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Next week, teachers throughout British Columbia will be learning new practices and skills and getting up to date on what’s new in education at the province-wide professional development day, Friday, October 19, 2007.

“Professional development days offer teachers the opportunity to hear from experts and share experiences with colleagues,” says Irene Lanzinger, president of the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. “With the fast pace we all live now, it is more critical than ever that teachers get together on a regular basis to exchange ideas and strategies for dealing with technological and other changes.”

All conferences and workshops are organized by teacher volunteers who are members of one of the BCTF’s 33 Provincial Specialist Associations (PSA). Teachers may choose to join a PSA either in their own subject area such as math or art, or in an area of special professional interest such as peace and globalization or First Nations education. PSAs make a significant contribution to the public education system through in-service education, publications, presentations, and conferences like the ones organized for teachers next week.

Below are some examples of programs teachers will be involved in during this professional development day and weekend. For a complete listing of conferences and workshops, see: http://www.bctf.ca/uploadedFiles/PSAs/PSAConfBrochure.pdf.

October 18–19, Burnaby: Aboriginal Education Association (AEA) and Simon Fraser University joint conference, “Healing our Spirit,” Museum of Ethnology. For more information, contact Daphne Wale at dwale@vsb.bc.ca.

October 18–19, Chilliwack: BC Technology Education Association Conference “Dream it, Design it, Make it!” Sardis Secondary School, 45460 Stevenson Road, Chilliwack, BC. Keynote speaker: Harv McCullough, Dean of Trades & Technology, University College of Fraser Valley. Conference Co-chair: Eric Munshaw, eric_munshaw@sd33.bc.ca. Check for details at www.bctea.org.

October 18–19, Vancouver: The BC School Counsellors’ Association, “Agents of Change.” Coast Plaza Hotel, Vancouver’s West End. Keynote speakers Justin Trudeau and Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (BC’s first rep for children and youth) www.agentsofchange2007.com/index.html.

October 18–20, Richmond: Association Provinciale des Professeurs de l’Immersion et Programme-Francophone, Congrès APPIPC-ACPI. Entre mers et montagnes, le français nous unit at the Executive Airport Plaza, Richmond. Contact Sophie Bergeron at sbergeron@sd43.bc.ca.

October 19, Burnaby: BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association, “Things are Heating Up! Global Warming & Climate Change.” Byrne Creek Secondary, 7777 18th Street, Burnaby. Contact Raquel Chin at Raquelchin1@hotmail.com.

October 19, Vancouver: The ESL PSA annual conference, “The World in Our Classrooms” will be held at Magee Secondary School, Vancouver. Keynote speaker: Chris Friesen of Immigrant Services Society. For more information, contact Sydney Dean at sdean@sd40.bc.ca.

October 19, Vancouver: Learning Assistance Teachers’ Association Conference. “Rethinking Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” with Dr. Rosemary Tannock, Head Research Scientist, Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto). Contact Alan Peterson, conference chair: lataconference@hotmail.com.

October 19, Vancouver: Environmental Educators’ Provincial Specialists Association (EEPSA) Fall Conference in partnership with the Robert Bateman Foundation and GVRD; “Nature and the Outdoor Classroom: Inspiring Sustainability in BC Schools,” with keynote speaker: Robert Bateman; Stanley Park Pavilion. Contact Bruce Ford at programs@gvrd.bc.ca or call (604) 432-6359. Please see our web site at www.bctf.ca/eepsa for more information.

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For more information, contact Kathleen MacKinnon, BCTF media relations officer, at 604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).