Programs stress importance of training for educators 0
With the hiring of a teenager by the B.C. government to conduct research and planning support for teacher development, individual school districts — such as Vancouver — say they have already taken the matter of training educators into their own hands.
In July, the B.C. Ministry of Education began a contract for Anjali Vyas — who just recently graduated high school — to take on the task of researching how teachers are developed.
However, Vancouver teaching consultant Mary Filleul has already been providing what the district calls “peer-to-peer” support for junior educators just breaking into the profession.
The veteran has years of elementary and secondary teaching under her belt and now works with primary school teachers under the teachers’ union-partnered program that offers confidential help for instructors.
“It was designed by the union and the school board together as a confidential way to support teachers,” she said. “Not necessarily teachers who were struggling, but also teachers who want to expand their professional knowledge.”
In the past two years, the district also began hosting regular workshops for its principals, connecting them to staff within the school district administration on topics such as special education, overseeing attendance, social media use, how to deal with unions and more.
Denise Johnson, the Vancouver School Board’s director of instruction, said about 50% of the district’s principals started their positions within the last three years.
She said only a handful — about a dozen people — are veteran principals with more than 10 years of experience.
“We recognize that (for) people transitioning into new positions, those first five years are really crucial in learning the skill sets and confidence and competence in doing their jobs well,” Johnson said.