Aug 28, 2020 Message to Members
Connected, Between the Spaces
The place I call home is about as far due east as one can travel: we’re less than an hour from the Alberta border. The drive takes a few hours – well, more than a few – and that offers a lot of time to think. As I drove back and forth this summer, I thought a great deal about the space that separates us in BC: there is so much of it! However, we often feel isolated and set apart even when our colleagues are just down the block in a neighbouring school. A vital mission for the President of our Association is to form connections both with and between members. It is important for the President to understand the circumstances of BC’s Principals and Vice-Principals, and to communicate this reality to provincial leaders, our sector partners and the public.
In normal times, the President of our Association spent time with members in their communities, visiting Principals and Vice-Principals where they lead to gather their experiences first-hand. Our President learned of their joys, triumphs, and hurdles by walking with members in their schools. But these are not normal times. As I traveled through the communities that dot our highways, I wondered about my term and the challenge before me to establish those connections and to be ‘present’ for our members even when I may not be able to breathe their air.
Travel throughout BC can be safely achieved, but should it be? This is a question I wish to explore in the weeks ahead – on the other side of September – when Chapters may be more able to entertain such a conversation.
In normal times, the BCPVPA looks for opportunities to connect our members to each other. Chapter Councils and our annual Connecting Leaders Conference will remain as significant vehicles for connection and networking; however, they will be transformed to put health and safety at the forefront. In the coming months, members can look for a greater frequency of more informal channels for connection, such as the ‘Town Halls’ and ‘Coffee Connections’ launched in the Spring of this year as a response to the needs of our members.
‘In normal times…’ It is a phrase now tinged with melancholy and perhaps a sense of longing. I believe I will drop this phrase for the future. We live in the times in which we live, and ‘the now’ is our normal. I appreciate just how precious time together can be, and I embrace the innovations that help keep us connected in the times in between. I look forward to connecting with you in any way that I can!