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Writing Ourselves Reading the World

Conference Report

Thanks to all 384 paid registrants who attended this conference! We had a great mix of teachers from public and independent schools, representatives from the Ministry of Education, university faculty, and student teachers.

The Thursday evening event at the Holiday Inn was a blast. Around 90 teachers enjoyed appies and a beverage and took part in a “fireside chat” with renowned literacy expert Faye Brownlie. Faye offered a big-picture perspective of “What’s New, What’s Wonderful in the New IRP.”

Novelist Gail Anderson-Dargatz, on tour for her new novel Turtle Valley, delivered a keynote address tailored to high school teachers. She spoke about the importance of grounding student writing in the landscapes they inhabit. She also joined in the ceremony to award long-time BCTELA member Steve Naylor the Merron Charney Award for lifetime achievement in English language arts teaching. Gail was a student in Mr. Naylor’s English 11 class at the start of his lengthy career at Salmon Arm Senior Secondary.

Friday’s workshops—forty of them organized around strands in support of the new IRP—were a big hit! Feedback from teachers was overwhelmingly positive. We will be looking to get some of these speakers back for our conference next year, as one “complaint” we heard from teachers was that each of the workshops was offered only once, and this made for some very difficult decisions.

One notable aspect of the conference we do not want to repeat was the delay in getting people fed at lunch. The physical layout of the school created a dreadful bottleneck that prevented setting up more than one buffet table.

Rest assured—this will not happen again! We have just finalized plans for holding our October 2008 conference at the Delta Vancouver Airport in Richmond. More on this exciting full two-day conference later.

Rest assured—this will not happen again! We have just finalized plans
for holding our October 2008 conference at the Delta Vancouver Airport
in Richmond. More on this exciting full two-day conference later.Rest assured—this will not happen again! We have just finalized plans for holding our October 2008 conference at the Delta Vancouver Airport in Richmond. More on this exciting full two-day conference later.

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