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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 6, May/June 2004

The evening classes

by Kathleen MacKinnon

Please accept my sincere thanks for having a wonderful session in our school. We had 45 participants, and it was a great success to take another step forward to our school’s goal. I’d like to send my regards and appreciation to Carol Pettigrew for her great presentation.
Regards, PAC chairperson

Teamwork needed to stop bullying, says teacher
Penticton Herald, October 16, 2003
A longtime teacher presented an antibullying workshop to parents in Penticton Wednesday night. Alice Rees, facilitator of the parent workshops for the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, presented the BCTF-designed workshop at Carmi Elementary School. So strongly does she feel about the issue, Rees volunteers to bring the antibullying message to parents. Her talk was organized by the Parent Advisory Council at Carmi Elementary School.

Teachers presenting to parents
Every year teacher-volunteers deliver BCTF presentations to hundreds of parents throughout the province. In 2003–04 alone, we reached 138 parent groups with our parent presentations. The most popular offerings were The Socialization of Boys, Antibullying, and Supporting Your Child’s Learning.

Presentations are offered to PACs, DPACs, and other parent groups in the community free of charge. Sometimes several PACs host a district-wide event, inviting parents from across the region. The one-hour presentations are delivered in the evening, often just before a regularly scheduled PAC meeting. Moms are the majority of the audience, although more dads attend now, especially for the "The Socialization of Boys." The school administrator often participates, and once in while, the media does, too.

Two excellent presentations are booked much less frequently than the others: Classroom Assessment and Evaluation and Understanding School Data. Classroom Assessment and Evaluation helps parents understand classroom assessment and how it can be used by both teachers and parents to support student learning. Understanding School Data gives school PACs and SPCs the tools and skills to analyze data from sources like satisfaction surveys and Foundation Skills Assessments. A perfect time for your school PAC or your district’s school planning councils to book one of the two presentations is early fall, before the FSA results are publicized.

In September, we send each school PAC chairperson and staff representative a brochure outlining the five presentations available. The brochure is also online at bctf.ca/parents/communication.

We are greatly indebted to the teacher-volunteers who make the program such a success. They give of their time and expertise, and as you can see from the parents’ evaluation comments, they represent teachers admirably. Please e-mail sryan@bctf.ca for more information on how you can volunteer for this program.

Typical comments from parent evaluations
I appreciated:

  • the handouts and book lists.
  • a presentation in our area.
  • being able to ask questions and speak out.
  • the facilitator’s enthusiasm and passion.
  • the BCTF for sponsoring these presentations.
  • the clarity of presentation and overall content.
  • the time and commitment of the teacher presenting.
  • the presenter’s empathetic manner and group discussions.
  • the whole presentation. I’m on my fourth child in high school.

  • it because I finally feel that I know what is going on with respect to bullying.
  • the presenter’s making parents feel good, even though we often feel inadequate.

Parent presentations booked in 2003—04
Abbotsford, Boundary, Burnaby, Campbell River, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Central Okanagan, Chilliwack, Conseil scolaire francohone, Coquitlam, Cowichan Valley, Delta, Howe Sound, Kamloops-Thompson, Kootenay Columbia, Kootenay Lake, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Nanaimo, Nechako Lakes, North Okanagan-Shuswap, North Vancouver, Okanagan Similkameen, Okanagan Skaha, Peace River North, Powell River, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Qualicum, Richmond, Rocky Mountain, Saanich, Sooke, Southeast Kootenay, Sunshine Coast, Surrey, Vancouver, Vernon, and Victoria.

Kathleen MacKinnon is an assistant director, BCTF Communications and Campaigns Division.

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