Teachers may from time to time in their careers find themselves struggling. New grades/subjects, extremely challenging students, personal health issues, or other concerns may be overwhelming. There is help available to teachers if they feel they need some extra support.
Peer Support is a joint initiative between the STA and the Surrey school district. It is based upon the successful BCTF model and is designed to provide direct support to teachers who request assistance with their teaching (self-referral) and to teachers who are on plans of assistance. Peer Support is a confidential collaboration between teacher-clients and consultants.
Peer consultants are Surrey teachers with extensive experience and background in multiple teaching strategies, and training in planning, consultation, classroom observation, analysis, and feedback skills. Consultants are matched with teacher-clients in similar grade or subject assignments. Peer consultants offer non-directive and non-judgmental support and assistance. Peer support consultants are bound by the BCTF Code of Ethics and will not make evaluative comments about their colleagues to administrators or anyone else.
A teacher who requests assistance with their teaching or a teacher who is on a plan-of-assistance may request the services of the STA/SD36 Peer Support by contacting the STA office at (604) 594-5353. Principals or staff reps may also forward the teacher’s request on their behalf, at their request.
To begin, the peer support consultant will meet with the teacher-client to talk about the teacher-client’s areas of interest or concern. Together they will generate ideas about what kinds of assistance would be useful and helpful. An initial classroom visit allows the consultant to get a sense of the teacher’s unique situation. After that, goals are set, and activities are planned. Classroom observations and feedback, visits to other classrooms, and one-on-one planning sessions are some of the ways consultants and clients work together. The consultant might also assist a client in: gathering resources, classroom management strategies, implementing curriculum, assessment strategies, planning units or lessons, differentiating instruction, or other areas of professional interest. Once a teacher-client’s goals have been met and their needs have been addressed, peer support tapers off and ends.
The cost of the service to a teacher will be covered by the school district.
For more information about the service, please contact the Professional Support Services officer, Christie Weigel at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the STA office at (604) 594-5353.