My knee has been hurting me for some time now. I tell people that it has been bothering me since June, but if I were completely honest, the bothersome pain goes back to the spring of 2020. I first noticed it after a short run in April. While I didn’t feel any pain during the run, my knee was tender and swollen for a couple days. I let it calm down before I went out for another run and followed this pattern of run, limp, recover, run for a full year. Until I stopped running altogether this summer. In predictable fashion, I have yet to make an appointment to talk with a doctor.
I know, I know. This is a problem. And I’m in good company with my problem. Speaking stereotypically, about half the population shares my reluctance to see a doctor.
If we’re going to unpack stereotypes, we might as well go back to some of my earliest impressions of what it was to be ‘a man’. In my case, that modelling came from my father. My dad is first generation Canadian, with family roots in Eastern Europe. He grew up in a traditional Ukrainian household. He and his brothers were all welders by trade, loved repairing and restoring cars, and watched a lot of hockey. And, to my young self, he was the hairiest man I knew. It seemed he could grow a beard overnight, thick and full and black like my crayons.
When he didn’t have a beard, he shaved each day – in the evening, when he got home from work – using a chunky brush to foam a cake of soap in a mug. He’d jut out his chin and lather his thick beard with this rich foam that looked like whipped cream. Then he would use his single blade safety razor to cleanly remove the soap and hair with confident, skillful strokes. It was like colouring in reverse to my young imagination, the blade erasing his beard shadow beneath the soap. I wanted to shave, too, but dad was always careful to put his blades out of reach. Our upstairs neighbours, however, were not this careful.
It was Klondike Days, and I wasn’t much more than four years old when we dropped in to see these neighbours before heading to the fairgrounds. While my parents visited, I went to the bathroom on my own; I was a big boy and didn’t need help anymore. This new bathroom had so many different things to look at and to touch. I remember standing on a low stool, and being able to see my own face in the bottom portion of the mirror. In this position, I could see the sink and the whole countertop. And, on this counter, our neighbour kept a safety razor just like my dad’s.
I’m pretty sure the screams turned my mom’s blood cold.
The nick was small, and I cannot remember feeling any pain; however, the sight of blood – even a few drops – was enough to send my four-year-old self into a crying fit. A bandage and some ‘kiss it better’ dried my tears. Yet this episode did nothing to dampen my wish to grow up and shave just like my dad. Just a little more than ten years later, I was at the mirror again with a razor in my hand. This time, I didn’t need a stool and I held a Bic twin blade at the ready. To say I needed a shave would be generous. There were collections of facial hair along my jawbone, a few on my chin, and the darker, thicker patch on my upper lip. I did look untidy, so I decided the time had come. Instead of a brush and cake of soap, I used shaving foam from a can and applied it liberally to my face, taking care to avoid my flourishing moustache. It made me look at least 16!
And so began a morning routine I have followed almost every day since. And apparently this daily ritual may date back to a time when sharp stones or shells served as technology. Alexander the Great is said to have preferred the clean-shaven look over the traditional Greek beard, which was deemed “dangerous in combat” as it could be grabbed by an opponent. There is powerful meaning associated with hair and grooming for many cultures. One’s hair may signify health, vitality, spirituality, pride, esteem, power, humility… the significance of hair may be deeply personal and bound to cultural identity.
It was for no reason as meaningful as these that I grew long hair at one point in my life. Suffice it to say It was the 90s. I have also sported the occasional beard, and there was that unfortunate moustache of 1988. The moustache itself was not unfortunate; rather, the moustache on me was unfortunate, and the photographic reminders confirm this every time I look at them. November’s arrival, however, always tempts me to revisit our photo album and reconsider this look.
Born from what may be an amalgamation of inspiration in Adelaide and Melbourne, Australia, the concept of growing a moustache for charity has taken up residence in popular culture. While its origins may not be profound nor ancient, the motivation which launched Movember has noble purpose. Since its recognition with charitable status, the Movember Foundation has raised $174 million globally, and has put a face – a mustachioed face – on issues of men’s health that include prostate and testicular cancer, and mental wellness.
Forgive me for returning to a stereotype here at the end as I suggest that men may need a good, strong push to prioritize their own mental and physical health and wellness. And wrapping this push up in a friendly competition to grow the best ‘stache appears to be the sugared pill we need.
So: I’m five days into Movember, and almost past the itchy stages. My strategy is to grow a full beard that gives me a larger canvas out of which I can carve the best moustache. And maybe this year, with a bit more grey creeping in, the look will suit me better and make me more distinguished. I am also a week into enjoying an extra ten minutes each morning, precious time recovered to do something else… like, perhaps, making an appointment with my doctor.
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.
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
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.
The new issue will be coming to you soon. As the result of a
world-wide paper shortage due to pandemic manufacturing and supply chain
disruptions, the printing and distribution of the issue has been delayed. We
expect that the issue will reach our members and friends by mail mid-November
to early December, and we’ll update you on our progress!
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.
This week’s highlight: If you are wondering who to contact from the Board of Directors or BCPVPA staff, you can find that information in the Member Portal. Once you log in, click on the ‘Contact’ tile and easily browse the Board of Directors contacts and staff contacts by department.
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!
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.
Chapters: Place Your Order Here
We are delighted to announce the return of IDEAS (formerly Issues Forum):
Friday February 11, 20229am – 3pmRiver 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
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
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.
In this week’s blog, Charles Ungerleider writes that, in seeking an education that is a child’s best interest it is easy for parents or grandparents to lose sight of why public schools are public.
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.
Read Jack's Blog Post
This month, humanworks president Jack MacNeill, discusses techniques to maintain a balanced outlook and mindset. He suggests cultivating gratitude, being mindful, making acts of kindness, and
Jack MacNeill is a registered clinical counselor and organizational counselor who has worked in the education sector, specifically with teachers and school leaders, for more than 25 years. He is the founder and president of humanworks consulting group inc. Jack’s column appears in eNews the first Friday of each month.
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: Release for Better Sleep
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 here: Hy-flex Classroom Transformation Offers New Engagement
The PLD team also includes strategies you might use to process the piece with your staff and teammates. Read here
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
Desjardins is back this year with its tech donation program in collaboration with the EdCan Network for K-12 public schools across Canada in response to the immediate student needs created by the ongoing pandemic.
Desjardins is donating again this year a total of $100,000 ($5,000 to 20 schools across Canada) for students in need of computers and other tech-based tools.
The deadline to submit your online application form is November 19, 2021 at 8 pm ET
Information | Application
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 we were able to bring Kath Murdoch to you via Zoom for an introductory session on creating inquiry-oriented classrooms. This year, we 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, we know that 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 we 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.
Learning Burst sessions are designed as a chance to have a quick burst of new learning provided by two NOIIE schools – complete with book prizes. These events are offered free of charge and open to anyone interested in learning more about the impact of inquiry on the ground in BC schools.
We are welcoming Barb Hamblett (Principal, Valleyview Secondary School, SD 73) and Holly Zurak (Principal, Ecole Nesika Elementary School, SD 27) to our Learning Burst stage on November 18th, from 4:00-4:30pm PST. We hope to see you there!
We are promoting Health Talks Student Contest, a BC student opportunity for you to pass on to teachers and students at your school. This event is part of the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council's annual Quality Forum. Students are asked to apply as part of a contest to select eight speakers that will be featured at the Quality Forum event: Health Talks.
Health Talks will take place on March 1 - the first evening of Quality Forum 2022 - and will feature eight speakers using the PechaKucha format. This diverse group of speakers representing a range of professions and perspectives will take the stage to tell us about their hopes in creative, memorable ways while displaying 20 photos for 20 seconds each. Enter the contest by November 15 at 12:00 pm!
Who can enter? All BC students. Medical school, post-secondary, high school, elementary school – every student is welcome!
The past year has been tough. We've all had to put our travel plans on hold as we wait for borders to open and vaccines to arrive. Now as the world slowly begins to re-open, Johnson Insurance have additional benefits for MEDOC® Travel Insurance Customers.
Contact Johnson for a quote and you'll be entered to win 1 of 5 travel gift certificates valued at $5,000 each. This contest runs until December 31st, please see the link below for details.
Current MEDOC® customers are automatically entered.
Open School BC K-12 Professional Learning Resources:As a follow-up to the Teaching Tenaciously webinar series, Open School BC has created a set of K-12 resources for educators on topics such as trauma-sensitive classroom strategies, student-centred assessment and building compassionate communities. Resources include videos with reflection prompts and activities. Educators can also access a free online course (registration required) with practical strategies for teaching in a blended learning classroom.
Opportunity to Pilot Test Language Assessment Tool:
The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), under the leadership of the Registrars for Teacher Certification Canada (RTCC), is recruiting English-speaking, French-speaking, and bilingual teachers and teacher candidates to participate in the pilot testing of an online pan-Canadian language assessment tool for the teaching profession. Test takers will receive a monetary incentive; bilingual test takers can take the test in both languages and will be eligible to receive the incentive twice. Please share this opportunity with your teaching staff.
Read the Deputy Minister's Bulletins
A series from Take Me Outside, and our Canadian Outdoor Learning Partners! Are you having
trouble keeping track of all of the great things going on? Well, to help you
keep track, here's a handy 'top 10' list for the season ahead:
Outdoor learning offers a host of social, mental, and academic outcomes for your students that they can benefit from year-round. Outdoor Educator Dave Quinn will share some ideas, tips, and tools to extend successful outdoor learning into the winter months.
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 membershipwith 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 PrincipalSD 85 (Vancouver Island North)Find out moreClosing November 15, 2021
NEWStelly's Secondary School Principal (Grades 9-12)SD 63 (SaanichFind out moreClosing November 15, 2021
District Principal - Indigenous Education and Equity in EducationSD 44 (North Vancouver)Find out moreClosing November 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