I am forwarding you my report to Zone 12 for the last meeting of the BC College of Teachers. Of particular note is the College response to the Surrey issue related to their adult educators (found in the Qualifications Committee section of the report).
Zone 12 rep
Teachers, June, 2007 meetingReport to Zone TwelveBy: Richard Walker The June meeting of the College Council were held between June 4 & 7th. Newly elected council members Jerelynn MacNeil and Norm Nichols were welcomed to the College. Outgoing Councilors included Reggi Balabanov, Kit Krieger, Bob Lindsay and Floyd Smith who were lauded for their contributions at the College on behalf of the educators of
British Columbia. Although the newly elected members were attending the meeting, the government has so far failed to announce the replacements for the two departing appointees. The lack of these appointees for the June meeting meant that a special Council meeting had to be scheduled for July 31st in order to hold an election for the position of Chair and Vice Chair of the Council in accordance with timelines stipulated under the Teaching Profession Act. In the meantime, the departing councilors created openings in the Preliminary Investigation Sub-Committee (PISC) and elections for these positions were held at the June meeting. John Grain was elected as a full member and Louise Burgart and Tim Dunford were elected into alternate positions. These councilors will hold their positions only between August 1st and the October meeting of Council when new elections for a full slate on PISC will be held. The Discipline Committee reported that the long-standing backlog in investigations is gradually beginning to abate since the addition of another investigator a few months ago. A by-law was passed that gave the College the authority to compel the production of documents at the investigation stage of misconduct issues. They also passed motions related to improving the ‘Person Complaint’s Process’ as well as passing recommendations regarding College practices related to recruitment and retention of legal counsel.
The Qualifications Committee passed motions that clarified existing bylaw wording regarding acceptable teaching experience as well as wording that would allow in-province applicants for certification the same options for a French Language only restricted certificate which are currently available to out of province applicants. Of significant interest to the adult educators in
Surrey, the Committee recommended a variance in obtaining Letters of Permission (LOP) for ‘adult educators’. The new rule will allow the College Council, upon receipt of an application for a LOP from a School District, to waive the requirement for evidence of internal and external advertising of a position in Adult Education, where the proposed employee has worked for a Board for a specified period and have enrolled in the new two year UBC Secondary Education Diploma Program. This motion will allow adult educators in
Surrey (and potentially elsewhere in BC) the ability to continue to work while obtaining their permanent teaching certification. This is a one time only arrangement as the special UBC program will end in two years. The Teacher Education Committee approved, on an interim basis, the ‘Attainment of Standards’ (ASR) reports from SFU, UBC and UNBC. A meeting between TEC members and the Deans is scheduled for June 18th to discuss some of the challenges that have arisen in the ASR approval process related to a Letter of Understanding signed some time ago between the College and the Deans of Education in BC. The Committee also passed a motion that will expand the scope of a survey the College carries out that polls opinions from recent education program graduates. The survey will now include applicants, members and partner groups.
The Finance Committee made recommendations to use $150 K in unallocated surplus funds to hire further technology staff. These positions were needed to enhance the College’s ability to respond to new mandates arising from legislation as well as help to continue the work the College began last year in up-dating its records management and web redesign. There were further motions that clarified the policies regarding Council member’s expenses
The Communications Committee’s work focused on a proposed advertising policy related to ‘tc’ magazine and the development of an internal process to expedite and coordinate communications initiatives within the College.
The TILMA Committee (Trade, Investment, Labour Mobility Agreement between BC and Alberta) made recommendations that will help College representatives frame their discussions in relation to establishing common certification requirements between
Alberta and BC. These recommendations were formulated after significant consultative opportunities offered to all partner groups. As the recommendations form the basis of what could be viewed as a ‘bargaining’ position at the TILMA talks, the specifics of the recommendations were passed in private session. The Standards Committee set before Council their recommendations for the new set of ‘Standards for Competency and Conduct’. Educators may recall that the first set of written College standards were formulated by the ‘interim council’. The initial standards were always considered a ‘living’ document and revisions were expected. The elected College began a review of the standards three years ago. Part of that review was a discussion forum where all partner groups gave input to the standards. The Standards Committee has been working with this input for a considerable time prior to placing the new draft before the Council.The new draft proposal sets a framework of eight standards, each with an explanatory paragraph. In addition the current proposal will see each standard accompanied by sets of ‘reflective’ questions: one set for practicing educators, one set for those in a supervisory capacity to help assess candidates in teacher education programs and one set for Council members in assessing and judging applicants and members when concerns are raised about fitness and/or competency. The draft of the standards and their descriptive paragraphs, accompanied by: a cover letter, an introduction outlining the purpose and meaning of the standards in practice, a set of definitions and an example set of questions for the first standard have been approved unanimously by Council for distribution to all partner groups. I am hoping that these will be distributed in the coming months and will be available to those interested in examining them. The Council also approved a time frame for further input into the draft before there is any final approval of the new Standards. I believe that the new standards will reflect the broad principles which all educators espouse. I would also like to give credit to Kit Kreiger who chaired the Standards Revision Committee. I think that his leadership was critical to the production of a document that could ultimately be endorsed by every council member. The new Standards could well become Councilor Kreiger’s lasting legacy to
British Columbia’s educational community. The Committee of the Whole brought forward several motions for discussion at the public meeting. One motion that carried was a change to the internal election process for positions within the College Council. A further motion to give ‘voice but no vote’ to elected/appointed council members prior to their taking office was referred back to staff for suggested wording.
The next meeting of the Council will be July 31st for the purpose of electing a Chair and Vice Chair for the coming year. I have let it be known that I will let my name stand. The next regularly scheduled full meeting of the new Council will be at the beginning of October.