The 2010 Winter Olympics placed a spotlight on Vancouver, our country, and our Canadian ways. In the closing ceremonies, William Shatner and Catherine O’hara joked about rocking canoes and people who are overly quick to apologize. During opening ceremonies, Shane Koyczan told the world that, “We Are More.” But what does it mean to be Canadian? What are our Canadian symbols? How do we view ourselves and what shapes our cultural beliefs?
In Nlaka’pamux (pronounced ng-khla-kap-mh) country in southcentral British Columbia, you can hear coyotes howling in the canyon at night, and glimpse them disap pearing into the woods. For the Nlaka’pamux people, coyote is a trickster, using his creativity to transform the world, while rebel ling against and disrupting established order.
I think that Jack and his family were very brave crossing the Atlantic Ocean to try to find a better life. If I could talk to him I would thank him for his courage and working hard to make a good life for all of his generations to follow.
“Marking is soul-destroying,” proclaimed a disheveled looking woman in the front row. “I’m not kidding,” she insisted, “it is actually destroying my soul.” Shouts of Amen! came from several teachers in the crowd, and the woman with the destroyed soul leaned forward, looking eager to hear whatever advice the workshop leader might offer. This was not a light-hearted affair. She needed help.
To provide more opportunities for students to practice writing, many universities instituted Writing Across the Cur riculum (WAC) programs starting in the 1980s. These programs are based on the principles that writing promotes learning, that writing is the responsibility of all content teachers, that writing should be integrated in all disciplines through out a student’s educational career, and that only by practicing authentic writing in every discipline will students learn to communicate within that discipline (The WAC Clearinghouse, 2009). These collaborative programs have filtered into K-12 secondary schools, espe ially in the last decade due to the standards movement (Brewster and Klump, 2004).
FNESC has invited English teachers to respond to the new draft curriculum for English 10 and 11 First Peoples which is now available on the Ministry of Education website for feedback. Response Forms in WORD and PDF formats are also available. These documents can be found at: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/irp/drafts/ (more…)
BCTELA would like to congratulate Susan Telfer, an English teacher in Gibsons, on the publication of her first book of poetry. It is published by Hagios Press. Finding the time to write while teaching is an impressive accomplishment and it will surely inspire both students and colleagues. Way to go Susan!
We have started a wiki for BC English Language Arts teachers. It’s kind of a digital incarnation of the novel title collection project we used to do. The difference this time is that a wiki updates immediately and is easily accessible to everyone. If you’ve never used a wiki, come have a look. We’d love to have participation from all over the province.
First, we’re collecting Canadian texts that you teach. Next may be comics and graphic novels….
Check out this contest for your students:
“The Mathieu Da Costa Challenge (MDC) is an annual writing and artwork contest open to youth between the ages of 9 and 18. The Challenge encourages young Canadians to embark on their own personal voyage of discovery by learning about the contributions that Canadians of different backgrounds have made in building our country.”
The BCTELA AGM will be held at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre in Burnaby (the site of our conference) on Friday, October 23rd at 3:45 pm. Information as to the specific room will be available from an executive member at the hotel on Friday.
At the AGM, executive members will report out on this years activities and there will be elections/allotments of next year’s portfolios. We welcome any interested members to attend.