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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 19, Number 3, Nov./Dec. 2006

Okanagan TOC/student teacher conference

"You are not alone" was an important message many participants at the Okanagan teacher on call, beginning teacher, and student teacher regional conference took away with them on September 23.

Planned and supported by the Vernon and Central Okanagan Teachers’ Associations, the BCTF, and UBC Okanagan, the conference was a resounding success according to facilitators and participants.

The opening message by Vernon PD Chair Brent Kisilevich, stressed the importance of building networks of support through the union and colleagues. Alice Rees, from the Central Okanagan Teacher Centre encouraged students and teachers to be reflective practitioners and to sustain themselves by keeping their joy in teaching.

Workshop choices included assessment, classroom management, Aboriginal history and culture, parent-teacher interviews, and effective techniques for teachers on call. Conference organizers also scheduled sessions for each cohort—teachers on call, beginning teachers, and student teachers—to meet as an intact group with representatives from the union, the districts, and the university to ask questions and raise issues pertinent to their role. Many evaluation forms stated that this was the most valuable session of the conference.

Many participants said they look forward to next year’s conference, so perhaps this will indeed become an annual event in the Okanagan.

– Margaret Ross


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