Pop-Up PD at CCTC 2016

Sessions allow for teachers to create self-directed PD

In a bold move, this year's Calgary City Teachers' Convention Association (CCTCA) Executive Committee has created what are being called "pop-up" PD sessions.

These sessions allow teachers to sign up for a room and, during the time allotted, they participate in self-directed professional development with other colleagues who have decided to join them.  The idea is for participants to plan what they want to do in advance, and implement their idea at convention.

"This is a precursor to what future conventions might look like," said Dan Nelles, Associate Executive Assistant at Calgary Public Teachers, ATA Local 38.  "We're moving towards a time where teacher professionalism is being recognized to a much greater extent by the public. CCTCA is supporting this by saying 'look, teachers know what PD they need - let's just give them the time and the space to do it!'"

Teachers interested in creating their own PD session must preregister for the room during the CCTC preregistration period, which opens on Monday, December 14 at 7pm. Colleagues who wish to work together must enrol in the same room and time block for the Pop-up PD session.

"What this does is it allows teachers to hold PD on something that CCTCA might not have thought of, or been able to find a speaker to support," Nelles continued. "I taught high school German for many years. I never once saw a German session at convention. This would have allowed me to coordinate with fellow high school German teachers across my district and get together during convention to speak German and share resources. How great would that have been? We never had time or the opportunity to assemble as a group during my tenure."

There is no restriction on the topics teachers can decide to organize during the Pop-Up PD sessions. CCTCA notes that it does reserve the right to contact registrants to discuss the nature of the Pop-Up session, and could cancel it and make the room available to another group at its discretion. Furthermore, CCTCA advises that the intent of the session is not for administrators to mandate their school's staff meet to discuss a particular topic (e.g.: a school development plan) - Administrators cannot compel any of their staff to attend a particular session during convention. An individual could, however, set up a Pop-Up PD session on Inquiry-based learning (for example) and others could sign up to attend.

Pop-Up PD sessions are available on the Thursday and Friday of Teachers' Convention. Registrants with further questions should contact Dan Grassick, the CCTCA Executive Assistant, at CCTCAexec@gmail.com.