Check out what’s happening in Pro-D and Social Justice – BCTF

 kids matter teachers care
October 3, 2014

Professional development opportunities abound!

BC teachers have a long history of working together to provide opportunities to enhance professional practice, encourage collegial relationships, and have fun learning together. (Evidence of that history: the BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association is marking its 75th anniversary this year!) October 24 is the provincial professional development day and your PSAs have a tremendous range of conferences planned.

Conversations about the conferences have already stated on Twitter using #psaday.

October 5 is the 30th anniversary of World Teachers’ Day

World Teachers Day 2014-15

October 5, World Teachers’ Day, is a time to celebrate the enormous contribution of the world’s 55 million teachers to nurturing students, building communities, and creating a better future. First declared by UNESCO in 1994, the day is marked with joyful celebrations in many countries. It’s even a national holiday in some African nations.

Although education has long been enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 72 million children around the world are still denied that fundamental right. And despite international conventions protecting the right to form and join trade unions, teacher unionists in many countries continue to be subjected to brutal repression.

The ongoing struggle to assert teachers’ rights and to defend quality public education for all is shared by teachers and their unions worldwide. OnOctober 5, the BCTF salutes every one of our 41,000 members for the important part you play.

Watch ‘One day in the life of a teacher’ online

A new documentary produced by Education International with support from the Open Society Foundations has been launched in conjunction with this years’ World Teachers’ Day. It follows teachers from all over the world—in countries such as Argentina, Togo, India, or Belgium—to shed light on what teachers’ everyday lives look like around the world. The film, One day in the life of a teacher, highlights similarities and differences, as well as challenges faced by teachers today.

With a strong focus on teaching and learning, the film also looks at the human beings behind the profession and the role of teachers in their community and union, and the consequences of current policies and reforms they experience. These teachers’ voices are a strong reminder of the fact that quality education remains the basis for a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous future, the basis of a world in which education is a right and everyone has equal opportunities to participate in quality education.

New BCTF research report

Why do we educate? Are the proposed BC K-12 education directions appropriate for future economies, and for the needs of a diverse and democratic society?

School competition doesn’t improve achievement, does reduce equity

A recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) “literally kicks the legs right out from under the entire right-wing thesis in education that privatization creates competition and competition is good for both private and public schools,” writes Doug Little, a former teacher, college instructor, school trustee, founder of Our Schools, Our Selves, and staffer at the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation.

On his blog, The Little Education Report, Little notes that the report is “making shock waves in the worldwide education community [because] the OECD has said there is nothing to be gained from competition between schools and, in fact, it increases social polarization of schools.”

You can read the OECD’s PISA in Focus report here.

Sisters in Spirit vigils take place tomorrow

October 4, 2014 will mark the ninth annual Sisters in Spirit vigils, which are held to raise awareness and demand action for missing and murdered First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women and girls.

The Canadian Labour Congress has recently started a petition to demand justice for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls based on the RCMP’s documentation of almost 1,200 cases of missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls between 1980 and 2012. To learn more about the October 4 Sisters in Spirit events and to light a virtual candle, please

Here’s how to sign up for the BCTF member portal

To sign up or log in to the member portal, you’ll need your BCTF member ID, not your Teacher Regulation Branch certification number or district employee number. Information on retrieving your BCTF member ID is available in our member portal help guide.

If you have questions about your employment information displayed in the portal, please email, or call 604-871-2193; toll free 1-800-663-9163 (Local 2193). The FT/PT contract designation is used for members who have either a full-time or part-time contract position. If you have further questions about the status of your FTE, please contact your local.

Update on the distribution of the $105 million fund to members
A revised Q & A document regarding the disbursement of the $105 million fund has been posted for members here. The revised Q & A provides answers to the most common questions that have been recently asked. Please note that members will not have to seek out their employment data from school districts and provide that information to the BCTF.

Mark your calendar and wear purple

On October 10, 2013, the Amanda Todd Legacy began an awareness campaign called Light Up the World Purple for World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day has existed since 1992 and occurs on the same date each year. This was also the same date that Amanda Todd, a Port Coquitlam student, took her own life in 2012. She had been mercilessly bullied by her peers and on the internet. The awareness related to bullying and mental health is a never ending worldwide campaign that needs manyadvocates. Too many people, both young and old, suffer from anxiety and depression as a direct result of bullying and intimidation.

Light Up Purple hopes that communities and organizations will support and participate in the PURPLE awareness campaign for World Mental Health Day on October 10. The World Federation of Mental Health also supports this campaign.

Light Up Purple is not limited to purple lights. Last year, schools and businesses wore purple clothing, made purple ribbons, and created other activities featuring purple. The Los Angeles airport, for example, used purple pylons and Niagara Falls, CN Tower, city buildings in Winnipeg and Ontario, Science World, and BC Place, “lit up” to raise awareness.

Please consider wearing purple or commemorating this day in another creative way to raise awareness around bullying and mental health. You can send photos of what you do to and they could be posted in their online photo album. For more information about the Light Up Purple campaign, check out this short video or to view last year’s slideshow and read the letter of explanation, click here.