October 26, 2018 Message to Members

Contemplating “Connecting Leaders”

I’m still thinking about the Connecting Leaders conference: there’s something very special about being in a room with members who have gathered from around the province to put aside the needs of the week for a short time. We had the opportunity to truly connect.

The three keynote speakers couldn’t have been more different: a researcher from Australia, an artist & storyteller from northern BC and a lawyer turned comedian & broadcaster from New Brunswick. Simon Breakspear engaged us with strong messaging about leadership and process. My greatest takeaways were about small steps that may not look like much, but are meaningful over time; about simplifying, reducing complexity and doing less better; and about having an awareness of the impact of our actions.

Roy Henry Vickers is a master storyteller: a leader, healer and teacher. He wove his stories of his life in a beautiful and peaceful way and left us with this: “when you speak from the head, others will hear you, but when you speak from your heart, others will connect with you.”

Candy Palmater’s honest and truthful messages were something we all needed to hear and believe. As principals and vice-principals, “You are enough, the role you need to fill is not perfection: it’s persistence, that’s what we need from you” and that we all need to accept that we’re going to fail, and that’s when we’ll get better.

The time we spent with these inspirational speakers were markers along the journey of the conference. We learned and shared with our colleagues in breakout sessions and table talk, and we spoke with members who were already formulating plans for integrating the new learning at their schools on Monday.

One experience that I haven’t yet mentioned will stay with me for a long time. Elder Lolly Good opened our conference and welcomed us along with Lawrence Mitchell. Lolly invited conference participants to choose an instrument from her travel bag, and to join her at the front of the room to greet the day in song. The sight and sound of so many of our colleagues coming together in open joy – with smiles that wouldn’t fade – was an incomparable start to a day of learning.

I hope that you were all able to experience something new and motivating as part of the Pro-D Day last week and if you did, please share your learning.

Take care,

David