September 7, 2018 Message to Members

Back to School

I am hopeful that this message finds you still excited and energized after the first week back to school. My experience has been that social media can present new challenges and opportunities to those of us in educational leadership roles, but this week it truly shines a positive light on the excitement of back to school! My Twitter feed is full of images and messages sharing the smiling faces of staffs, students, parents and our colleagues as they work together to ensure #backtoschoolBC or #back2schoolBC is a super positive experience for new and returning students and their families. The shiny gym floors, well-groomed grounds and brightly-coloured backpacks all play a part in the sense of optimism that prevails this week.

Although the majority of us are focused on our schools and back to school tasks, my thoughts are also with our colleagues that are engaged in the challenges related to the forest fires in our province, especially for the evacuated areas such as Vanderhoof and the potential for evacuations and challenges to transportation that continue in the Kamloops-Okanagan, Cariboo, Southeast-Kootenays and the Prince George Fire Centres among others. I have a family connection to these challenging circumstances: my son is currently on the front lines fighting the fires and is being re-positioned from the Quesnel area to Kimberley with his crew. Despite the enjoyment related to some September sunshine, we are all hoping for some sustained rain.

As we return to familiar routines and responsibilities requiring our time, I encourage you to be strategic with your time and your own personal health and well-being. The experts and gurus of health and wellness consistently remind us that we must take care of ourselves if we are to have the sustained energy to support our students, staffs and our own families. I have found that ‘tweaking the wheel’ is a more efficient practice than ‘re-inventing the wheel’. I encourage you to reach out or network with colleagues who are happy to share expertise and experience and when you have time, please share your own techniques!

Speaking of tweaking, we are well into the process of re-structuring our suite of communication tools and look forward to your feedback as we start to roll out the new look. I know in the context of your daily roles ‘busy’ typically does not quite suffice as the description for your days, but I am hopeful that you will be able to periodically let us know how we are doing through brief surveys — did I say ‘brief’? I meant really really brief!

In closing, please take some time for you and family and friends this weekend. I know that the successes of this week happened because you were in your schools well in advance, preparing for success rather than hoping for it. Remember: you are the BCPVPA and…

Take Care, David