September 13, 2019 Message to Members

Reading and Leading

I’ve participated in a number of book clubs over the years, some for fiction but mostly for books that focus on themes of education and leadership. But here’s the thing: I found it challenging to pair my tremendous book club enthusiasm with successful completion of that session’s selection. Tackling a book for pleasure – even one that I was very keen to read – could be a struggle when there were so many other tasks in the school vying for my attention. I gravitated to reading online articles for my professional learning as that felt achievable and still gave me the personal development that I was craving. But without a book club, I didn’t have a cohort of readers around me who were eager to discuss and debate the content and concepts.

It amuses me now that it took time for me to accept that books have chapters, and that reading a chapter is a lot like reading an online article. So, a book club that is accepting of personal pace – and that encourages members to consume the book in the way that suits them – is my kind of book club. And I’m happy to say that’s the book club that we’re launching next week.

The BCPVPA Book Club starts on Wednesday September 18, the first of four monthly sessions this Fall that will examine Michael Fullan’s Nuance, co-published by the BCPVPA and the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC) through Corwin Press. Each session will focus on a chapter, and while we will offer support from our committee, our greatest desire is for the book club members to lead their own discussions. Through the Zoom platform, we will break out into rooms for ease of conversation and then will gather back together to conclude. We’ll be encouraging continued dialogue through the weeks between the book club sessions, and you can read more about that later in this issue of eNews.

We see the BCPVPA Book Club as a special opportunity for our members to meet online. You may come into the room with friends, but you’ll definitely have a chance to chat with someone you’ve never met. And while we can’t promise that Michael Fullan himself will drop into one of our sessions, he is interested in what we’re doing and has invited our comments and questions as we get into the book.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to read the book, don’t let that hold you back: the book club’s discussion of the concept of nuance and why some leaders succeed where others fail will be rich and relatable, and everyone will be able to contribute. No need to register or sign up: we’ll just see you there!

Take Care,

David