Every September I start back at work I think how lucky we are as teachers to have 2 months away from a very demanding job of teaching kids each year. Having such a long break allows you to refresh and come back to work for a new start. After the first week though, the lazy summer vacation seems a distant memory. Well it is down to business now.

The main focus of the BCTEA is supporting the Surrey Shop teachers that are hosting the annual BCTEA conference. Information on workshops, agenda, etc. will be coming out over the next little while. By moving the conference around to different districts each year, this allows teachers to see different schools, but also to let the local teachers put on a great event. This will be a good conference, and after last year’s super conference which did not see a large turnout, we are hoping that you will get registered as soon as possible to aid in their planning.  Personally one of the most valuable parts to the annual event is networking with other shop teachers.

The district reps meeting will be occurring the day before the conference, so please send me an email to register for this information and sharing meeting. We typically get 40 shop teachers out, representing roughly half of the school districts in the province. Please see the posted District reps meeting agenda on the BCTEA web site. The BCTEA does not provide any subsidy for attending, but most districts get district level funding assistance to send someone to this meeting.

Presently our main way to communicate the sharing of projects, information and even jobs, is through our BCTEA Facebook page. We have a lot of shop teachers on it, but there are probably a few that do not because they do not have a Facebook account, or do not want to have a Facebook account. Case in point, I do not use Facebook for anything but our BCTEA Facebook page. I find that resource so valuable to hear what others are doing, and to add my input on issues or projects that I am familiar with. I see many experienced shop teachers assisting others with project ideas and practices. It is a good thing. If you want to keep your low social media profile, please consider just setting up a very basic Facebook account, and then get onto the BCTEA Facebook page.

Heads Up for Safety manual update is coming along slowly. It is a huge document and very challenging to know when enough is enough. We are at that stage and doing final editing. It will be rolled out at the District reps meeting along with the elementary Heads Up for Safety manual.

We will be having BCTEA executive positions coming up for shop teachers to think about volunteering time giving back and guiding the BCTEA for the next stage of implementing the new curriculum. Please consider putting your name forward for a position and also with an idea of what goals you would like to work on. At our annual general meeting we will have the call for nominees, and as has been typical lately, each nominee will have 2 minutes to describe how they can contribute to the exec. Please feel free to contact me to discuss more about the positions coming up and what is expected of members.

Finally, if you are not coming to the conference we do appreciate you renewing your BCTEA provincial specialist association membership fees of $30.00 each year. We have a link on our BCTEA web site. Having a strong membership shows a level of interest in the betterment of Technology Education for youth.