Monday, June 2, 2014

Position Continues

The School Board has reversed their cut to the Pro-D Fund Administrator position. This means that Pro-D Coordination will continue next year and applications for conference travel will now be accepted for Fall 2014. Thank-you to all who advocated for this position by email, social media, and other ways. This includes about 100 teachers who sent individual and group letters to trustees, telling their stories about professional development and explaining how it was supported by the coordination that takes place. Thank-you to the trustees who realized that the relationship between stakeholders (on the Pro-D file) was worth protecting. Spring Fling 2015 is a go, as are the many other Pro-D services that were in jeopardy. And thank-you to the PGDTA exec for applying some appropriate pressure in the form of a motion related to teacher and district-offered pro-d.

The broad spectrum of Professional learning takes many forms in our educational community -- it can be initiated by individuals, teachers, schools, the district, or beyond. Every school district in BC has an arrangement with it's teacher union to provide funds for teacher-directed pro-d in addition to the other activities that teachers can access. Our district has had a long run of successful teacher-directed pro-d made possible by district funding, including the funding of a coordinator position. Like any issues that involves money and control, there is some politics involved and we can be thankful that this issue was resolved, for now, without erosion of teacher autonomy in regards to pro-d. When teachers have a strong support base for personal inquiry and group learning, we all benefit, especially the students. Despite the contention around this funding issue, we finish the year with respect for all forms of professional learning, including the core value that teachers know what they want to learn next, and are the best judge of how to develop this learning. This is a good news story for SD57.


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