October 25, 2017
- New curriculum transition extended for graduation years
- New task force established to develop recruitment and retention strategies
- Five-minute professional development on SOG1 123 (sexual orientation and gender identity)
- BCTF Bullying and Violence Experience Survey now open
- Teacher Qualification Service to consider Ontario course work
- Opportunities for members
New curriculum transition extended for graduation years
The new BC government, having listened to teachers and other stakeholders, is adding another year to the transition period for the revised graduation years curriculum. In a news release sent out on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, Education Minister Rob Fleming said the additional year of transition is in response to feedback from educators in the K-12 sector, along with post-secondary partners, who need to ensure alignment of the new curriculum with their admission processes and requirements. BCTF President Glen Hansman welcomed the extension, saying more time is needed to ensure the curriculum, graduation requirements, and post-secondary entrance requirements all line up. We continue to advocate for additional non-instructional days for ongoing work on the revised curriculum.
New task force established to develop recruitment and retention strategies
A new task force to develop strategies to deal with BC's teacher shortage has been established by the Ministry of Education. The task force, which includes BCTF President Glen Hansman, will work to develop a concrete plan to address the shortage of TTOCs, specialist teachers, and classroom teachers across the province. As the task force gets to work, the BCTF will continue to advocate for immediate solutions that can be quickly implemented to address the TTOC shortage and unfilled contract positions.
Five-minute professional development on SOG1 123 (sexual orientation and gender identity)
As news broke this week of a Chilliwack trustee posting an anti-LGBTQ Facebook rant, renewed attention was put on the SOGI 123 resources to help teachers create safer and more inclusive learning environments. Watch this short video to find out what SOGI 123 is and why it is so important. There is also a series of five-minute professional development day videos that can help you learn about the program and strategies to support LGBTQ students in your school.
On October 25, 2017, the Minister of Education released a statement that was signed by representatives from all of BC's major education partner groups affirming their joint commitment to inclusive and safe schools. The statement said, “we believe that all schools in our province, public and independent, must be spaces that are safe, acceptable, respectful, and welcoming for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion or background.” It concluded with, “our goal as teachers, administrators, support staff, trustees and parents is to create learning environments where all students can thrive and live authentic lives." Read and share the full statement online.
BCTF Bullying and Violence Experience Survey now open
The BCTF, in collaboration with Simon Fraser University, invites members to complete an online survey on your experiences of workplace violence and bullying during your career as an educator. Participation is entirely voluntary and all information members provide will remain confidential. The findings will assist BCTF officers, staff, and committees to raise awareness and formulate informed policies advocating for safe and respectful teaching environments in BC public schools. A preliminary report will be released at the BCTF's Violence Summit in January 2018 and made available to members in the spring of 2018.
Teacher Qualification Service to consider Ontario course work
The TQS has changed its policy on credit for AQ courses taken in Ontario as follows:
“The Teacher Qualification Service will consider Ontario AQ courses taken from an accredited university provided that they fit into the requirements of an Integrated Program (see Regulation 4.05). AQ courses will be generally allotted six semester credits. If you believe that this could affect your category placement please apply to the TQS via the website or either an upgrade for Director's review of your file.”
Opportunities for members
G.A. Fergusson Memorial Award Trustees
This committee has two 3-year term vacancies and meets prior to the Annual General Meeting to examine nominations for the G.A. Fergusson Memorial Award to select the recipient. Details regarding the award are found under Section 15 on page 93 of the Members' Guide to the BCTF. Learn more and apply by November 21, 2017.
This committee has one 2-year and 6-month term vacancy. The committee provides advice to the Executive Committee on pension plans and promotes awareness of pensions and retirement-income planning among members. Committee members attend both the Pensions Committee meetings and the Teachers' Pension Plan Advisory Committee meetings. Learn more and apply by November 21, 2017.