Posts Tagged: relationships

Don’t Look at the Prize Table

End of Week 21 and 22 – August 15, 2020

Wow. You know when you are in the “new normal” when time is just flying by. I cannot believe that I missed my weekly blog entry last week and I cannot believe that it’s mid-August. Here is a photo from the archives. Seriously. This snapshot was taken from when I played competitive curling in high school. The title reads “Knocks Fryer Out.” Brilliant. I skipped this high school team from Prince Rupert and we won this provincial playdown and came runner up in another tournament. It was a great season to end my high school experience, but what I did not realize was how much I would learn from this sport that would extend beyond the sport itself.

“Learning takes patience and time.”

I love this First Peoples Principles of Learning, “Learning takes patience and time.” You are always learning and you don’t know when you are going to use that information and why. My attention in recent weeks brought me back to what I know and understand from curling. I need to imagine that I am skipping a team in a bonspiel with huge hopes of winning. I am reminded of the big idea of “Don’t look at the prize table.” What am I focused on? ” I’m led back to Alasdair McIntyre’s “goods internal to the practice” and Carol Dweck’s “growth mindset.” We can do this and I need to stay focused on the game. Shake off the missed shots. Utilize people’s strengths.

Don’t focus too much on the prize. That is the goods external. It’s a balance between the details and the big picture. Ultimately, we want to place well, learn from our mistakes, and work together as a team. We each have a role and we each have strengths to bring to the table. In this case, I have to take the lead even though I do not have a formal leadership role. This is my strength: leading. There are some pretty incredible projects we are working on and my team is making it happen. When I can look at my work like a curling game, I have faith that we will be at the prize table.

#pandemicreflection #leadership #teamwork

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!!!

Success Stories


Wow… the BCSTA (BC School Trustees’ Association) AGM has ended and it’s time for me to get back to writing mode, parenting, and all that I do that is edu-related. THANK YOU to all those who had supported me at the BCSTA AGM. I am so honoured to represent you all again as BCSTA Board of Director. And, thank you to all those who put their names forward. This is not an easy thing to do… putting yourself out there amongst your peers with hopes of appealing to them and representing them at the provincial table. I have a high regard for those who have the will, love, and intention to advocate for BC public education… and even more so for those who put their names forward for the Board of Directors annual election. I look forward to working with the 2016/17 BCSTA Board of Directors as we head towards the provincial election next year in May and making BC Public Education a priority.

The BCSTA AGM 2016 was a success. The opening keynote with Samantha Nutt and ending with deliberation at the AGM. BCSTA is a member-driven organization and the Board of Directors seek direction from it’s members from motions from AGM and Provincial Council, but also from its members directly. I love the diversity of our 2016/17 board but also continuity of many of the board members returning from the 2015/16 board. I was absolutely surprised that the board of directors were elected with only ONE BALLOT. Normally, this would take 3 to 7 rounds of ballots. This sent a message to me that it was very clear to the assembly who they had wanted on the 2016/17 board of directors. However, this blog is about SUCCESS STORIES.

First I would like to mention Gloria Jackson who topped the polls this weekend. She was nominated from the floor by her colleagues from the BCSTA Aboriginal Education Committee. She is the outgoing chair of the Aboriginal Education Committee. I loved how her colleagues from this committee nominated her, supported her, and introduced her to everyone in their network during AGM. It was amazing to see how membership can wield a particular outcome. Coming from the floor, Gloria handled the Candidates Forum and 3-minute speech beautifully. I appreciated the support from her family (AKA. BCSTA Aboriginal Education Committee), I enjoyed working with her as a member from the BCSTA Education Committee, and I look forward to working with her this coming year on the 2016/17 board of directors.

Second, I would like to mention Stephanie Higginson who placed a close second in the polls. She too was nominated from the floor last year at AGM. She is a grassroots advocate and has been an excellent addition to the 2015/16 board of directors. I much enjoy her passion and motivation to activate. Stephanie is also an educator and academic who has invested her time as school trustee, public education advocate, and parent of her two little boys. She did exceptional at the AGM as well and delighted to see that members welcomed her return. To follow up, Alan Chell is a stable pillar to BCSTA and I appreciate his knowledge, expertise, and clarity. Both Stephanie and Alan are a pleasure to work with on the board. Then, Donna Sargent and myself round out the 2016/17 board of directors. Thank you to all those who provided me with feedback and encouragement. It’s going to be a great year.

Third, I would like to mention school trustees. Admittedly, I was not campaigning as much as I should have during the AGM as I would rather connect with individual trustees, to get to know them better, and gain a deeper understanding of what is. There is always a story behind what we see and sometimes this cannot be established without taking a moment to get to know person and figure out what is motivating a person (or board) to do what they do. I am also curious as to why people become school trustees. Some trustees are former educators while others come from PAC (parent advisory councils). After the election and AGM, I took the opportunity to hang out with some trustees after hours at the pub. This is a great way to connect with trustees without worrying about speeches, campaigning, or making an impression on others. I am grateful that some trustees are willing to chat about their school districts with pride, but also share some personal stories about themselves.

There are two trustees I would like to mention without mentioning their names. I feel connected to these two and wanted to know more about them. I have great respect for both of these trustees. They have so much to bring to their boards of education. They are both parents, but not former educators or PAC members. They are community members with a vested interest in public education. I love their authentic nature, expertise and knowledge of their communities and work, and contribution to public education. They are both kind and generous… and apolitical. They are just fun to be around with. I feel very fortunate that they shared a few stories about themselves. They talked about their childhood, schooling, and where they are today.

As much as I thought I had much in common with these two, after listening to some of their stories I felt that I had nothing in common. I felt uneasy about sharing my stories because they are nothing like their lived experiences. These two had vulnerable home lives as children, a grade 12 education, and few fond memories of their K-12 experience. Yet, these two are the nicest people, extremely successful professionally, family-oriented, and wholehearted in the truest sense. And, they think that I am much younger than I truly am. This is a good thing. What we do have in common is our love and devotion to BC public education, governance, and doing what’s best for our students. I am aligned to these two, as well as many others.

I appreciate these success stories. We all want to make a difference in BC public education. Thank you for the time together… as well to all those I had the chance to HUG and converse with during AGM. We’re doing great work. Keep it up!!!