Joanne Panas is a coeditor of English Practice. She teaches English part-time at McRoberts Secondary in Richmond, and is pursuing writing, her other passion, on her so-called days off.”
The cover art for this issue is a piece by one of my English 11 students, Rachel Yang. It was part of a unit we did this year around the essential question “How can we make sense of the darkness in humanity?” The specific task for which Rachel did this piece was called “3-Word Thinking.” In this task, students chose three words from the following list to define, explain, and explore in terms of its uses, associations, and connotations: violence, conflict, pain, darkness or destruction. For one of the words, they did a mind map; for another word, they wrote a descriptive piece; and for the third word, they created a visual with a written explanation. Earlier in the unit, students had been introduced to an online scrapbooking site (scrapblog.com) and many of them, including Rachel, took advantage of this new skill for the visual part of this assignment. (more…)
Matt Rosati has been teaching English and Social Studies for 14 years and is an English department head in SD42, Maple Ridge.This is his first journal as a new co-editor.
I finally got started. My wife has been asking me to prepare the baby’s room for some time. Pulling down wallpaper, drywall repair, sanding, painting, pulling up carpet, installing a new floor-these are a few of my least favorite things. Last week, it was clear that I had run out of excuses and “important things I had to do” when she looked at me and said, “We have to get this done, he’s coming.” Her stomach attested to her earnest tone. Ready or not, baby number one was on the way. So Saturday I pulled down wallpaper, repaired drywall, sanded, and painted. My mind drifts when I do this type of work and I thought about what in the world I was going to do with a baby boy. Would anything I do be enough? What if I forget something important that I have to teach him? How can I remember not to forget? Then I stared thinking about the missing parts of my own education and lamented that though my new son will begin a season of learning new things daily, my time for learning had passed. I had to pull myself back to the present moment and realize what a silly thing I had just thought. What was I talking about? I can count on two hands all the new things I have learned just since the New Year. (more…)
Local Specialist Associations (LSAs) are a great way to stay connected with colleagues in the long months between conferences. Do you have an LSA in your district? BCTELA would like to promote the activities of these local groups and make contact information available for other interensted teachers. Don’t have an LSA? Did you know that BCTELA has start-up grants? Ask us!
Asking the Right Questions: Engaging Today’s Learners
October 22-24, 2009
BCTELA is pleased to announce that our 2009 annual conference will be a NCTE Regional Conference to be held at the newly renovated Delta Burnaby Hotel.
This four day conference will feature leading speakers like Jeff Wilhelm, Faye Brownlie, Davis Booth and Sharon Jerosky. A special feature of this conference will be a day of workshops and presentations by university educators and researchers.
The heart of our program will be built around teachers who believe in making a difference and educators who see kids as co-constructors of curriculum and can speak to the power of collaboration.
Go to the “Conference” tab to see more information or download the conference flyer here.
After publishing the annual Wordscapes: British Columbia Youth Writing Anthology for the past six years, Ripple Effect Arts and Literature Society (REAL) will be relaunching the publication as the new Wordscapes Youth Arts Journal in March 2008. In addition to publishing nearly 50 talented high school writers and visual artists each year, the journal will also have a Contemporary Writing section with writing samples by established authors from Canada’s literary community. REAL is excited to have lined up a number of excellent writers to appear in the first three issues in 2008, including: Douglas Coupland, Christian Bök, Wade Compton, Rachel Zolf, Janina Hornosty and Billeh Nickerson. (more…)
At our last executive meeting, one of our members expressed a concern regarding a troubling district-wide email she received from her board office: a ‘friendly’ reminder to submit any novel titles she may be considering for her classes next year to BC ERAC so that they could be approved for use. A colleague’s request for clarification was answered with a general confirmation that any novels used in the classroom next year must be on the ERAC list (http://www.bcerac.ca/ and scroll on NOVEL). Until now she has exercised her professional autonomy and reviewed novels herself during the summer if she felt she wanted to use something new in the coming year. (more…)
Each April, the Canadian Bar Association holds events to celebrate Law Week. This year, the CBA events include an essay contest and a public speaking competition.
The CBA events celebrate the signing of the Canadian Chart of Rights and Freedoms. This year’s theme for Law Week is “The Law: Past, Present and Future.” (more…)
BCTELA wants to keep English language arts teachers “in the loop” during the development of this exciting new course. Keep posted for lists of recommended resources and opportunities to get involved with piloting units of study by checking out the BCTELA web site (www.bctf.ca/bctela) and the First Nations Education Steering Committee web site (www.fnesc.bc.ca). (more…)
As many of you are aware, the Ministry has been involved for some time now in a wholesale revision to the English language arts curriculum for grades 8-12.
The Ministry ignored long-established protocols whereby the BCTF was involved in the selection of curriculum writing team members, and only after a draft curriculum was available was BCTF input requested. (more…)