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Start a Local Specialist Association

What is Local Specialist Association?
An LSA is a local chapter of a Provincial Specialist Association, such as BCTELA. “A chapter affords opportunity for teachers to discuss local problems and to exchange ideas.” (PSA guidebook)

Why get involved in an LSA?
LSAs provide teachers a supported model to collaboratively grow their practice. While working with other enthusiastic teachers you will be connected to the provincial specialist association (PSA) and teachers around the province committed to teaching and learning

How often does an LSA meet?
Meeting schedules are up to the members. You should meet regularly, but not necessarily frequently. It is better to have a few meaningful meetings than many poor ones.

What happens at meetings?
It’s up to you! Some LSAs choose a topic or theme for the semester or year, others let an area of interest emerge organically. You can bring in a guest speaker, read and discuss a professional text,share lesson ideas… whatever meets your group’s needs – the possibilities are endless.

How will you be supported?
BCTELA would like to support our LSAs in the spirit of collaboration. New LSAs may apply for a grant to subsidise speaker or meeting costs; an application can be downloaded from bctela.ca. We will also maintain lines of communication with LSA representatives to share resources and help guide inquiry, as needed.

What are the expectations of an LSA?
As a local specialist association you will be expected to share an artifact of your learning journey with the rest of the bctela membership. We hope this provides you with a bit of structure to make your time more meaningful as well as an opportunity to contribute to our provincial learning community.

What does working with an LSA look like?
The following three models have been created to provide a framework to help get you started.

Model A Model B Model C
A more casual group of teachers discussing issues and sharing resources in their practice. A group exploring a shared passion in their practice. A group committed to inquiry. The goal of this model is to effect positive and tangible shift in your practice.
Develop a rationale:
Why are you meeting? Are there any common interests? Why are you meeting? Set a goal (individually, or as a group). Why are you meeting? What will be the focus of your inquiry?
Meet regularly:
Meet monthly/quarterly.

  • keep an artifact* from each meeting
  • Brainstorm possible topics for the year
  • Share ideas, resources/books/articles, lesson ideas, student samples
Meet monthly/quarterly.

  • Keep an artifact* from each meeting
  • Protocol for meeting/working together
  • Set focus for the year: Sharing Ideas and resources, pro-resources/books, research articles, lesson ideas, student samples
Meet as needed to share with and support each other through your journey.
Report out at year end:
Write something for the BCTELA blog or our journal, English Practice.
Share an artifact*, or a series of artifacts from your meetings and journeys.We want to hear all about your experiences and share your learning with the rest of the bctela membership!
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