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David DeRosa


May 1, 2020 Message to Members

(S.E.L)F CARE

In the past 18-20 months, I have written regularly about the importance of social emotional learning (SEL), self-care and maintaining an ongoing awareness of our needs as leaders in our complex and nuanced roles. In our current reality where we are in a time of crisis and find ourselves confronting the unknown every day, our capacity to sustain ourselves and our school communities is more challenging than ever. Our ability to sustain kindness, empathy and compassion for others is connected to our own self-awareness.

 … a dysregulated leader cannot effectively
co-regulate and lead their community.
So, what can we do to first attend to ourselves?
~Miriam Miller

I recently reached out to my friend and SEL mentor, Miriam Miller, and asked her to recommend some simple self-care reminders and strategies for incredibly busy people who are leading change in a time of crisis. During our discussion, she acknowledged that there are personal actions we can take to ‘shore up’ our reserves and – most importantly – to be pro-active, even in our busy leadership roles. Miriam has shared with us three reminders for (S.E.L)F CARE in her article at this link. It is a quick and impactful read.

I hope that you can take a few minutes to catch your breath, grab a cup of coffee or tea and invest some time in your own (S.E.L)F CARE.

Take Care,
David

David DeRosa


April 24, 2020 Message to Members

What You Need

Earlier this week, BCPVPA members received a link to a member survey, designed to provide a snapshot of your experiences and needs during COVID-19. Our purpose is to determine what our members need right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that we can find the best ways to support you. The survey is open until 3pm today, and you’ll find the link in an April 20 email from Kevin Reimer. I hope that you can take a few moments to complete the survey today and help us to develop programming, find the resources you need and answer your questions.

We’ve had comments from some members that the questions asked don’t necessarily meet their specific conditions of work, and we truly appreciate that feedback and your patience. It is a good reminder for us of the complexity of our membership, and the varying needs that are represented in a great variety of working circumstances.

The data from this particular survey will provide additional direction for the Association as we look at the coming weeks and months, and we will be continuing to reach out to you for guidance. We have been grateful for the requests, suggestions and affirmations that we have received from members, as we have endeavoured to determine your changing needs since the rhythm of the world shifted so dramatically in March. While there have been many specific requests, one strong theme that we have heard has been connection and the opportunity to share this common experience with colleagues, albeit at a distance. In particular, some members who are the sole administrator in their schools and who may not have colleagues that are even geographically close have felt the weight of this new professional solitude. We hope that the initiative we shared earlier this week – Coffee Connections – will help to open some of those doors and reinforce both that our Association is a very strong network, and that we can all be very good listeners.

There is much more in the works, opportunities to both connect and to learn as we all continue along this path. I encourage you to reach out to me or to any of the BCPVPA staff, and to share your valuable questions, concerns and ideas. While we often feel that we do not have a well-drawn map for this journey, with the strength of our membership we have a sky full of stars to guide us.

#InItTogether

Take Care,

David

David DeRosa


April 17, 2020 Message to Members

Thank You

We all say it, every day. To a colleague, for their support, to a student, for their energy, to someone in the community for lending a hand. But the words have taken on an even deeper meaning, and I feel we’ve never meant it as much and as clearly as we mean it now. So, I’d like to say thank you first to the Essential Service Workers (ESW) and the frontline health care teams for the work that they are doing every day. We can all agree, we would be lost without them.

I’d like to provide a special acknowledgement of the employees and business owners who are serving the public in these very challenging times. Like me, perhaps you’ve recognized past and present students there checking us through the till, their gloved hands wiping down the counters and carts, placing our groceries in bags with a masked smile and a “how is your day?” greeting.

I’d like to recognize the important role of Principals and Vice-Principals in preparing, coordinating and ensuring communications about the newly-developed daycare facilities that have bloomed in many of your schools, and which will provide critical support to ESW families.

And for all of our members who are there in schools, thank you for your diligence and your focus, for ensuring the safety of support staff and teachers who are interacting daily with parents and children. A huge shout-out to our teachers and CUPE colleagues for their flexibility and calm in supporting the system in these rapidly changing times. The hashtag #InItTogether is living and breathing in the hearts of BC’s educators as they support students and their families.

I’m thinking of you all each evening at 7:00pm as I gather with my own family and happily dent our pots and pans as we create a level of noise that can be heard right across the province.

#InItTogether

Take Care,
David

David DeRosa


April 9, 2020 Message to Members

What Do You Need? 

To those of you who find yourselves losing track of the days, you are not alone. We are used to the hallway hustle and bustle, the quick and easy passing conversations with colleagues, students and families, the daily schedule packed from a.m. to p.m. We are geared for fullness, and often nothing less. So: how are you doing in this new instructional environment? And, beyond that, what do you need?

These are the questions that are top of mind for our BCPVPA staff right now, when we consider the needs of our members. While we are not able to brainstorm together in our office, we are sharing our thoughts and ideas with each other via our ‘Brady Bunch’ squares on Zoom. On Tuesday this week, we also put the question to Chapter Presidents at the first of four weekly Town Hall sessions with the leaders and executive of your local associations. From that great conversation, we heard that a priority focus could be given to ways that staff members can be supported, and strategies for the support of vulnerable learners.

We understand that our members may be challenged right now for capacity, and we do not want to introduce new programming that you may not be able to access. But we do hope to create opportunities for you to engage with other members, or to access supportive content on your schedule. One idea is to present a content series similar to the webinar offered by Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, with a post-recording made available for our members. Another is to offer a weekly Zoom Coffee Chat, a drop-in with a loose agenda, primarily offering the opportunity to connect in large or small groups. We recognize too that you may be hoping for more skill-based content that directly addresses the new challenges that you are experiencing.

We are pleased and gratified to share that Charles Ungerleider – Professor Emeritus of Education at UBC, and Managing Partner at Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group – has generously agreed to assist us with a member survey that is targeted to your current leadership context and eliciting how the BCPVPA can best support you. You will soon receive this very brief survey, and I encourage you to share your thoughts, and to let us know what your experience has been.

In any other year, I would be wishing you a happy Easter break with family and friends, end-to-end with walks, special meals and activities. Some of you will make that happen with virtual dining and social distance out in nature. Others may want to recapture some of the downtime you’d hoped for on Spring Break. Whatever your focus this weekend, I hope that you can find what you need.

#InItTogether

Take Care,
David

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