March 3, 2021
- Register now to be an observer at the BCTF’s virtual 2021 Annual General Meeting
- Focus on yourself when on sick leave
- The BCTF stands in solidarity with Indian farmers
- BCTELA Voices Visible Student Writing Contest
- Upcoming BC Teachers’ Council Election
- Opportunities for members
Register now to be an observer at the BCTF’s virtual 2021 Annual General Meeting
The 2021 BCTF Annual General
Meeting will be held online from March 20 to 23. All of our local associations
will have delegates Zooming into a new platform called Lumi that allows
delegates to vote, debate, and see speakers all in one platform. As space in
the platform is limited to 1,000 participants, there is room for up to 200 BCTF
members who are not delegates to register as observers. This will allow you to
pop into the meeting from time-to-time and witness the discussions and debate.
You can register on the BCTF Portal under the events tab. The deadline to sign up as an
observer is March 10, 2021. Once logged in to the portal, you can also
go to https://www.bctf.ca/myBCTF/agm.aspx to read all of this year’s AGM documents
like the agenda, Reports and Resolutions book, and the guide to Lumi platform.
Importantly, anyone who signs up as an observer needs to use a desktop or
laptop computer. The platform does not work on mobile devices like smartphones
or tablets. In addition, Chrome is the best browser and others like Safari do
not support the technology.
Focus on yourself when on sick leave
During this period of
increased electronic communication, it can be difficult to separate home and
work. It can be tempting to reply to emails or do other work while on sick
leave. However, sick leave is your time to rest, recover, and undergo any
treatments required to heal. Contractually you should not be working while on
sick leave. Here are some strategies to focus on yourself while on sick leave:
off your email notifications and log out of your email.
- Set an
email autoreply stating that you are away.
- Write “sick
day” in your calendar.
household members to remind you not to work while on sick leave.
any work materials to an area of your home where you can’t see them.
The BCTF stands in solidarity with Indian farmers
The BCTF, along with several
labour and community organizations, has signed a statement of solidarity with
Indian farmers. For several months, farmers and agriculture workers from across
India have been protesting three new agricultural laws that enable the
corporatization of agriculture and threaten farmers’ ability to earn a livable
income. Protestors and journalists have faced violent policing including water
cannons and tear gas. The BCTF condemns state-sanctioned violence and supports
farmers’ right to peaceful protest. You can read the full statement of
solidarity here. Visit https://hsabc.org/supportfarmers to speak out against state-sanctioned violence in
India and call for a full repeal of
the 2020 Indian Farm Bills.
BCTELA Voices Visible Student Writing Contest
The BC Teachers
of English Language Arts (BCTELA) PSA Voices Visible
Student Writing Contest is running again this year! The contest is open to
students in Grades 4–12 and accepts both poetry and short stories. Winners will
have their work published in the annual Voices Visible Student Writing journal
and will receive a free copy of the book in the fall. This year’s contest is
open until April 30. Entry details can be found on the BCTELA website. Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming BC Teachers’ Council Election
Elections for the BC Teachers’ Council are
coming up. Voting will be open from March 8 to 18. Information about
candidates will be posted in early March, 2021 on the BC
Teachers’ Council Elections page.
The BCTF has endorsed the following five members:
- Lisa Kishkan (Northern BC)
- Alice Kedves (Vancouver Island)
- Shelley Balfour (Interior)
- Marjorie Dumont (Vancouver Coastal)
- Jatinder Bir (Fraser)
will be conducted using an online voting platform. You will receive an email
with instructions on how to vote. To ensure that you are able to participate,
please go to the BC Government website and log in to Your Account to confirm that your contact information is up-to-date. If you need help logging in to
Your Account or linking your BCeID, please call the Service BC Help Desk using
one of the following numbers: Vancouver at 604 660-2355 or toll-free at 1 888
356-2741. If you forgot your pass code, please sign up again for the personal
BCeID. If you have any questions regarding the election, please email the
Ministry of Education at BCTC.Elections@gov.bc.ca.
Opportunities for members
Employment opportunity: Assistant Director,
Field Service Division (term position)
The Assistant Director in the Field Service Division provides support to locals in political action, contract enforcement, bargaining, communications, and the handling of a range of professional, social justice, Aboriginal education, and other issues.
This position is a term position from April 1, 2021 to August 31, 2025. For more information and application instructions, click here. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17,
Opportunity to participate in an Issue Session
BCTF members who identify as First Nations, Inuit, Metis, and persons of colour are invited to apply to participate in the BCTF 2021 Issue Session on Racism. The session will take place virtually on the evening of Friday, April 30 and all day, Saturday,
May 1. This issue session will provide opportunities to strengthen connections between the community of BIPOC members, develop proposals for concrete actions to address racism, and draft a professional statement of principals to guide the antiracism
work of the BCTF. For more information on the BCTF Issue Session on Racism, see the reports to the BCTF Executive Committee on the BCTF Equity and Inclusion webpage. The
Issue Session on Racism posting and application form are posted on the BCTF website, under Opportunities for Members. The application deadline is Tuesday, March 16, at
BCTF Virtual Think Tank on Privatization, May 7, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has created conditions in which the privatization of public education can flourish. This one-day Think Tank will bring together BCTF members with educational experts to:
- explore growing pressures and trends towards privatization of education within the province and globally.
- identify strategies for resisting privatization and defending public education as a public good.
Dr. Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, will frame the context for the day’s discussions using his book, Education and the Commercial Mindset. Participants
will be mailed a copy of the book by the end of March with suggested readings to preview prior to May 7. Click here to learn more and apply.
What do I do? Trauma-sensitive strategies for challenging behaviours
During this school year, the Ministry of Education has facilitated a webinar series to support teachers across the province amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The next webinar in the Teaching Tenaciously series, What do I do?
Trauma-sensitive strategies for challenging behaviours, will be co-presented by members of the Teachers of Inclusive Education (TIE-BC) PSA Executive. Every school year has its challenges; however, this year has been particularly difficult for both
students and educators. Added stresses of coping with a pandemic contribute to wavering self-regulation and resiliency in many of us. The session will share strategies to deal with behaviour issues, foster self-regulation, and nurture a growth mindset.
The webinar will take place on Thursday,
March 11 from 3:30–5:00 p.m. Register for the webinar at: https://ocr.openschool.bc.ca/course/view.php?id=74
Workshop ideas for
school-based Pro D days
The BCTF has several free workshops delivered through Zoom that you can book for your school staff, including the workshops listed below. The full range of virtual workshops can be viewed here.
Reframing challenging behaviour through a
trauma-informed lens *NEW (2 hours)
Participants in this workshop will discuss a wide range of effective strategies, practical ideas, and resources related to trauma-informed practice. Specific topics include exploring
the foundational principles of trauma-informed practice, examining challenging behaviour through a trauma-informed lens, and exploring strategies for staying well. Contact Ashley Gurat to book
Addressing ableism (90 minutes)
Ableism is a set of beliefs or practices that devalue and discriminate against people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities. In this workshop, participants will learn more about how we view disability, and learn how to identify and
fight the stigma that people with physical, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities face every day. For more details and to book this workshop, click here.
to be an antiracist in our schools, unions, and communities (1.5–3 hours,
includes off-screen working session and break)
This skills-based workshop is a powerful, practical way to promote awareness and empathy and develop the skills to effectively respond to discriminatory remarks and incidents of racism. This workshop has been updated to provide participants with opportunities
to practice strategies to intervene effectively. Book this workshop here.
BCTF Advantage Program partner, belairdirect, is launching a new contest with $24,000 in cash prizes up for grabs. The contest will run until February 28, 2022. Two $1,000 prizes will be drawn every month. You can enter by completing an online entry form or getting a group car/home insurance quote over the phone (1-844-757-2925) or online. See contest rules at belairdirect.com/winmore.