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Before the school year walking a picket line was not something teachers in BC expected or relished, but embrace it we did with the understanding of the wider battle we were fighting on behalf of BC students and families. While the protracted labour dispute left teachers financially and emotionally battered, it also left us with an increased resolve to fight for quality public education for all students, particularly those with exceptional needs.
With a delayed start and one day (in most cases unpaid) to prepare, teachers hit the halls running and generally scrambled their way through the term, doing their best to get to know their students, move them forward, and report on them. Now that we have had a two-week break to catch our breath, hopefully we can settle into a more typical routine of doing what we love – working with kids.
This year, SEA welcomes three new members to our twelve-person executive: Samantha Bowker, Secretary; Tracy Walton, Registrar; and Regan Rankin, Speakers Coordinator. Our executive had three productive days of meetings this fall in which we reflected on the vision of our organization and explored possible changes and initiatives to keep abreast of best practices and to maintain our role as leaders in inclusive education.
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Crosscurrents Conference. Crosscurrents 2015 features another roster of outstanding speakers with returning favourites and exciting new presenters, including Keynote and neuropsychologist, Richard Guare (executive functioning), Faye Brownlie (literacy), Colleen Politano (self-regulation), Leyton Schnellert, Donna Kozak & Shelley Moore (inclusive education), Dawn Reithaug (behaviour), Carole Fullerton (Math), Molly Stewart Lawlor (SEL), Monique Gray-Smith (award-winning Aboriginal author), and more. To help celebrate four decades of exceptional conferences, we are holding a banquet complete with entertainment and door prizes. Registration is now open (seaofbc.ca/crosscurrents- conference) so mark your calendar for March 5th and 6th at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond and come celebrate with us.
The SEA is more than a brilliant conference. As part of our quest to support our members in novel and accessible ways, we are holding a book study on Leah Kuypers’s book, The Zones of Regulation. The study begins in January and will culminate with a refund for the cost of the book and a lunch at Crosscurrents with dynamic self-regulation speaker, Colleen Politano. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The SEA continues to use Twitter as one method of sharing information with our members and the public. Our list of followers continues to grow. If you have a suggestion of a message or topic to ‘tweet’ please contact our social media coordinator at email@example.com.
At a provincial level, we are working with the BCTF by promoting teacher resource sharing via BCTF’s new TeachBC website (http://teachbc.bctf.ca), by updating the Teaching to Diversity website, and by collaborating with other Provincial Specialist Associations through our involvement on PSA Council. An SEA representative also attends the Ministry of Education’s Changing Results for Young Readers network meetings as one of seven BCTF PSA observers.
In the wise words of Paulo Freire, “Whoever teaches learns in the act of teaching, and whoever learns teaches in the act of learning.” As we move into 2015, may your days in the classroom be filled with joyful teaching and learning.
2014-15 President's Message (235 KB)