How to Use the Competencies
System leaders should seek out professional learning opportunities that both enhance and challenge personal knowledge, skills, and abilities. This is one statement in the competency devoted to building the capacity of self and others. The Spirit of Leadership is one supportive tool that can enable leaders to find opportunities to continually enhance their own learning.
During the development of the competencies, members continually referred to a desire to have tools that support lived practice, that enable personal and professional growth and that act as a guide for the development of professional learning. Leaders are also looking for a framework to facilitate the sharing of stories of practice where members can come to appreciate our work in action in our diverse and unique contexts.
Acting as a guide, these competencies provide a supportive framework enabling leaders to model their own professional learning journey.
Reading our Competencies
These leadership competencies are not intended to be presented in a linear fashion. The committees felt strongly that Stewardship for the Future of all Children should be the entry point in that it defines our moral purpose in education. The competencies are intended to be connected, and to have reciprocal relationships that are mutually supportive.
While the competencies themselves are not intended to be presented in a sequence, the continuum of leadership is provided beginning with self, moving to teams and then to organizations. This progression, aligned with the First Peoples Principles of Learning, which embed self, family, community, and land shows the belief that leadership begins with knowledge of your own capabilities. Through a knowledge of self, you begin to influence others and systems as you become connected in new and expanding ways.
Leadership is a lifelong journey, and the end destination is not leadership of systems. We believe that leadership should be both reflexive and reflective where people turn back toward themselves as leaders and reflect on their own practice in context. While the continuum is presented from self, to teams, to organizations, we also strongly feel that one domain should not be viewed as a higher status than the others. Each domain is simply leadership in a new way with a different impact. The “Spirit” that we intend to support and nurture is self-aware, empowered, capable, and reflective system leaders who are supported and who continually demonstrate their care for others and our future.
Indigenous Perspectives and Considerations
In each of the competencies, readers will see a list of Indigenous Perspectives and Considerations. These Perspectives and Considerations are provided by the BCSSA Indigenous Leaders’ Group and are designed with the intention to support and extend the competencies. The Perspectives and Considerations reflect the 5Rs of Indigenous Leadership, an approach originally based on the work of Kirkness and Barnhardt (1991). The five Rs include: respect, relevance, reciprocity, responsibility, and relationships. The Perspectives and Considerations provide entry points for leaders to further their learning and deepen their understanding of the Indigenous learners, parents, and communities they serve. Indigenous learners need to see themselves reflected in the education and childcare system, and these Indigenous perspectives provide a path for this to occur.
In addition to the Perspectives, throughout the shortened preambles below, readers will find words highlighting the teaching of the seven grandfathers, teachings that originated from Anishinaabe people. These words speak to how we all should relate and behave with each other and to our world. They provide wisdom and a path for us all and in the preamble, readers will see the words connected to highlight the path.
Spirit is in all things; it is the energy that connects. It is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational.
Modelling the BC Curriculum
Knowing that our focus will always be supporting the creation of engaging learning environments for children, the Big Ideas and Core Competencies model the framework of the BC Curriculum. These are the things that we want leaders to Know, Do and Understand to support learning not only of students, but of the adults in the system as well. In this leadership work, the competencies are the big ideas, and the preambles in each section represent the core competencies.
With Stewardship for the Future of all Children and at the heart, all other competencies act in support. Each section’s preamble tells the leadership story.