For Family Day 2022, our two daughters joined my wife and I on a crisp walk in Lynn Canyon. This was my third visit to this forest walk with dizzying clifftop views and a suspended bridge. My last visit was thirty years ago when I hiked the same pathways on a warm summer afternoon with a beautiful woman who would become my future. The occasion before that was my first visit to the trail, and it was in the early autumn of 1981. It was also the first time I would cross the Second Narrows Bridge from behind the wheel of a car. Crossing again this past Sunday, I couldn’t help but grip tightly the steering wheel in response to memories which welled up of that first drive across.
To make clear why an uneventful drive across one of Vancouver’s many bridges sticks with me, I will have to back up further. I’ll have to back up to the point in my story when I became an adult of sixteen advanced years. In stark contrast to my daughters’ story, I was beyond eager to get both my driver’s license and my first car. My own children might have been more keen to drive had they not enjoyed mom and dad as full-time chauffeurs. As a teen, my household did not have a car much less a chauffeur. Aside from the fact that my mother was a single parent with higher priorities for her hard-earned salaries, she had never learned to drive a car. The most experience she had was driving our car home one night after a family gathering on an acreage outside of Edmonton. Most of the drive home that night was down gravel roads without traffic to dodge or weave, and my father navigated from the passenger seat. Given our circumstances, no one in my life could teach me to drive; I had to turn to a professional.
The part-time job I had helped me in two ways: it allowed me to buy all my records with a staff discount, and it allowed me to buy my driving lessons at full price. Although she rathered I not drive at all, my mother agreed I could get my license if I paid for my own lessons. I had saved more than she expected and was soon ready to take my road test, after only five formal lessons. As a bonus, the driving school allowed me to road test with the same car I’d driven in my lessons. The test was scheduled on quiet streets one Saturday morning. In less than twelve minutes, I was completing paperwork. With a little more than five hours of experience, driving around Port Coquitlam’s main drag and side streets, I was fully licensed to drive. Now I just had to save enough for a car!
It took a little time before I could afford a car of my own, but the time allowed me to log a few more hours on the road with a friend’s van. My first car was also my introduction to a clutch and a gear stick. I loved it; my mom called it a death trap. She worried that with the engine in the back, I would have no protection in a collision. Her worry and the manual transmission did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm to drive anywhere and everywhere. So, when friends proposed a drive out to Lynn Canyon, I was all in.
Navigating the drive from Port Moody to Cassiar and Hastings (long before the tunnel!) was easy enough. I had travelled the meandering curves of the Barnet Highway hundreds of times; I knew all her turns, as a passenger anyway. Even the heavy traffic heading for the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge didn’t cause my palms to sweat. Although I was turning a corner into the heaviest flow of moving vehicles I had ever encountered as a driver, I was feeling confident and controlled. I even changed lanes. Heck, I’d been watching people drive in traffic for years! It wasn’t until the final approach to the bridge, with traffic merging from the right, that my boldness faltered.
Do these lanes feel narrow to you? That truck is pretty close behind, don’t you think? Wow, it’s a long way down! Here comes the exit. I’m in the wrong lane. So many cars! I could not shift gears because I did not dare take my hands off the steering wheel. I was gripping the wheel of that VW like my life depended on it – which, in truth, it did. The bridge is only a kilometer in length, but that day it seemed a longer journey across its span.
Driving across that bridge would have been stressful for a new driver under any circumstances. The fact that I was authorized to drive a car with only basic and minimal preparation most definitely compounded the stress, the fear, and the chance I might not make the off-ramp. I really do not remember details from the crossing, like passengers, breathing, or the song playing on the 8-track. I just went with the traffic… sort of numb. Not unlike my first three years as a Vice-Principal.
While I had been watching school leaders at work for years and was armed with a literature degree and a few years of teaching, I was about as prepared to be a Vice-Principal as I was to be a new driver thirteen years earlier. Times have changed… for drivers, anyway. Some might argue that a graduated licensing program is onerous, but it gives me peace of mind as a parent and as a traveler. Perhaps with the introduction of the Management Foundation Standards pilot project, the future of leadership development in BC will evolve, too.
One year ago this month, the BCPVPA joined a partner table led by Linda Beddouche, a Director with the Ministry of Education Policy Branch, and the BCSSA President. An objective of this table is to ensure “leaders feel prepared and supported when they step into the new role.” And while the Principals and Vice-Principals of BC have “advanced leadership training and a wealth of practical experience,” we remain a jurisdiction without a “systematic strategy to identify, develop and train education leaders.” BCPVPA members attending Chapter Council last week heard Linda speak to this initiative and the hope our Association would continue to partner in its development, and furthermore, consider a larger role in its implementation.
Firefighters train firefighters. The BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association is an association whose primary work is the support and development of school leaders. When it comes to the implementation of a formalized leadership development strategy, I think it is safe to say we are interested in the driver’s seat.
Darren Danyluk would be delighted to connect with your Chapter through a virtual meeting or town hall or, under revised health protocols and schedules permitting, Darren could 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.
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
with Carolyn Roberts
In this highly interactive seminar, we will unpack how the western colonial education system has shaped and formed our understanding of the colonization of the Canada, including the impacts it has had on Indigenous people.
Thank you for joining us in raising awareness and funds for anti-bullying initiatives in BC! We loved seeing your Pink Shirt Day photos and posts on social media; seeing so many schools participating was a joy to witness.
Are you looking for a unique learning and leading opportunity? Look no further!
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
Read this week’s featured articles from the November 2021 issue of Principl(ed):
BC Teachers' CouncilThe Director of Instruction for SD71, Jay Dixon, reflects on his appointment to the BC Teacher’s Council and how the impact of the BCTC is felt beyond just setting the professional standards for BC educators.
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: What is on the front burner at BCPVPA? Learn about all the most current events and announcements in the 'Hot Notes' section on the Member Portal. To find this section: login, click the 'Member News' tile, and then find the 'Hot Notes' button.
Visit the Member Portal, and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter Council members can mark their calendars for the final meeting date for the 2021-22 school year:
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 the final winter session under Member News > Hot Notes in the Member Portal. Hope to see you there!
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.
Session Topic: to be determined
Thursday April 28, 2022 - CanadaFriday April 29, 2022 - Australia
Lone Leaders Promo
Registration - $50 CA | Information
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.
Article | The TyeeOne Girl’s Experience of Being #BlackInSchoolwritten by Katie HyslopThis article explores the experiences of Habiba Cooper Diallo in elementary and high school as a Black Canadian student. Habiba reopens the diary she kept as a teenager to share the good and bad moments of her time in school; her joyful memories of time spent with her best friend and the devastating times she experienced racism in the classroom.
Read this month’s article: Burnout – A Closer Look
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 writes about the responsibility that public schooling in Canada may have for the ignorance that the Ottawa truckers displayed about how government works.
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: Refresh through ReFresh
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 Guide Your School Through Change & Discussion Guide
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.
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.
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.
Early Childhood Education Dual Credit Program announced:Early Childhood Educators, including investing $575,000 in the Early Childhood Education Dual Credit Program. More details will be announced about specific regional programs later in the Spring. More information is available in this news release.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
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!
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
BCSSA is happy to announce that the BCSSA 2022 Spring Forum, Leading with a Light Heart, will be held at the Westin Bayshore Vancouver on Friday, April 8th, starting with registration and breakfast at 8am and closing after lunch at 2pm. Considering the challenges experienced over the past 2 years, we look forward to this in-person time to reconnect and the opportunity to focus on wellness and resilience. Keynote Monique Gray Smith, playwright and humourist Drew Hayden Taylor, and performers from The Improv Centre will remind us of the importance of self-reflection, taking care of our spirit, and the power of laughter.
Friday, April 8th, from 8am – 2pmWestin Bayshore VancouverFee: $350 + GST
Register for the BCSSA Spring ForumBook your hotel room
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.
NEWDirector of Instruction - Indigenous EducationSD 82 (Coast Mountains)Find out moreClosing March 31, 2022
NEWPrincipalSD 48 (Sea-to-Sky)Find out moreClosing February 27, 2022
NEWDirector of Instruction – Diversity & InclusionSD 63 (Saanich)Find out moreClosing February 28, 2022
Secondary PrincipalSD 64 (Gulf Islands -Salt Spring)Find out moreClosing February 28, 2022
Superintendent of Schools Chief Executive OfficerSD 70 (Pacific Rim)Find out moreClosing February 28, 2022
Vice-Principal of Suwilaawks Community SchoolSD 82 (Coast Mountains)Find out moreClosing March 31, 2022
Principal of Hazelton Secondary SchoolSD 82 (Coast Mountains)Find out moreOpen until filled
Secondary PrincipalSD 49 (Central Coast)Find out moreOpen until filled
Superintendent of School (CEO)SD 81 (Fort Nelson)Find out moreOpen until filled