It was one of those times when a coincidence feels like something more and is hard to dismiss.
I was familiar with only one school in the Surrey District, the one in which my teaching career began. I completed my practicum at one of Surrey’s junior secondary schools, and those weeks still rank among the most challenging times of my work life. My time as president during the pandemic has afforded me few occasions for school visits, even within the lower mainland. This has made my limited visits with a Principal or Vice-Principal in their school that much more meaningful… at least, for me. And I am grateful that I was able to visit with a member in a Surrey school before my time has run out.
The visit took place on a Wednesday afternoon, and it was a novelty to meet and speak in person. As we wrapped up our time and said our goodbyes in the main office, I shared with the Principal, and the office staff seated around, that my time as a teacher began in Surrey. I went on to say that I understood William Beagle Junior was gone. Hearing this, one of the clerical staff slowly spun her chair around to face us and said, “This is William Beagle Junior Secondary School.”
A few beats of time passed in tableau. I was trying to reconcile this information with the name mounted on the outside wall, facing the street, the name I typed into Google Maps. My confusion and puzzlement obvious, my host walked me to the foyer of the main entrance and pointed to the plaques commemorating both the former school and its new name. I was struck by a symmetry: this was quite possibly the last and only Surrey school I would visit during my term, and it happened to be the beginning point of my professional journey.
I felt mild recognition when looking down the hallway from the office to what would have been my classroom; but, for the most part, time had rendered the school and surrounding neighbourhood unfamiliar. I, too, was quite different from who I had been the last time I stood in this foyer. On the drive home, I reflected upon the expected growth and changes captured in this loop of time. And now, months later, my reflections return to this point of origin and the hallways of Beagle.
At the beginning, I learned many things at Beagle, and one discovery from the months of my practicum came to mind on March 4th. It was during my time at Beagle, with my grade ten classes, that I first encountered one of the inevitable cycles of change that come to education.
As it was spring in a junior high, the grade ten classes were preparing for the transition to high school. And, with that came course selection and plans for their future. In both high school and post-secondary, with self-centred preoccupation, I had never given much thought to the larger wheels which turn to influence and govern policy. Although a student of Education, my time and my energy were largely confined to the classroom and the desks in front of me. So, it came as a surprise to me that this cohort – this Class of ’89 – would have a BC Transcript different from my own. It had never occurred to me that something fundamental, like graduation requirements, should be dynamic.
In typical fashion, the hallway bulletin boards featured displays of information for course selection. Prominent in the displays was the bold reminder for grade ten students about to enter their grad program: requirements have changed; plan accordingly. Reading the details posted there, I felt an ember of resentment forming. As a non-athlete who excelled at board games, was picked last for sports teams, and found a locker in the smoking lounge convenient, it seemed very unfair that future grads would escape the trials of a mandatory senior physical education course.
In tracing my loop as an educator from its beginning to its current place, I would encounter such a reset of qualifications several more times.
Early in my years as a teacher, I accepted the additional role of high school counsellor. For several years, I guided students and families on their paths for a Dogwood. Along the way, initiatives were introduced with the intent to best prepare our youth for an emerging world.
I stepped into the role of Vice-Principal the same time a new Graduation Program was implemented in BC, nine years after the last was introduced. Well before and long after my transition from counsellor to Vice-Principal, I worked to communicate the need for these changes and the sought-after outcomes.
After another nine years, the next iteration of BC’s Graduation Program aligned well with my transition from Vice-Principal to Principal. And, once more, I invested much time and energy in communicating the evolution, its rationale, and its rewards.
Fourteen years later, now a long-time Principal, I worked closely alongside our educators and school community to implement yet one more iteration of the BC Graduation Program, one most ambitious. This new program went well beyond adding or removing course or credit requirements; the very construction of a ‘course’ was challenged to evolve.
And, seven days ago, Minister Whiteside announced for BC a New Indigenous-Focused Graduation Requirement. Given my vintage, this may be the last occasion in my loop for such change, and it may require less time and energy to implement. To clarify, each decade of the last forty years in BC re-envisioned the “educated citizen”; and, with each revision, Principals and Vice-Principals invested as much time to champion the ‘why’ as they did the ‘how’. The mechanics of how this new graduation requirement is implemented will vary. Some districts will make a seamless transition while others will hit some bumps. However, the call for this action – the ‘why’ - is not unclear; it has been heard and is widely supported. It is time.
In the ebb and flow of time, light and dark strike a balance when the equinox arrives. With it comes spring renewal, a re-set … and a break. For this time ahead, after many months well-spent in supporting your students and staffs, I wish for you this same balance, equal parts rest, recreation, and laughter.
Keep well and safe.
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.
Nominations for candidates for BCPVPA Directors to serve July 1 2022 – June 30, 2024 will be open from April 1 – 15, 2022. Candidates must be current BCPVPA members, nominated by two current BCPVPA members, and the nomination form will be available in the Member Portal and at bcpvpa.org/about-bcpvpa/about/elections on April 1. We encourage all members to consider getting involved, and helping to set the direction for your Association.
The election for FIVE Directors to join the BCPVPA Board of Directors will take place May 17-19.
Registration is now open for BCPVPA Foundations: The Next Generation of Short Course I. In conjunction with the UBC Faculty of Education, we are excited to offer Foundations in person on the UBC campus in July 2022, respecting any health and safety protocols that may be in place at that time. The full-day sessions on July 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 will be framed around the BCPVPA Leadership Standards for Principals and Vice-Principals in BC, with the overarching theme of ‘Equity’.
Our weekly ReFresh and eNews will be on a brief hiatus the weeks of March 14 and March 21 – ReFresh returns March 30, and eNews returns April 1.
We wish you all a restful and well-deserved Spring Break.
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 spring sessions under Member News > Hot Notes in the Member Portal. Register for all sessions, and attend when you can!
One more month to nominate a person (or group) that 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.
Nominations close: April 1, 2022
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: We are pleased to announce the launch of a Mentorship page on our Member Portal. By clicking on the 'Mentorship' tile on the portal homepage, you will be able to access program information, as well as Mentor and Mentee application forms which will be available near the end of the school year.
Coming Soon: Keep an eye out for the PLD tile that will be launching very soon!
Visit the Member Portal, and let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode 17: Jackie Borosa
In this episode, host Chris Horton talks to Vice-Principal from School District 92 (Nisga’a) and BCPVPA Board Director Jacqueline Borosa about her pathway to school leadership and how she finds joy, connection, and fulfillment as an educational leader. The pathway to school leadership is not always linear as we learn from Jackie’s fascinating journey.
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.
The March 2022 issue of Principl(ed) magazine is on its way to you! We hope that you enjoy the stories and features that we have put together for the spring edition.
Read this week’s featured articles from the November 2021 issue of Principl(ed):
Last WordBCPVPA Executive Director Kevin Reimer discusses one of the most important resources to school leaders – time. After reading the book How School Principals Use Their Time, Kevin shares a new concept for understanding how Principals & Vice-Principals organize their responsibilities between managerial expectations and leadership duties.
Book Reviews1st Review: Dr. Diane Charles, K-7 Principal SD68, shares with us her take-aways from the book Inquiry Mindset Assessment Edition. Giving agency to students in deciding assessment strategies helps develop greater self-efficacy, and there are many opportunities for educators to incorporate these methods that are supported by the BC curriculum.
2nd Review: Our own Director of Member Support Services, Carmen Eberle, shares what she learned from the book The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person, and how she found it helpful in her own anti-racism learning.
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
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).
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 final virtual (Zoom) seminar for the 2021/22 school year will be:
Register here! Please register early as sessions have limited attendance.
Chapter Council members can mark their calendars for the final meeting date for the 2021-22 school year:
In this series we have heard from Nouman Ashraf and Carolyn Roberts. We are looking forward to hearing from Beth Applewhite, and Bryan Gidinski during their upcoming webinars. For more information and registration details please see the link below.
Our next Leading for Equity Webinar will be hosted by Bryan Gidinski on April 11th. We are looking forward to having him facilitate the The Performance of Pink webinar. Ahead of Bryan's webinar, read his blogpost The Performance of Pink. It lays the foundations for discussion topics that he will address.
Register for Webinars
The next webinar is: The Performance of PinkHosted by: Bryan Gidinski
This session will provide some insights and perspectives on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), and how leaders can influence the creation and maintenance of inclusive communities.
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, please contact Erin Hughes.
Podcast | CBC ListenThe Secret Life of Canada: The Punjabi Markethosted by Falen Johnson and Leah Simone BowenIn a collaborative episode between The Secret Life of Canada and The Nameless Collective Podcast, listeners learn about the history of South Asian communities in BC, and how the oldest Little India market was formed in South Vancouver.
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider says that the introduction of a requirement that the education program of students in BC include an Indigenously focused course is a welcome first step in what should be a revision of the BC social studies curriculum.
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: Weight Bearing Exercise – is this part of your fitness routine?
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: Time Management - It's Hard to Focus & Discussion Guide
Many of our members would have received this information from their Safe School Coordinators, and we have put these resources from Safer Schools Together in a PDF for your reference.
Resources Regarding the Crisis in Ukraine
Indigenous-Focused Grad Requirement:As announced in the March 4, 2022 news release, the Ministry will be implementing an Indigenous-focused graduation requirement as part of the Province’s commitment to truth and reconciliation. Meetings with K–12 partners will be scheduled in March and April, to gather feedback on a proposed model for the requirement, and a public engagement process will launch on March 7. A summary document, Q&A, and detailed overview have been created to assist schools/districts in responding to inquiries. French translations of these materials will be available next week. Questions from district staff can be directed to GradRequirements@gov.bc.ca.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
by Steven Ray Sider & Kimberly Anne Maich
This book supports the professional learning of school principals, and those who aspire to be such, in development of their skills and knowledge around fostering inclusive schools for students with special education needs.
This May, encourage your students to come together and wear jeans to show what they stand for: helping sick and injured kids to get out of their hospital gowns, and back into their own jeans. The BCPVPA is very proud to partner again with BCCHF for this campaign.
Get your school involvedThis month-long initiative has gone digital, it’s not only easy to participate, you can also engage your school community in a fun and safe way.
The Indigenous Youth Mental Health Literacy Curriculum Project is a program connecting Indigenous youth and elders through Sharing Circles to collect well-being approaches from community members that participate.
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.
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.
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
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.
NEWVice-Principal BC Provincial School for the Deaf K-12SD 41 (Burnaby)Find out moreClosing April 8, 2022
NEWSecondary PrincipalSD 79 (Cowichan Valley)Find out moreClosing March 25, 2022
NEWSecondary PrincipalSD 6 (Rocky Mountain)Find out moreClosing March 31, 2022
NEWDirector of Instruction - Inclusive EducationSD 70 (Alberni)Find out moreClosing April 1, 2022
NEWDistrict Principal – Indigenous EducationSD 70 (Alberni)Find out moreClosing April 1, 2022
NEWPrincipal - International ProgramSD 67 (Okanagan Skaha)Find out moreClosing April 4, 2022
Assistant SuperintendentSD 38 (Richmond)Find out moreClosing March 25, 2022
Director of Instruction - Indigenous EducationSD 82 (Coast Mountains)Find out moreClosing March 31, 2022
Vice-Principal of Suwilaawks Community SchoolSD 82 (Coast Mountains)Find out moreClosing March 31, 2022
Elementary Vice Principal PoolSD 62 (Sooke)Find out moreClosing April 4, 2022
Principal of Hazelton Secondary SchoolSD 82 (Coast Mountains)Find out moreOpen until filled
Secondary PrincipalSD 49 (Central Coast)Find out moreOpen until filled