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Every October, the BC Teachers' Federation's 33 Provincial Specialist Associations (PSAs) put on a wide variety of excellent and enriching professional development days. This year 25 of those specialist associations have come together to host a sold-out Super Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21. There will be 6,000 participants, hundreds of workshops, over 30 keynotes, and almost 300 presenters.

BC Teachers' Federation President Glen Hansman said this Super Conference is part of the BCTF's strong commitment to teacher-led professional development, lifelong learning, and leadership in BC's public education system.

“Teacher-led professional development like the conferences put on by the BCTF's Provincial Specialist Associations bring colleagues together to collaborate, learn, and improve their practice,” said Hansman. “At this professional development Super Conference, teachers will be able to select from hundreds of sessions and collaborate with colleagues from all over the province on Aboriginal Education, media literacy, mental health, children's literature, innovations in science, inclusive classrooms, and much, much more.

“This enriching conference would not be possible without the incredibly hard work of many teachers who volunteered untold hours outside of their regular work to serve as executive members of our Provincial Specialist Associations.”

You can read more on the Super Conference website, follow along on Twitter with #PSAday, or print out this release with the highlights below.

Aboriginal Education in the spotlight:

Dr. Cindy Blackstock
is one of Canada's foremost advocates for the rights of Aboriginal children. A member of the Gitksan First Nation, she is Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada and a professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University.

Shannen's Dream will focus on how teachers and students can play leading roles in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action to end inequality across government services for Aboriginal children.  
Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Exhibition Hall A.

Children: The Best Reconciliation Changemakers will help teachers who want to bring reconciliation into their classrooms, but are not sure how to teach about the past in ways that prepare students to address ongoing injustices facing Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Friday, 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Exhibition Hall A

Other keynote highlights include:

Fake News and Critical Digital Literacy
examines the mechanisms and motivations behind fake news, and shares online tools and strategies to help students distinguish fake from real, and lies from truth. Ron Darvin is a lecturer and researcher at the Language and Literacy Education Department of UBC. 
Friday, 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Ballroom C.

Reinventing Learning for The Always-On Generation
by Ian Jukes, former teacher and administrator, author or co-author of 18 books, and Executive Director of the InfoSavvy Group.
Friday, 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Exhibition Hall A.

The Rewilding Revolution: Reconnecting Humanity with Nature in the 21st Century with Scott Sampson, dinosaur paleontologist, science communicator, and President and CEO of Science World British Columbia in Vancouver.
Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Ballroom B.

What Students Need to Flourish with Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a Vancouver-based developmental psychologist and leading authority on child development, with over 45 years of experience with children and youth.
Friday, 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Ballroom A.

Fostering Resilience in a Stressed Culture
by Gabor Maté, an author and expert on childhood development, physical and mental health wellness, and addiction.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Exhibition Hall A.

It's All About Thinking by Faye Brownlie, one of BC's leading literacy leaders, on how to enrich English language arts and language learning with critical thinking.
Saturday, 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre-East Ballroom C.

Financial Literacy in Primary by Carole Fullerton, a teacher-leader in the development of numeracy instruction, will explore ideas on how best to include financial literacy in K-3 classes.
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre East-Ballroom A.

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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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