Pro-D Calendar

Below is a list of the Surrey Pro-D dates and a brief description of the type of events offered on those dates. To see a list of BCTF sponsored pro-d events go to:

Monday, September 24, 2012: The STA does not typically organise events for this day, as it has often been chosen as the one “Admin Controlled” pro-d day. Each school’s pro-d committee should be meeting early in September to discuss the staff’s wishes for this event. If the Admin is not planning a workshop, Pro-D committees can contact the School District’s Helping Teachers or the BCTF to find presenters to come to their school site.

Friday, October 19, 2012: A wide variety of workshops are offered on this day, which is known as the Provincial Specialists Association Day. There are over 30 PSAs, each offering workshops and networking geared to a different teaching specialty. For example, the Intermediate Teachers Association and The Association of BC Drama Educators. For more information about PSAs and the workshops held in October go to:

Friday, November 9, 2012: Teachers have the choice of attending a school based event, self directed pro-d, teacher inquiry or attending workshops organised by the STA Professional Development Committee. If a staff has voted to attend a pro-d event during the summer they typically take the November 9th date in lieu (AKA “A day off”).  For a list of workhops being offered on this date go to:

Friday, February 8, 2013: Typically the STA and the Surrey School District provide a joint venture called a Focus Day. More information to come in January.

Friday, May 3, 2013: All teachers are required according to our collective agreement to attend the STA Convention held on this date. This includes TOCs on long term assignments. Hundreds of free workshops are offered and the whole event is coordinated by a committee of volunteers. Registration opens in late March

Monday, May 27, 2013: The STA does not organise events many for this day, as it has often been chosen as the one “Admin Controlled” pro-d day.  Contacting the School District’s Helping Teachers is a great way to start planning a workshop.  Pro-D Funds cannot be used for an event controlled by the Admin.


November Pro-d Events

STA sponsored Pro-D Workshops

Linking thinking: Integrating environmental education into all classrooms 

This interactive workshop provides strategies and lesson plans that teachers can use the next day to integrate environmental education into most aspects of the curriculum. This workshop may include sample lesson plans on environmental, social, and economic issues related to food, habitat loss, transportation, and water.  The focus of the workshop is on making environmental education accessible to all teachers and on highlighting the links between curriculum areas and our local communities.  Through the incorporation of environmental education into all classrooms, educators and learners alike will be inspired to think critically about consumption and ways to live more responsibly, thus reducing the overall impact humans have on the environment.

Coast Meridian Elementary, 8222-168A Street, Surrey.

Time: 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Bring your own lunch.

To register please email Donna Stewart at or Cindy Tierney

Poverty as a classroom issue
BC has the highest poverty rate in Canada and 20% of all our children live in poverty. This workshop helps teachers to develop an awareness of the issue of poverty and its implication for our students. It will provide challenges for teachers on the assumptions we make about children living in poverty and provide strategies for teachers on how to support children who may be experiencing discrimination at school due to their socio-economic status.

Coast Meridian Elementary, 8222-168A Street, Surrey.

Time: 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Bring your own lunch.

To register please email Donna Stewart at or Cindy Tierney

Challenging Behaviour: Dealing with Individual Students (3 hours)

What works best for managing difficult student behaviour?  This is a question often asked by teachers who, despite establishing a positive classroom environment and clear behavioural expectations, have students who require specific support in order to manage their behaviour.  This workshop reviews theory, assessment tools, teacher self-reflection, resources, and a variety of strategies for responding to chronic disruptive student behaviour.  Facilitators are behaviour resource teachers, counsellors, and teachers with expertise and experience in this field. Consultation regarding specific behaviour challenges (e.g., ADHD, aggression/ bullying, motivation) is subject to facilitator availability.

Target audience: Teachers teaching on call

Coast Meridian Elementary, 8222-168A Street, Surrey.

Time: 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Bring your own lunch.

To register please email Donna Stewart at or Cindy Tierney

Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

This workshop provides a foundation for increasing educators’ understanding of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and its educational implications. With an increased level of understanding, educators will be able to provide more effective and appropriate supports for our students with FASD. The workshop focuses on an effective approach for teaching our students with FASD and provides an introduction to the Learner, Environment, Instruction, Curriculum (LEIC) planning tool.  Current resources, research, and strategies will also be shared. 

Location:  Old Yale Road Elementary at 10135 – 132 Street, Surrey.

Time:  8:30am – 2:30pm

Cost:  $5 to cover cost of lunch and refreshments

To register: contact

Registration Form is also available at /documents/PD/POPFASD2012.pdf


Self-directed Pro-D

Teachers have the autonomy to choose the type of Pro-D they want and need, and this doesn’t always have to mean attending a big, expensive conference.  If you are considering a self-directed pro-d event and would like some guidance, the BCTF has some resources on their website.   A planning tool which helps you reflect on your Pro-D needs and goals –


Self-Directed Pro-D activities can include:

  • Teacher study group
  •  Action research group
  • Developing a Pro-D growth plan or portfolio
  • Job shadowing, class observations
  • Curricular Development Projects
  • Round table discussions on a relevant topic
  • Reading/Discussing educational materials

Other PD…

November 9th: Conflict Resolution Skills: This workshop will teach participants to understand the dynamics of conflict and equip them with the skills needed to respond confidently when faced with situations of conflict.

November 9th: Play is the Way Use games supported by a simple, logical language and underlying philosophy that gives children clear insight into self regulation.

November 15th: Anxiety– Practical Intervention Strategies

November 16th: Depression-Practical Intervention Strategies

Storyoga  is a program that brings together children’s literature and the joyous movement of yoga. Picture books are used as inspiration to frame early yoga poses and beginning breath work.

Creative Dance in Seattle (home of the BrainDance program)

Self Directed Pro-D

Teachers have the autonomy to choose the type of Pro-D they want and need, and this doesn’t always have to mean attending a big, expensive conference.

If you are considering a self directed pro-d event and would like some guidance, the BCTF has some resources on their website. For a planning tool which helps you reflect on your Pro-D needs and goals go to:

Self Directed Pro-D activities can include:

– Teacher study group

– Action research group

– Developing a Pro-D growth plan or portfolio

– Job shadowing, class observations

– Curricular Development Projects

– Round table discussions on a relevant topic

– Reading/Discussing educational materials


Teacher Inquiry

Teacher inquiry is a process that involves a group of teachers coming together to pose questions about their practice and then proceeding to find out the answers to their questions, often through the vehicle of action research. The BCTF can support your teacher inquiry by providing a facilitator and grants.

Some sample inquiry questions are:

• How can we differentiate our instruction?

• How can teachers continue to improve school/community relationships

• How does the teacher’s health and wellbeing affect the students’ learning?

• What combination of mentorship and other supports will best support TTOCs?

 Very often, the initial question that is posed changes, becoming more refined or sometimes even set aside for new, deeper or emerging questions that arise during the course of the investigation into the original question.


Who are the BCTF inquiry facilitators?

They are:

• teachers from around the province who apply to be facilitators.

• supported and trained by the BCTF.

• steeped in the knowledge and skills needed to encourage deep thinking and conversation.

• available to work with inquiry groups to help them through the inquiry process.

Do facilitators direct my inquiry?

Teacher inquiries are self-directed. Facilitators guide you through your inquiry, using their skills to help you delve deeply into:

• the questions, clarifications and initial discussions.

• data collection and analysis.

• the reflections and changes in your practice.

What processes can be used for inquiry?

• Action research: Teachers investigate and evaluate their work.

• Professional conversations: A group of peers engages in a sustained and focused conversation on practice.

• Book Study groups: A group of teachers focus on one book or report,

discussing its contents and relating the author’s views to their areas of practice.

• Subject (e.g., English/Language Arts) or theme-based (e.g., inclusion, gender) inquiry groups.

• Appreciative inquiry: Teachers focus on one area of practice which is working well as a starting point for reflection on practice.

• Professional learning communities: Membership is voluntary, and the focus of the inquiry is chosen by participants.

How do I get going?

Start with something you wonder about that will frame your inquiry.

• Contact your local PD chair.

• Set up an inquiry group in your school, across the local or within your PSA.

• Apply for the BCTF inquiry grant, if eligible. (Contact PD Chair for information)

• Find a place to meet.

• Invite an inquiry facilitator to come and help you start your first inquiry meeting.

• Contact or

Taken from

International Pro-D Lottery

Every year, four lucky people win $2500 each to attend an International Pro-D conference of their choosing. Guidelines on how to enter can be found pg. 7 of this pdf file of the funding guidelines:

Last year’s winners:

Rhonda MacWilliams (Hillcrest Elementary) attended a conference in New York

Joyce Steeves (Hazelgrove Elementary) attended a conference in Atlanta Georgia.

Sheollagh Fitzgerald (Elementary Counsellor) attended a conference in Hawaii

Below are summaries of their experiences:

Rhonda MacWilliams attended the YAI International Conference; Advancing Services Across the Life Span in New York City.

The conference was held over five days and included a vast variety of sessions on a variety of topics including advocacy, self-determination, autism, behavior challenges, international perspectives on disabilities, special education, learning disabilities and ADHD, to name a few. The some highlights of the conference included a presentation by New York doctor, Eugene M Kornhaber titled, A Clinician’s View of ADHD and a presentation by an occupational therapist, Gilda Gallaro titled Understanding and Treating Sensory Processing Disorders.

Dr. Kornhaber’s presentation on a clinician’s view of ADHD provided an overview of the longitudinal research about ADHD, as well, as his personal experiences, as a clinician specializing in ADHD.  Dr. Kornhaber’s main point was to illustrate what he sees a “best practices” for people with ADHD and how he goes about practicing in this way   Essentially, Dr. Kornhaber treats children and adults with psychostimulates. He went through a variety of case studies and discussed his treatment plan and the results.  Dr. Kornhaber, also revoked myths about the causes, symptoms and treatment of ADHD.

Gilda Gallaro presentation gave an overview of brain functions and what disordered functioning in these areas looks like.  Of most interest to me, was Gallaro’s use of the interactive metronome, which she uses to help students match rhythmic beat with motor actions.  This therapy strengthens the student executive function to focus and organize the stimuli coming into the brain from the word.  I really enjoyed learning about how the brain and body work together to manage the input and output coming into and out of the body.

Sheollagh Fitzgerald (Elementary Counsellor)
I was very privileged to be the 2011-2012 recipient of the STA funding for international professional development. In scanning the options on-line, the conference that stood out for me was the 10th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education from January 5-8, 2012, held in Waikiki. It seemed to have great potential for breadth of topics, issues specific to both elementary and secondary education, and practical information that could be applied on a daily basis. I must say that the location was also an appealing aspect. Who could object to Hawaii in January?
        The conference was held at the Marriott and Hilton hotels on the eastern end of Waikiki. Both locations were well-suited to hosting an event of this size, (about 700 participants I was told). The meeting rooms were comfortable and, whenever one needed a quick break, the ocean was right across the street.
        The ambience of the entire conference was enriching, stimulating, and highly respectful. A scrumptious breakfast buffet was included each day and a ‘home base’ room was open daily for participants to have questions answered by helpful staff and to use a number of computers to check and send emails.
        The presentations themselves were diverse, informative, and collegial in atmosphere. Some of the main topics were teacher education, ESL, promoting literacy, teaching math and science, education administration, curriculum, special education, and education technology. Many presenters had travelled from Hawaii and other parts of he US, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand, and Japan while others were from universities and schools in Kathmandu, South Africa, and Korea. The formats of presentation also varied, some providing details of research conducted, some promoting discussion on emerging or well-established areas of educational inquiry. With so many simultaneous sessions, it was very difficult to choose which one, or two, to attend. At one point, I was glad that the locations of the two presentations I wanted to see were side by side, as I refused to choose between “Using narratives to teach reading and writing” and “Using strength-based practices to engage families.”
        The Hawaiian atmosphere was a terrific backdrop for this inspiring conference. The weather was warm but not too hot and made for pleasant walks through outdoor markets or along the beach. Despite being part of a large city, I certainly found that the Waikiki area treats its tourists well. It is a culturally diverse area with most everyone being pleasant and helpful. One couldn’t help but buy one of the flower-patterned shirts or a kukui nut necklace and then stroll along the beach, soaking in the tropical ambience. It was so very hard to say “Mahalo” to such an informative and inspiring conference in a beautiful part of our world.
Karen Kilbride (LST Teacher Chantrell Creek and Pacific Heights Elementary) attended the Euroscience Open Forum in Dublin Ireland
I feel very fortunate to have attended the Euroscience Open Forum 2012.  The conference was held in the new conference centre in Dublin Ireland July 11th to the 15th.  This is a biennial meeting dedicated to scientific research, science and innovation policies, education, scientific careers and benefits to society.  It was an exciting meeting with over 4000 participants including, five nobel prize winners,  science students, teachers, researchers,  corporations, Bob Geldoff  and the President of Ireland.  The organization was amazing. There were over 500 presenters with workshops beginning at 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. The display area was an exciting mix of science, policy promotion and entertainment.   The City of Dublin took the theme of science and created venues and events to celebrate “Science in the City”.  Trinity University hosted a special section of the conference Science Meets Poetry.  The Irish Science centre took the theme of science to do a special community building event called Hack the City addressing the issue of privacy and the integration of technology in our daily lives.
The forum is designed to bring together leading scientists and  researchers, young researchers, educators, entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers, scientific journalists and the general public from all over Europe.  The stated purpose of the Euro Science Hub is to discuss new discoveries and debate the direction that research is taking in all sciences, including social sciences and humanities, medical sciences and engineering.  The ESOF organization maintains a website where many of the presentations are available to watch as well as an online journal
The next Euroscience Forum will be held in Copenhagen on June 21 to 26th 2014.  I highly recommend that teachers consider attending.

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