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Through-out the district, May 6 was a busy day, with virtually all staff groups participating in a variety of professional development day, or Pro-D day learning sessions.
Surrey teachers participated in the annual Surrey Teachers' Association Convention. The STA convention is the largest teacher-led professional development event in B.C. It is fully organized and funded by the Surrey Teachers' Association. Thousands of teachers attended events at Johnston Heights Secondary, Kwanten Park Secondary, K.B. Woodward Elementary, Mountainview Montessori and David Brankin Elementary.
(Photo: Native author Richard Wagamese speaking at the STA Convention)
This year, the STA Convention theme was Changing Our Ways: Weaving Threads of Truth and Reconciliation Throughout our Practice. The event featured keynote addresses from Richard Wagamese, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, and Susan Aglukark. There were also over 200 workshops on a wide range of educational topics, including embedding Aboriginal perspectives and knowledge into classroom teaching.
For CUPE support staff, several sessions were tailored to the work of specific staff, such as clerical, custodial, maintenance, education assistants, systems support and more.
Training was therefore varied; from time management, software courses and the MyEd student information system, to trauma-sensitive schooling, communication dynamics and connecting with autistic students as presented by autistic guest speaker Alexander Magnussen.
District school administrators, through the Surrey Principals and Vice-Principals Association (SPVPA) held their own Pro-D day. They heard from renowned developmental psychologist and speaker Dr. Gordon Neufeld. Dr. Neufeld has more than 40 years of experience with children and youth and is a foremost authority on child development.