February 28, 2020 Message to Members

Pink Shirt Day

One of the greatest markers in this week was Pink Shirt Day, a movement that has lifted hearts and caught imaginations with head-to-toe pink and stirring acts of kindness. Our colleagues across the province and our partners in education were front and centre on social media: we saw team photos and some top-notch dance choreography, along with a striking level of thoughtful engagement from our students. The connection that an event such as this creates – in BC, in Canada and worldwide – is remarkable, and most of the conversations around Pink Shirt Day come with the proviso that standing up against bullying is not a one-day event: kindness is an everyday act.

It’s a good time to refresh ourselves and our teams on the many resources that are available through erase = expect respect & a safe education. The site has tools and resources on topics that include online safety, mental health and wellbeing, bullying, substance use, school safety, SOGI and more. What I really like about the site is that the information is clear and easy to find – especially helpful for busy school leaders – and each section leads to additional links that can provide you with more in-depth resources.

As I moved through my week and Pink Shirt Day, I’ve thought more and more about the words of Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe (RHD), our keynote speaker at 2020 BCPVPA Issues Forum, who presented last week on Resiliency and Workplace Wellness. RHD talked about the five core traits of resilience – belonging, perspective, acceptance, hope and humour – what gets in the way, the difference between ‘stress’ and ‘distress’, and what life/work balance really looks like. She talked about finding your WHY, and never letting go of it. She talked about being a person who does the hard things’. It made me think of the students who may feel isolated, scared or uncertain at school, and how we as leaders need to model and teach resilience as an exceptional tool for living.

Coincidentally, this week’s eNews column The Learning Brain is all about ‘The Building Blocks of Resilience’, with a great reminder of the benefits of resilience and tips to improve our own resilience in our daily lives. Be sure to download the PDF to get the full picture, and maybe even share with us on Twitter what YOU do to energize your own resilience in your role as a District, school or alternate setting Vice-Principal or Principal. I hope that you all have a great weekend.

Take Care,

David