Our start to the year was unusual but the 2014-2015 school year was professionally very rewarding for the UBC chapter of PDK. Our meetings at The Arbutus Club bring together a unique mix of educators, and sometimes parents, from the Kindergarten to Post Secondary level. Teacher leaders come together with principals, vice principals, faculty and consultants to engage in thought provoking and inspirational dialogue. Of course, it is the speakers that come with a willingness to share their expertise and participate in the dialogue that makes PDK dinner sessions particularly rewarding.
Our panel discussion with Chris Kennedy, Kit Kreiger and Dr. Blye Frank filled the room for our first dinner meeting: Building Community in Times of Change. Their collective background experiences and perceptions about the educational context in B.C. helped us to consider future directions in light of our history. Their ability to interact fluidly with each other and the audience captivated everyone in the room.
Jordan Tinney generously offered his time and talent and access to George Couros, when School District #36 brought him to participate in Surrey professional development. This was our first session was sold out that was also followed from outside the room via social media. Never underestimate the power of blogging and Twitter. The discussion of innovation sparked with energy in the room. They were able to share many stories of teachers in Surrey and Alberta working to engaging parents and students in assessment and evaluation using online tools such as APPS like FreshGrade, digital portfolios and other innovative teaching practices.
I would also like to take this time to thank the executive committee of the UBC chapter of PDK. These volunteers come together with busy lives but a fundamental commitment to service, leadership and research. Thanks for your time, commitment and energy Brian Leonard, Eileen Phillips, Dan Brown, Kathryn Jung, Karen Addie, David Hope, Rose Pillay, Tricia Stobbe and Selma Smith. Your efforts have made all the difference.
The executive will continue to meet during the summer. Please feel free to contact me @CarrieFroese on Twitter or Facebook or via email with dinner meeting ideas for next year.
I hope your summer includes the rest, relaxation or adventure you desire. Enjoy.