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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 20, Number 4, January/February 2008

College releases new standards for educators

The BC College of Teachers has released new standards for educators covering some 65,000 teachers, AOs, and superintendents in the K–12 system. It is the first time since 2003, that standards have been updated following a two-year consultation.

The draft standards, still subject to stakeholder feedback and approval by the Ministry of Education, are:

  1. Educators value and care for all students and minors and act in their best interest.
  2. Educators are role models who act ethically and honestly.
  3. Educators understand and apply knowledge of student growth and development.
  4. Educators value the involvement and support of parents, guardians, families and community in schools.
  5. Educators implement effective practices in areas of planning, instruction, assessment, evaluation and reporting.
  6. Educators have a broad knowledge base and understand the subject areas they teach.
  7. Educators engage in career-long learning.
  8. Educators contribute to the profession.

According to The Vancouver Sun, the new standards have not pleased everyone. The BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils says the standards "...are vague and open to misinterpretation." And the BC School Trustees Association is also concerned about the lack of specificity.

But, BCTF President Irene Lanzinger was generally supportive of the new standards—with one exception. The union wants standard 2 changed to: "College members are accountable for their conduct where that conduct has an effect on their role in the education system." And it wants to remove a sentence in the explanation of 2 that says, "Educators are accountable for their conduct both on the job and away from the educational setting," and replace it with, "College members are accountable for their conduct in the education system."

Lanzinger stated: "Occasionally, a teacher may make a mistake or be guilty of an infraction that does not have an impact on their teaching or role in the school system. In that instance, the college has no role."

– Murray Dobbin

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