Hope ‘n’ Action
Pro-D Chair: Rita Zeni
Our theme for our Professional Development Conferences for next school year is Hope ‘n’ Action. As a local, we want to continue our work educating teachers on the TRC and MMIWG Calls to Action that are most relevant to teachers and students. It is important to us to honour the history, traditions and languages our our local Nations and Métis communities, and to do our part to break down the stigma and stereotypes facing our Indigenous neighbours and friends.
We also want to provide opportunities for teachers to learn more about systemic racism in Canada and in our Education system — the ways white supremacy plays out all around us without white folks even realizing it. We want to provide a springboard for our teachers to start (or continue) questioning their practice, to open critically reflective conversations and to ultimately effect change so that all our students are seen and provided with what they need to thrive.
The third issue we want to address is climate justice. Over the past year we have experienced stark examples of our planet at a turning point, from distant wildfire smoke blanketing the South Island, to a deadly heat dome. We’ve seen news reports of unprecedented droughts and floods around the globe as well. We know that extreme weather disproportionately impacts disadvantaged populations, so our global complacency on the issue is likely another effect of white supremacy.
We are asking our speakers and presenters to weave any of these 3 key areas into their presentations for the 2021-2022 school year. We want to meet these difficult issues head on, but the Hope ‘n’ Action of our theme comes when our presenters leave their audiences with practical measures they can implement right away to effect change in their classrooms, along with a road map of the long-term work that must be done, so that participants feel empowered to make positive changes in themselves and their practice over time.
We want to ensure that our Professional Development days provide a chance for our members to recharge their batteries, to connect, to be inspired, to laugh and maybe even cry a little, all while furthering the important work that we need to do as teachers to address the challenges we are facing as a nation. We are thrilled that you will be a part of this important work!
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or need more details.