Educators in the Gulf Islands School District 64 met recently to talk about the new redesigned curriculum being introduced over the next three years across British Columbia. Teachers, educational assistants, principals and district leaders – almost 200 strong – met over a three-day period to learn together and discuss how to integrate the redesigned curriculum in our classrooms. 
“I liked having a combination of facilitated and non-facilitated sessions,” reported one teacher in the anonymous exit survey. The same person continued, “the best part for me was the opportunities to have so many conversations with teachers from all parts of the district.”
The three days of workshops were organized by a group of 18 led by Deborah Nostdal, President of the Gulf Islands Teachers’ Association, and Lisa Halstead, Superintendent of Schools The organizing team included teachers from  across the district. Coordinators and principals also participated in the planning.
During the course of the three days, teachers compared the principles of learning from an aboriginal and “western” perspective, examined how core competencies influence what we emphasize, and explored how “the big ideas” lead our instructional planning. Time was provided for participants to make sense of how the redesigned curriculum affects each of our current roles, and to collaborate with colleagues about the work we do.

In the gym

working lunch
— photos Clare Nuyens
In the exit survey, many teachers spoke to how much they valued the time for collaboration, and expressed a need for “ways to share our work and initiatives so we are working smarter, not harder.” While organizing three full days of back-to-back workshops was a daunting task for the group of 18, the feedback from colleagues was truly positive.
For more information, including the shape of the three days of workshops and a variety of supporting links go to this link.
Participant feedback can be found in the link at the bottom of the above page.

Doug Livingston
Director of Instruction – Learning Services