There are two main goals that I have been working on this spring. The first is organizing and working with a writing team to update the 2002 HEADS UP FOR SAFETY manual. The second has been working on looking at shop floor space and equipment placements to meet risk management requirements. Both of these are lofty goals, but I am determined to see them through. In the end they will be posted under resources on our BCTEA web site for easy access. For both of these initiatives we have had BCTEA members volunteer to work on the projects.

HEADS UP FOR SAFETY has the following people presently working on machine procedures: Heather Elliott from Chilliwack , Kevin McIntyre from SD 22, Roger Bortignon from BCIT, Luc Ouellet from SD69 and me. We spent 3 days originally together to identify the machines to cover, a new template to work under and then started to produce the document. Work is continuing by all of us and we hope to have it close to completed in a rough draft by end of June. Then we will share with everyone and ask for your input, then off to worksafeBC to do the final touches. It should be ready to debut at the Super Conference.

Shop floor space. The Ministry of Education has specified floor allocations for our different shops. When a new school is built, or renovation is done, the architect works from these numbers. Peter Hamlin from Vancouver School district has agreed to work with me on drawing out different floor plans with these dimensions and then overlay some of our current shops so that we can get a good idea of what is acceptable for new floor space. We are also overlaying the machines with safety zones that align with Risk Management recommendations so we can safely set up a shop for today’s classes and equipment. Hopefully this will assist teachers when confronted with the task of dealing with a new build and not knowing what is needed, and for those that get funds for new equipment to know how much space is required around the machine for operator safety.

The Super Conference has also been consuming quite a lot of time in setting up. It is hoped that Technology Education Teachers will support the conference by attending and seeing presenters and keynotes that we would not normally have access to at our traditional conferences. Because of the scope of the conference, and with only 7 presentation spots, we chose to create workshops that would appeal to a more general audience in the hopes that we will assist teachers with the new ADST curriculum and maybe target more intermediate grades. To compensate for this limited variety, we have some great ideas outlined for our District Reps meeting the day before and a fun AGM off site where we can elect our new BCTEA executive members. We will also have a social function arranged for the Friday night of the conference.

Executive member nominations. Each year half of the BCTEA executive positions come up for election. Every year when the election of officers comes up there is a silence until someone volunteers or is nominated by a friend. This is not a good way to get a working executive. What are needed are BCTEA members to volunteer themselves and want to be on the executive. If we want the BCTEA to set goals and then work towards them, then the people volunteering must be prepared to put in some extra time to help move our PSA forward. We have 7 positions on the executive. It would be nice to have all 7 of these members willing to put in roughly 3 to 10 hours per month working on goals that we outline together and solicit input from our members. We have a monthly tele conference to keep in touch, and then each person on the executive is expected to take on some initiative. Because of this we do not expect someone to stay on the executive for extended periods of time as we all can only give for so long and there comes a time for new people to step up. Being an executive member means you feel you have the time, it is your turn to help our organization, you have some goals yourself you would like to see the BCTEA accomplish, and you recognize what good things past members have accomplished. Out of roughly 350 active members we should be able to see people step up for a couple of terms (each position is a 2 year term). I myself will be in my last year next year of my 4 years volunteering to be your president. I would recommend that the Vice President position coming up this year be filled by someone willing to move into the president role the following year. I will be kept on as Past President for a term to assist this new president, but it sure would be nice to have a Vice President next year getting started learning about some of tasks that need doing. Next year we have the Vice President, Treasurer and Member at Large positions coming up. If you would like to take your turn at joining our executive group, please send me a message. Hopefully we get more people volunteering and we get to have elections for the positions, as this always adds some excitement to our AGM’s.

I want to thank so many of you for sending me messages such as putting in your name to volunteer for certain groups, giving feedback on shop issues, or sharing your concerns. If I do not get back to you please do not consider it an insult, as sometimes I put out information such as from the ITA asking about doing the summer workshops. In that instance I gathered your input and passed it on to the ITA so they could decide when to run the workshops.  I just did not have time to respond to everyone and I will hopefully be able to share more information as it comes to me. It sure is nice to get the input.

Thanks to everyone using Facebook, it is so informative and helpful. Now that it is working so well, another goal for the BCTEA is to build resources for our different shop areas. If you have good project ideas please pass them on to us.