February 7, 2018
- Teachers to receive an additional non-instructional day in 2018–19 for curriculum implementation
- Working and learning conditions survey for Kindergarten and K–1 split teachers
- BCTF legal team member appointed to Supreme Court of BC
- February is antipoverty month: take action to improve school food programs
- New mental fitness challenge for BCTF members starts February 19
- Opportunities for members
Teachers to receive an additional non-instructional day in 2018–19 for curriculum implementation
The BCTF's ongoing efforts to gain additional time and resources to help teachers with the revised curriculum has resulted in securing an additional non-instructional day (NID) for the 2018-19 school year. This seventh NID will be used for the purposes of curriculum implementation and represents the fourth year in a row where an additional day, or more, was added. There is no change to the year bookends, and members do not need to work additional days or additional minutes. This time will help all members collaborate, plan, prepare, and conduct in-service related to the revised curriculum. The BCTF has also published its latest Education Change Bulletin that discusses the results of the Federation's Curriculum Change Implementation Survey.
Working and learning conditions survey for Kindergarten and K–1 split teachers
The BCTF, in collaboration with the BC Primary Teachers' Association, invites Kindergarten and K-1 split teachers to complete a survey on working and learning conditions. The findings will be used to help the BCTF understand and advocate for K/K-1 teachers' working and learning conditions. A preliminary report is scheduled for release in Spring 2018. If you are currently teaching Kindergarten or a K-1 split in the 2017-18 school year, or have done so within the past 24 months, you are encouraged to complete this confidential and voluntary survey. It should take around 15 minutes. This survey will remain open until Friday, March 2, 2018.
BCTF legal team member appointed to Supreme Court of BC
Congratulations to Diane MacDonald, the BCTF's General Counsel since 2008, who is now Madam Justice Diane MacDonald of the Supreme Court of British Columbia! As part of the Federation's staff, Justice MacDonald acted as co-counsel on the BCTF's s.15 Charter case, arguing for substantive equality for women claiming pregnancy and parental benefits, in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the BCTF's favour. Justice MacDonald was also the BCTF's co-counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada on our successful s.2(d) Charter case regarding the duty to consult in good faith. Justice Susan Griffin of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, who heard the BCTF's two cases on our stripped collective agreement, has also been appointed to the BC Court of Appeal. Read the Government of Canada's news release with all of the details.
February is antipoverty month: take action to improve school food programs
School food programs are meant to provide nutrition to students from families that are facing financial hardships. However, in many schools across BC, those food programs are either non-existent, inconsistent, or unhealthy. During February's BCTF Antipoverty Month, BC teachers can reach out to their school PAC and start a conversation about how to improve food programs. Working together, parents and teachers can contact their MLAs, as well as the Minister of Education, to let them know what is missing from school food programs.
New mental fitness challenge for BCTF members starts February 19
As part of the BCTF's partnership with Starling, the Federation is pleased to offer all teachers and teachers teaching on call access to an online five-day mental fitness challenge for stress management that starts on February 19, 2018. This challenge focuses on making small changes throughout the day that will lead to big differences in your level of stress by the end of the day. Starling is free to use for BCTF members. If you have not already registered, we encourage you to do so by visiting the BCTF's Health and Wellness page. If you are already registered, you can sign up to the challenge or access the other programs at any time by signing in to your Starling account. You can find the challenge on your “My Starling” page or on the “Challenges” page.
Opportunities for members
Adult Education Advisory Committee
The BCTF has a vacancy on the Federation's Adult Education Advisory Committee for a three-year term. The committee advises the BCTF Executive Committee on all matters related to adult education, reviews education policy and research, and provides advice on bargaining and other organizational issues as they relate to adult education programs. The deadline for applications is March 7, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. Learn more and apply online.
Wonderlab Co-Creation Project
The BC Teachers' Federation is seeking 20 teachers to participate in two Ministry of Education WonderLab Co-creation Design Workshops (two teams of 10). The concept of WonderLab is to have a modern, physical, and virtual learning environment to apply the new curriculum, where students and teachers can collaborate, use design thinking skills, experiment, and solve real problems. Learn more and apply online. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at 4:00 p.m.