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BC teachers take the lead with province-wide professional development conferences

This week, the BC Teachers’ Federation’s 32 Provincial Specialist Associations (PSAs) will host dynamic professional development conferences in communities across BC. The conferences will bring teachers together in their teaching areas to share, collaborate, learn, and improve their practice. The PSAs, which all receive grants from the BCTF, give teachers a community to exchange ideas on research, teaching strategies, curriculum development, and other shared goals. The province-wide ProD day is this Friday, October 25, 2013 and most events continue through the weekend.

“BC teachers are passionate and committed professionals with a love for learning,” said BCTF President Jim Iker. “That passion is always evident at the Provincial Specialist Association professional development day conferences where teachers gain new insights, share success stories, and learn from each other. While these conferences are very visible examples, teacher-led professional development actually occurs year-round and has a wonderful impact on the education of our students.”

The Twitter hashtag for the conferences is #BCTFpd.

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the highlights of conferences taking place this week:

In Richmond, the BC School Counsellors' Association is hosting Counselling in a Wired World, which features workshops on preparing teens for post-school success, apps for combating anxiety, and using social media to battle bullying. The keynote speaker, Tod Maffin, is an authority on how technology and society interact. Visit http://www.bcscaconference.ca/ for more information.

In Squamish, the BC Technology Education Association is hosting Rebuilding for the Future, which includes workshops on combining trades courses with mathematics, reviewing the provincial government’s Discover Trades BC portal, building mountain-bike frames, blacksmithing, and project-based learning in tech ed classrooms. Visit http://www.bctea.org/ for more information.

In Vancouver, the BC Primary Teachers' Association is hosting Teaching from the Heart with a  keynote address and breakout session by Mary Gordon, founder of the "Roots of Empathy" program. Teachers will also attend workshops on helping students with emotional and social regulation, interactive mathematics, as well as technology and play. Visit http://www.bcpta.ca for more information.

In Coquitlam, the Teachers of Home Economics Specialist Association is hosting We ARE the Life App for That, with keynote speaker Gwen Chapman, program director of the Food, Nutrition and Health program and Associate Dean Academic in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at UBC. Participants will take workshops on the economics of buying local food and applying new technologies to home economics classrooms. Visit http://www.thesaconference.ca/index.php for more information.

For the full listing of all the conferences, including those on science, social studies, music, drama, etc., review the calendar here

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

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