Challenges and changes, that is the norm. I have enjoyed my first year as president. My goal was to help Technology Education teachers work together as we address change. For many of us we can either remember the good old days of shop class, either teaching them or being a student. Change is difficult and it happens whether we like it or not. We have increasing class sizes in our shops, decreasing material budgets, expectations to teach traditional shop classes, and be current with technology. To top all this off, youth of this generation are different from the last generation. We are undergoing changes in education, which is to be expected. Information is doubling every 18 months, technology is propelling us to work and teach in different ways. If we do not keep up, programs die away. In this day and age, communication is so easy, yet many of us work in silos. We just have to look at youth and see how connected they are. Why are we also not so connected?
I took this job on because I see change happening and want to make sure that Technology Education continues to be an option for kids in the future. I see the need for the traditional skills from our shop classes that have not changed from the old Industrial Education curriculum. I saw the need for the introduction of more design and integration of technology into Technology Education in the mid 90’s. And I can see that we also need to embrace the new direction that education is taking which sees more personalized education to improve student engagement in learning. There is so much knowledge out there on proven practices as are demonstrated in Tech Ed classes all over the province. Yet there is no one pulling all this together so that we make these changes easier. I feel that the BCTEA is the vehicle for this. It seems so simple that if someone has proven how to do something well, then it should be shared. Then why is it so difficult to share? We just need a vehicle to do this. We have our annual conference which offers workshops so individuals can learn new techniques. We have a listserve so people can ask questions. We have a web site to help direct people in the right direction. We have a Facebook page to showcase successes. All we need is for more people to get connected and stay connected. This truly is the largest challenge.
Over the past year I have been representing you with the following:
- Giving input to various institutions regarding the new Red Seal certification towards a teaching degree in Technology Education
- Worked with the BC Construction Association in getting tools needed to teach the new Skills Exploration course to the tune of $1,000,000 and distributed to schools.
- Assisted in finding presenters for the annual conference that will help us make changes individually or as an association
- Bringing my experience as a Career Coordinator with ACE IT programs into discussions about how Technology Education courses often support trades initiatives.
- Many discussions with Ministry of Education personnel about the challenges we face in Technology Education
- Attended ITA functions to connect trades training and industry connections to Technology Education
- Working on the new Skills Exploration course
- Assisting the Tech Ed teachers on the new Applied Design, Skills and Technology curriculum writing team.
As an executive we have opted to have regular teleconference calls to discuss current issues. Time is valuable and being a voluntary member, we all give what we can. What has happened though is too much time is being devoted to conference organization for the executive. This year I would like to move the executive away from this focus and let a district LSA (Learning Specialist Association) take this role back on. We have created a good shared database for future conference organization, which includes steps and tasks to be done, with the hopes to make it easier for anyone to host a conference. Next year we have agreed to join with many other PSA’s in the huge BCTF joint conference. So next year there will not be our typical conference with all the traditional workshops we offer. We will have an opportunity to share some of our practices with other disciplines, and likewise we can learn what they are doing. This might be interesting for many members who are now teaching academic classes in conjunction with their Tech Ed courses. Thank you for the opportunity to represent you. Please stay connected.