VSTA Connect – February 4, 2022

February 4, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Happy Second Semester! While the semester system comes with its own bag of tricks, at least we have a clear demarcation of the half way point! We can eagerly start looking to Spring Break and dare we say it…June! In this week’s Connect you will find some resources for Black History month, member engagement, important dates from the employer and some VSTA Joy! 

Inhale : I am trying.
Exhale : I am still here.


Create Your Perfect Blend!

Blair and Jessica, the Secondary Technology Support Teachers, hope you can join them on February 18th for the Perfect Blend Conference. They’re leveraging the power of technology to bring in amazing speakers from within our own district, across Canada and even the United States. This conference focuses on how you can use technology strategically to enhance learning in your face-to-face classroom, and there will be something for everyone–even people who don’t think of themselves as techie. Whether you are curious about Universal Design for Learning or blended learning, looking for new ways to track student progress (e.g. digital portfolios), in search of new project ideas (e.g. podcasts, e-books), or just want practical tips for peacefully co-existing with technology in your classroom, we have a workshop for you.

The day will combine live online workshops with self-paced exploration sessions that will allow you to play and experiment with what you just learned before bringing it into your classroom. Check out the full range of offerings and register today.

Working from home

Please note that, pending any update from Employee Services, all teachers are now required to be on site for Professional Development days.

Spring Transfer Period

The spring transfer period will soon be upon us and teacher transfer requests will be due in early March. If you are considering a transfer, please check future Connects for more detailed information. 

BCTF Opportunities

The BC Teachers’ Council is seeking input from teachers who completed their Teacher Certification Program between 2015 – 2020. If you would like to provide feedback, please follow the link here . The survey will take approximately 20 minutes.

Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee

Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee  has a one-year term vacancy. The advisory committee is composed of First Nations, Inuit and Métis members. This committee advises the Executive Committee on the development and implementation of an employment-equity program for Aboriginal teachers, reviews research on the level of success of Aboriginal students, and provides advice on initiatives to enhance success for Aboriginal students. If you would like to apply for this position, please view the online posting. Application deadline is Monday February 14th, 2022 at 5:00pm.

Happy Black History Month!

The focus this year is February and Forever: Celebrating Black History today and every day,” and writer and educator Dr. Clint Smith reminds us that, “we honour our students when we give them full complexity of history. We can teach about resistance and strength while acknowledging the inhumane systems that Black people have had to overcome and still have to overcome on a daily basis.”

Please see and consider integrating any or all of the below documentaries into your teaching content. They are between 15 – 30 minutes in length and address both past and present issues faced by Black Canadians.

Secret Alberta, – 100km north of Edmonton lies one of Canada’s first Black settlements. This mini documentary will show how these Black Pioneers arrived and thrived.

Secret Victoria  – Governor James Douglas of Victoria, our first Biracial (White and Guinean) fought off American expansionism by invited Black Freed people to settle in Victoria. Watch to learn more about their experience.

Beyond Curls and Kinks  – Black women are continuously setting and challenging beauty standards, check out this episode to see the interconnectedness of slavery, self-esteem and identity.

The Walk on  A refugee from the Congo has his NCAA basketball dreams shot…and then he returns home to Calgary to lace up one last time.

Check out the facing history and ourselves blog for more resources with a large Canadian context.

Encourage your students to take History of African Descent in BC 12. There will be a TEAMS information session for students on February 16th from 4-5pm. This course is open to all senior students in the VSB.

The MOA is currently featuring Sankofa – African Routes, Canadian Roots an exhibit that shares stories of affirmation of African and Black people in the diaspora. (Ends March 27th 2022)

Soul Power by Jan Wade is currently on exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This exhibit is the first time the VAG has featured a solo Black artist. Come and experience Soul Power as Jan Wade seeks to express her experience as a Black Canadian woman. She has also curated a playlist available on Spotify to be listened to while exploring the exhibit.  Virtual classroom tours are available (ends March 12th 2022)

VSTA Joy! Joy is an act of resistance ! Toi Derricotte!

On Monday January 31st, VSTA member Nikitha Fester had the opportunity to speak to her experience teaching History of African Descent in BC 12 alongside a few of her students. Take a look at the short video  short video to see what students are saying about this course!

In Solidarity,
Treena, Terry, and Alyssa