecognized, wearing nothing that would reveal who they are in our communities. My first instinct was visceral: angry, and protective, wanting to simply keep her locked up at home. Reason won out, and I settled for walking her to the bus stop and picking her up from the train fourteen hours later. The second wave of reaction was slow to simmer; it had to pass through confusion and dissonance to become formed and recognized as sorrow.
I struggle: how did our society get from sounding praise with pots and pans to sounding antagonism while draped in the flag? How have things devolved to this place where semis and cyclists clash at intersections, and parents wear handcuffs in a schoolyard? I know this division is not new; it has percolated throughout the pandemic. I know this division is about more than pieces of fabric; it is about opposing ideals of comfort and security that pit perceptions of freedom against protection. And I know that Principals and Vice-Principals in BC have exhausted themselves to uphold their duty to ensure safe, caring, and orderly schools in the face of this rift. But in recent days, I know that duty grows heavier.
While neighbouring jurisdictions are making declarations to “move on from a widespread pandemic response”, Premier Horgan declared that BC would take “advice and counsel from public health officials”, and that an arbitrary decision of an elected official is “not the best way forward.” Without a crystal ball nor the gift of foresight, I do not know what news Dr. Bonnie Henry will share on February 16th, the date of expiration for some health orders. While they are unlikely to bridge the divide, I am hopeful for some hint of the imminent spring.
Is it ironic that February 15th is Flag Day in Canada? It is a day to reflect upon unity and shared values, and it falls at a time of perhaps our greatest division in this pandemic. Is it serendipitous for me that February 15th is also my daughter’s birthday? It is a day for me to reflect on all she has become and will be, and it falls at a time when I need to be reminded of small comforts… such as those found in a little piece of fabric.
Darren Danyluk would be delighted to connect with your Chapter through a virtual meeting or town hall this Winter 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 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.
Are you looking for a unique learning and leading opportunity? Look no further!
Two BCPVPA leadership programs in spring and early summer 2022 offer the opportunity to share your experience and hone your facilitations skills.
BCPVPA’s Explorations for Aspiring School Leaders programCurrent Vice-Principals (only) are invited to apply to facilitate small groups of teachers who are interested in exploring the nature of the Vice-Principal/Principal role in schools.
This program takes place over 4 Saturday mornings March to May 2022.
The time commitment for Facilitators includes:
BCPVPA’s Foundations for New School Leaders programCurrent Vice-Principals and Principals are invited to apply to facilitate small groups of new and nearly new Vice-Principals and Principals in the early stages of their school-based leadership careers.
This program takes place over 5 sessions in the first week of July 2022.
Time commitment for Facilitators includes:
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION APRIL 1, 2022
Let them know registration for Explorations is open now!
BC teachers can find out more about the role of the Vice-Principal through our Explorations for Aspiring School Leaders program and learn about school leadership through the eyes of current Vice-Principals and Principals. This four-part program will offer insight into the BCPVPA Leadership Standards, and the work of Vice-Principals.
2022 Explorations Course Overview
With Jennifer Harfield’s upcoming retirement from the BCPVPA, we are delighted to introduce you to Heather Lail, she will be joining us as the Accounts Receivable/Membership Accounting Clerk.
Heather is very excited to be joining the BCPVPA team and has a passion for working with numbers. She attended BCIT to gain an educational background in accounting and now has over 20 years of professional experience. Having worked for various companies, she has created a diverse repertoire in the field of accounting. Her previous roles have included Chargeback Analyst, Accounts Payable, and SAP Trainer and she has conducted Accounts Receivable procedures as part of her responsibilities. She has gained valuable knowledge and experience in these roles and hopes to transfer that knowledge to her new role.
One of Heather’s biggest accomplishments was being nominated as an SAP Trainer in her prior role. As SAP Trainer, she instructed staff in North America on the use of a new accounting platform. She feels that it was a great opportunity to connect with internal staff and work together to solve problems, so the implementation of the new accounting platform went smoothly.
In her free time Heather enjoys baking and doing yoga. She is constantly in pursuit of ways to improve herself and learn new things. Heather started her new role this week with the BCPVPA team, and is determined to assist BCPVPA members in every way possible.
Read this week’s featured articles from the November 2021 issue of Principl(ed):
Lone LeadersThe Global Network of Professional Learning Leaders is a learning community of partnered organizations in BC, Ontario, and Australia. Remote and rural education leaders share common concerns and goals, and the GNPLL’s Lone Leaders series helps them to connect, share stories, and learn from specialists.
Here is an example of the impact community partners can make in a school and/or district. Each week we will be shining a spotlight on a past recipient of the BCPVPA Partnership Award.
This week: Story Studio Writing Society (Nominated by SD 61, Victoria)
Story Studio Writing Society empowers youth to be storytellers by providing them with the tools to tell stories with creativity and authenticity. Each year, they deliver workshops to help students write over 150 youth-authored books.
Who has gone the extra mile to support your school community? BCPVPA Chapters are invited to nominate individuals, organizations, and businesses who contribute their time, expertise, and passion to make a difference in the lives of BC students. Community partners bring special opportunities and services to schools – now is the time to celebrate all that they do.
This year, it is even easier to nominate a community partner. You can fill in the online form or follow the instructions on our Member Portal to email your nomination. If you have any questions, email email@example.com.
We can’t wait: Episode 17 will be dropping on March 1 – who will be Chris’ feature guest?
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.
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: If you would like to connect with members of the Board of Directors, you can find their contact information in the Member Portal. Once you log in, click on the ‘Contact’ tile and easily browse the Board of Directors contacts and reach out to them with any questions you may have.
Visit the Member Portal, and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter Council members can mark their calendars for these meeting dates:
We continue to work with the data that we obtained from the Thriving in Education survey. Read Part 1 of an overview in the November 2021 issue of Principl(ed), and watch for Part 2 in the March 2022 Principl(ed).
We look forward to seeing you at Coffee Connections, hosted by BCPVPA President Darren Danyluk and senior staff. Find the link to register for all winter sessions under Member News > Hot Notes in the Member Portal. Register for all sessions, and attend when you can!
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.
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.
Upcoming Session: High-impact school leadership in rural and remote schoolswith Associate Professor Scott Eacott, University of NSW
Friday February 25, 2022 - CanadaSaturday February 26, 2022 - Australia
Following Session: Topic to be determined
Thursday April 28, 2022 - CanadaFriday April 29, 2022 - Australia
Lone Leaders Promo
Registration - $50 CA | Information
In this series we have heard from Nouman Ashraf, and will be hearing from Carolyn Roberts, Beth Applewhite, and Bryan Gidinski. For more information and registration details please see the link below.
Our next Leading for Equity Webinar will be hosted by Carolyn Roberts on February 28th. We are looking forward to having her facilitate and interactive webinar covering decolonization and Indigenous education.
Register for Webinars
We are sharing book titles, articles, videos and podcasts to help support our members' continuing 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.
This Black History Month we are excited to share stories, events, articles, films and more. We hope
Radio | CBC Listen: The Early Edition with Stephen QuinnWhere are Canadian schools at when it comes to tackling anti-Black racism?A discussion with Dr. June Francis about how the education system in BC – K-12 and Secondary – still have more work to do in making our schools equitable and inclusive. Everyone must continue to take steps to remove colonial ideologies and anti-Black racism from society and relearn Canada's true history.
Article | Vancouver SunUBC marks Black History Month with success of new scholarship program for Black studentsA new program has been launched for Black-Canadian students to provide scholarships for more than 100 Black students over the next four years.
Activity | African Descent Society of BC (ADSBC)Black Strathcona Walking TourWhether you are able to go on a walking tour with the African Descent Society, follow the same path on Google Street View, or just want to read about the history of Hogan's Alley the ADSBC People & Places of Interest Guide is a very enjoyable way to learn a little bit more about Black History in BC.
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider wonders whether litigation will change social media. .
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 that you can explore. ReFresh appears as a Member Update every Wednesday. All ReFresh posts are archived here.
Read the latest ReFresh: Preventing Cancer – Dry February
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 to Manage your Time & Discussion Guide
February 23, 2022
Join us in raising awareness and funds for anti-bullying initiatives in BC! Last year CKNW Kids' Fund Pink Shirt Day raised close to $230,000, funding crisis support, bullying prevention, education programs, and fostering community and healthy self-expression for BC's youth. This year’s t-shirt design speaks to our community's diversity and the need for acceptance and inclusion so we can “Lift Each Other Up”. For information on how schools can get involved, learn more about Pink Shirt Day, and to see this year’s design, visit Pink Shirt Day.
Like other organizations across Canada, the latest COVID-19 wave is challenging Canadian Blood Services like never before. New and returning donors are critical to meeting Canada’s needs now and in the future. Same-day and open appointments are available every day at many donor centres and community events across the country. Visit blood.ca.
Brightspace is a dynamic K-12 learning innovation platform for schools that care deeply about ALL students reaching their potential.
Selected by the Ministry of Education as the Provincial Learning Management System, Brightspace offers a rich set of features for both your online and blended needs, including digital portfolios, alignment to B.C.’s Core and Curricular Competencies and so much more!
City University has started to offer a stand alone Level B Certification Program that is recognized by Pearson Canada.
The program is 6 sessions in length, presented on Saturdays, asynchronous online, and requires 2 supervised practicums. We will be offering the Level B Certification Program again in mid- April.
For more information or to register for the program please contact Dr. Truman Spring at springtruman@CityU.edu.
The BC CAISE is a professional association of dedicated school and district administrators passionately committed to celebrating and supporting student diversity in every classroom and school community. They invite you to save the date for their Spring Conference, which will include keynotes from Corey Hirsch and Marilyn Poitra focused on resilience, compassion, and well-being.
May 12 & 13Vancouver Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
Foundry BC Virtual offers free drop-in and scheduled counselling & peer support, primary care, employment support and groups for young people aged 12-24 and their caregivers across BC. Download the Foundry BC app on the Apple App store, Google Play store or through their online web portal. Have questions about their Virtual Services? Sign up for our next Foundry BC Virtual Q & A session February 15th at 12:00 PM.
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.
BC Child Care Transition
The government of BC has announced that the accountability for child care will transition to the Ministry of Education as of April 2022. Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside and Minister of State for Child Care Katrina Chen have released a joint letter. Read
This will transition the Minister of State for Child Care, public service staff, the budget and legislative authority for child care to the Ministry of Education, which is a key commitment and a key operational step in the ChildCare BC plan to build a system that integrates child care into the broader learning environment.
This transition does not introduce any changes to the role of the school boards, and engagement opportunities with the sector will continue to help inform how child care can integrate into the broader learning environment.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
Join the Platform!
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
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
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 Principal and Vice-PrincipalSD 68 (Nanaimo-Ladysmith)Find out moreClosing February 18, 2022
NEWSuperintendent of Schools Chief Executive Officer SD 70 (Pacific Rim)Find out moreClosing February 28, 2022
Secondary PrincipalSD 49 (Central Coast)Find out moreOpen until filled
Principal and Vice-PrincipalSD 33 (Chilliwack)Find out moreClosing February 11, 2022
Directrice/Directeur d'écoleSD 93 (Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique)Find out moreClosing February 11, 2022
Secondary PrincipalSD 82 (Kitimat)Find out moreClosing February 11, 2022
Director of Curriculum and InstructionSD 87 (Stikine)Find out moreClosing February 22, 2022
Associate SuperintendentSD 61 (Greater Victoria)Find out moreClosing February 14, 2022
Vice-Principal Vacancies Elementary, Middle, and SecondarySD 23 (Central Okanagan)Find out moreClosing February 14, 2022
Principal Vacancies Elementary, Middle, and SecondarySD 23 (Central Okanagan)Find out moreClosing February 14, 2022
Superintendent of School (CEO)SD 81 (Fort Nelson)Find out moreOpen until filled
District Principal of Indigenous EducationSD 28 (Quesnel)Find out moreOpen until filled