December 6, 2019 Message to Members

Themes of Connection

Sharing a few of my activities, experiences and perspectives with you through eNews each week has become an enjoyable part of my reflective routine. Given the diversity of each day’s content – and accounting for my own memory! – I’ve come to rely on a practice that has developed as a part of my compassionate systems leadership work: journaling. As I reflect on recent pages, the conferences held by both the BC School Superintendents Association and the BC School Trustees Association really stand out. As a ‘learner in the audience’, I appreciated the opportunity to hear from a number of global thought leaders and appreciated the inspirational and practical aspects of their presentations.

Margaret Wheatley challenges us to ‘use our leadership role to advance our values and faith in people; to choose to use our power and influence to be warriors for the human spirit.’ She framed her perspectives through a lens of ‘sane’ leadership, outlining the importance of maintaining a focus on the human and ethical responsibilities that leaders share. She challenged the audience by asking the question, “what good is connection if it is used to connect with negativity?”

Santa Ono spoke of humanizing our work and our roles as we develop a common vision for student success. Supporting students as they transition to their ‘lives after high school’ with an emphasis on health and wellness – both mental and physical – is critical.

Shane Safir shared her emotionally-rich narratives to highlight the power of ‘Street Data’, capturing the stories of students, families, and colleagues as vital sources of data. Data can take many forms, and the power of the narrative data is most impactful when we take the time to develop our leadership listening skills.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki used her personal family journey and science background to emphasize the importance of engaging in the climate conversation. What resonated with me was her message of supporting student engagement by developing resiliency through self-awareness and an understanding of the ecosystems of relationships. We are all interconnected, in nature and with each other.

These powerfully impactful perspectives share the common theme of connection. As your days get busier with the winter break on the horizon, I encourage you to be purposefully aware of your personal needs. At this time of the year, sustaining energy levels to support your school communities can be a challenge, but connecting with friends, family and colleagues is always a good strategy.

Take Care,

David