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October 19, 2017

  1. Communicating student learning: Updates in new Education Change Bulletin
  2. Joshua’s story: A powerful call to action for mental health services for children and youth
  3. Integrate strategies into daily life to manage stress
  4. Opportunities for members

Communicating student learning: Updates in new Education Change Bulletin

edchangeCheck out the latest Education Change Bulletin for BCTF advice on communicating student learning. The revised curriculum allows for an “alternative reporting” schedule, which the Ministry describes as a “more ongoing, flexible process” than the traditional form of reporting. However, many teachers are concerned that this model raises issues about privacy, increased workload, parent access, effective communication issues, and length of time for data storage. In addition, the tools and equipment provided to teachers are often ineffective, as outlined in a recent BCTF survey of members on digital reporting tools. All these areas require considerable discussion, awareness, and decisions before districts embark on an alternative reporting direction.

Joshua’s story: A powerful call to action for mental health services for children and youth

In “Missing Pieces: Joshua's Story,” BC's Representative for Children and Youth documents the tragic plight of an intelligent but deeply troubled boy who, despite receiving services from social work, education and mental health professionals, took his own life at age 17.

Representative Bernard Richard's latest report urges the newly formed Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to take a lead role in developing a mental health system that will better support BC children and youth. “A more comprehensive child and youth mental health system would have given this boy and his family a better chance in dealing with his debilitating mental illness,” Richard concluded, noting there were significant gaps in Joshua's care. “Those gaps are systemic and they must be filled... otherwise young people will continue to fall through the cracks.”

Education writer Tracy Sherlock's recent column quotes BCTF President Glen Hansman expressing concerns about the lack of staff and resources to support students with mental health challenges. Hansman said BC is an “outlier” when it comes to a lack of collaboration between Ministries that deal with children and youth, and he supports Richard's call for a comprehensive plan for mental health services that works across Ministries.

Integrate strategies into daily life to manage stress

starMany of us get so caught up in the fast pace of life that our day-to-day level of stress can feel overwhelming. In this 5-Day Mental Fitness Challenge, we'll focus on making small changes throughout the day that will lead to big differences in your level of stress by the end of the day.

The goals of this challenge include:
Identify the triggers that cause you stress.
Increasing your awareness and pattern recognition of how stress affects you.
Increase your stress management toolkit.
Learn to use strategies before, during, and after stressful events.
Increase the frequency that you feel more positive and relaxed.

Even if you're busy, it only takes 5-10 minutes of mental exercises a day to improve your stress management skills.

The challenge starts Monday, October 23 and ends Friday, October 27, 2017. You can join by signing in to your Starling account. If you're not a Starling member, you can register here. There are no fees to join the challenge. 

Opportunities for members

Please note that the deadline for the following applications is November 15, 2017. 

Labour conference in Chicago-The BCTF is accepting applications for one member who is in their first five years of teaching and/or who identifies as Aboriginal and/or as a racialized worker to be sponsored to attend the 2018 Labour Notes conference in Chicago. The conference is one of the world's largest gatherings of grassroots union activists. Please fill out and submit this online form to apply.

UC Berkley Summer Institute on Union Women-The BCTF will be sponsoring two members to attend this year's Summer Institute on Union Women at the University of California Berkeley Labour Center in July 2018. The delegation will include at least one member in their first five years of teaching and at least one member who identifies as Aboriginal and/or a racialized worker. Please fill out and submit this online form to apply. 


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