Professional Development :)

As many of you may know, I love conferences and professional development….. LOVE.

I hunger for  professional development…. crave case studies and am absolutely reenergized by networking!

Most recently I attended the BCTF-NTC: British Columbia’s Teachers Federations, New Teachers Conference where I was exposed to a whirl wind of new ideas and met some amazing people willing to share their stories of learning and growth!

Below are the sessions I attended with a BRIEF taste of what I learned, as you can see.. IT IS A LOT!!

1. Managing Stress in School Aged Children – Building Resilience!

Ah Resilience, such a meaningful word sweeping through our society! Promoting mental health and social emotional well-being.

What can we do to help build resilience in our students? AND in OURSELVES!

– Focus on inner strengths

– Build your support network! NETWORKING!

– Be AWARE of yourself and of others

– Work to develop social competencies such as effective communication and problem solving skills

2. Strategies for Discussing Controversial Issues

Some food for thought…

Discussion controversial issues in the classroom allows students the opportunity to think critically, increase awareness of self and of global circumstances, develop and communicate their opinions.

Some tips for discussing controversial issues…

“Set the Stage” by developing Ground Rules with your class!

1. Respect all views

2. Listen to others carefully

3. Take turns talking

4. Give opinions in a respectful manner

Give your students a chance to develop their thoughts and develop their ‘background knowledge’ and be sure to debrief with your students as to what strategies they found to be effective in expressing their POV.

3. Project Heart

This session what quite moving.. and quite overwhelming. Two First Nation Elders shared their stories with us, revealing the harsh realities of  a residential school experience and life after. They made one request to use as educators…

“We are asking you to care, and acknowledge where aboriginal students are coming from”

The session facilitators introduced us to Project Heart, a program designed to honor the courage of residential school survivors//intergenerational survivors, as well as acknowledge the lives lost. To educate the public about injustices of the past and work toward building trust and empathy in a movement forward.

4. Socializing Justice: Taking Action on Racism 

How do we discuss racism that has happened in the past?…

Just as discussing ‘controversial issues’, when discussing racism or reflecting on past events keep in mind the following:

“4 agreements of courageous conversation”

1. Stay engaged

2. Experience Discomfort

3. Speak ‘your’ truth

4. Expect and accept non-closure

How do we respond to racist actions that happen now in our own school and classrooms?

Food for thought – Respond to what a student DOES .. not who they are

– Responding to what a student does does not make assumptions about a students character but are statements based on FACTS/EVIDENCE/PROOF

– Reflect on how you can make your response a ‘learning’ moment – ex. Disect the language, where did it originate from..

– How can we make people aware of racism? CELEBRATE diversity through cultural events… PROMOTE EMPATHY and ACCEPTANCE of DIVERSITY!

5. Teaching Models for Sustainability  –  “Be the Change – Earth Alliance” 

Learning Locally… making REAL WORLD connections

Looking at PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with your local and global…



What can YOU do in your classroom?…Composting? Looking at where things come from and how they arrive? Gardening? Reconnecting with nature?

6. Professional Development – Giving Purpose to PRO-D-Days 

Professional Development has to be ABOUT YOU.. this your chance to be SELFISH//

What do YOU want to learn about, in what areas do YOU want to grow…

Most Importantly… what are YOU going to do to make it happen…You must be a SEEKER of opportunity…

Professional Development is YOUR RIGHT and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

6 Purposes of Professional Development (paraphrased from presentation)

1. Building and strengthening self as a professional body

2. Development professional relationships

3. Being exposed to new teaching methods

4. Being exposed to new educational theories

5. Encouraging life long learning/professional development

6. Promoting collegial conversation – Collaboration and







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