Posts Tagged: alignment

No Regrets

The day after… the BCSTA AGM… and I am feeling great. I have no regrets running for president and I am so proud of SD46 for passing 3 motions on student voice. What should I be disappointed about? Nothing.

Putting my name forward as BCSTA president was one of the best things I have done for myself. First, it was unfinished work from last year. Second, I wanted to be what I wanted to see. Third, I had something to learn.

The assembly had spoken. A clear majority voted for the incumbent and I can understand that. It keeps continuity, he’s done the job as expected, and the directors to be elected were subject to change. I am led by the assembly. That said, I was not willing to put my name forward for VP or director as part of a strategy. The assembly made a decision about leadership and I wanted them to make a decision. I knew the outcome of the election well before the vote when trustees asked me to put my name forward as VP throughout the AGM. Thank you for your confidence of having my voice on the board.

To follow through with my campaign was a test of my character but also a test for others. I appreciated the authentic connections I had with trustees throughout the weekend who supported my campaign, gave me tips and suggestions for my campaign, and connected with me as a person. I loved that. Running for election is not personal. It was interesting to observe others who were not willing to chat with me or give eye contact. I got plenty of courtesy hello’s or smiles. I was awakened. But, I did appreciate the post-election compliments for my campaign and speech. This is politics. The best part of the campaign experience was the unconditional respect and support I got from others. It was the best I could do and I could not have performed as well without their formative feedback.

I don’t feel that I have failed. I feel like I have won. I am satisfied. I am confident that this board of directors will lead the BCSTA as best as they can, that is guided by the membership. The leadership team of the P/VP remained the same and 3 new directors joined the board. This will be the fresh voice the board of directors need and will benefit from. For me, running for president was about modelling what I want to see for BCSTA. Put your name forward, have your voice, and let the assembly choose. I wanted to offer choice for leadership, but also challenge the assembly to make a decision and feel good about it. My work is done and I am filled with gratitude. Now, I am set onto a different direction. I am finding my place and the outcome of the BCSTA election was a gift.

I am driven by three principles:

  1. You never know unless you try. (take a risk, don’t assume)
  2. You can’t tell a drunk they are a drunk. (self-actualization)
  3. You don’t know what you don’t know. (be open to learning)

I know that Principle 2 needs revision. It’s not the best saying, but it’s meaning resonates with me. I have satisfied all three principles, hence my satisfaction. Thank you members of the BCSTA. Continue to do the great work that you do. An extra special thank you to those who are choosing to not to run in the upcoming municipal election as school trustee. And best of luck to those who are planning to run. Make this role attractive to others. Boards of Education do make a difference to BC public education and student learning. Don’t forget that. You are change agents. You are Educational Leaders!!!

One Word For 2016


Oh my goodness… it’s 2016. Well… Happy New Year!!! It’s has been an interesting year, to say the least. As mentioned by many people on my social media feeds… there were some great moments in 2015 and not so great ones. If I had to summarize 2015 in 3 words, I would say… MESSY, DISCOVERY, and COURAGE.

January 1st is an opportunity to create anew, gather one’s thoughts, and make resolutions. It’s easy to become skeptical when resolutions are easily broken. With new intentions, we can create high expectations that may be too difficult to achieve. Instead, many are considering “One-Word” to focus on for the year.

One-word can set the bar high, but also lends itself to flexible outcomes. Last year, my “one-word” was COMPLETION. In my mind, it was about getting my dissertation done. Well, it’s not done… but what did get done was approval from my supervisors to proceed, developed my study details, got ethics approval, and collected data. Lots has been “completed” and now I am in the data analysis process.

I am miles ahead from where I was from at the beginning of 2015, I’m loving the process, and lots of other things aside from my dissertation were “completed.” Therefore, 2015 was an overall success. COMPLETION was a excellent mantra for me in 2015. It reminded me to celebrate the small successes, take action, and find closure where needed. Now it’s time to select a NEW “one-word” for 2016.

My one-word for 2016 is ALIGNMENT. Considering how 2015 unfolded, it’s time to “align” aspects of my life so that my passion, time, and expertise are directed towards a meaningful and purposeful direction. This is not to say that I am not doing things now that are purposeful or meaningful, but I am involved so many organizations, opportunities, and interests that I need to draw a line through all that I do.

This reminds me of my mentor and edu-superhero Dr. Geoff Madoc Jones. These rocks I picked up the other day on the beach look like a diagram Dr. Madoc-Jones drew for doctoral candidates a handful of years ago. He drew a circle with a skinny rectangle in the middle of it. He said that the rectangle is the dissertation. On one side of the rectangle is future research, the other side of it is bull-sh*t.

2016 is about establishing the boundaries of the skinny rectangle… in life. This metaphor can be easily transferable to my 2016 one-word: ALIGNMENT. What’s future work and future-self? And, what’s bull-sh*t? I love how this metaphor and image applies to my academic work, my personal life, and my professional life. What will guide me? Wholeheartedness, joy, love, vulnerability, and forgiveness.

Yup. It’s much like learning… math!!! Ok… I just had to say that. But really, it’s all about learning. I am learning. I am serving. I am happy. I shall not “should” myself to death. I will listen to what is working and what’s not. There is no failure, just lessons to learn from. I can’t wait for the rest of 2016. It’s going to be a BIG year and I’m stoked to see how this year will unfold. What’s going to be your “One-Word” for 2016?