November 16, 2018 Message to Members
In the transition of the seasons and the cycle of the school year, Remembrance Day 2018 has brought to our communities a deep sense of reflection. Across BC, within the smallest elementary schools, in our distributed and alternative programs and in our largest secondary schools, thoughtful ceremonies and activities brought together students, staff and special guests to pause and acknowledge the sacrifices of Canadian veterans.
As a principal, it was my role to support a team of students and staff as we conceived the plan for the school Remembrance Day assembly each year. If there was a time when I felt most proud of our students, it would be during these annual assemblies. Like many of you, I would invite our community to join us and I would hear how impressed they were with our students and their engagement as these young people led the events with quiet respect through songs, poetry and memorial projects. Although we are all invited to ‘remember’, we recognize that it is challenging for our youngsters whose direct connections may be limited. I would ask our students to pause and to really listen to the stories of sacrifice, many of which involved young people not much older than them. Most importantly, I would ask them to reflect on what they are thankful for in their lives, especially the little things that we might take for granted. I’ve been grateful to see the dawning understanding when a student retells a story that has resonated, because it gives me hope.
The poppy is a powerful and enduring symbol of sacrifice and remembrance. When I look out at a school assembly and see that field of poppies resting on shirts and lapels, I believe that the lessons of Remembrance Day are among the most meaningful that we can impart to our students. Thank you all for the impactful moments that you shared with your own students in the past week.