One of the primary goals of the STA is to promote the continuous career long, professional growth of our members. Professional development (PD) is considered to be a process of personal growth through programs, services and activities designed to enable members, individually or collectively, to enhance professional practice.

Professional development at the local level is governed by the collective agreement and local union policies. Throughout the province, there is a variety of methods by which local members are served. Central to all local union provisions is the recognition of professional autonomy of members to plan and pursue their professional growth. Members undertaking their responsibility for professional growth realize the value of their professional autonomy in making choices about their professional development. Members can strengthen their teaching practice and professionalism through teacher collaboration, mentorship, action research, workshops, professional course work, professional reading, peer coaching and reflection.

Pro-D Funding

There are 6 non-instructional days in a school year. There are four teacher-directed Professional Development days in additton to the STA Convention in May, and one Admin-directed non-instructional day. Each member can access funding for professional development is available through the STA. To access pro-d application forms, please visit our forms page, or speak with your school Pro-D Chair.

History of Pro-D Days

Professional development days represent a hard-won recognition of our needs and responsibilities as teachers. For many years, the BCTF made representations to our employers and the Ministry of Education to recognize the importance of teachers having the time and resources necessary to engage in professional development.

In 1972, PD days (non-instructional days) were added to the school calendar at the request of the teaching profession after years of advocacy from the BCTF. The inclusion increased the number of days of work for teachers with no loss of instructional days for students. PD days in the school calendar recognized that teachers needed time during the school year to hone their skills, improve practice, and stay current with changes related to teaching and learning.

During local bargaining most locals of the BCTF were successful in achieving provisions regarding PD days. In general, the contractual provisions provide for school and/or local PD committees to determine and plan the activities for PD days. A related provision of local agreements provides most local PD committees with control over the allocation of PD funding for teachers. For more information, visit our Pro-D Funding Guidelines.

Value and Purpose of Pro-D Days

Professionals in most fields routinely network with fellow practitioners, conduct and review research, and talk to experts and colleagues about trends, issues, and plans for ongoing professional development. There a numerous ways to grow professionally.

As active learners, teachers use PD days to keep on top of changes that affect their work with students, such as new technology, new ideas about teaching and learning, and different community needs. PD days help keep teachers current.

Topics for PD days come from the classroom experience of learning and teaching. Teachers decide individually and collectively the issues to address. They attend workshops and conferences, participate in mentoring programs, pursue self-directed professional development, and undertake other activities designed to enhance teaching and learning. They take their new skills back to the classrooms.

In addition to PD days many teachers attend university, take evening classes and weekend workshops, read professional journals, and attend summer school. These experiences promote a culture of teaching and professional development that has teachers working together as members of a learning community, rather than in isolation.

For all other Inquiries, please contact the Professional Development officer, June James at pd@surreyteachers.org or call the STA office at (604) 594-5353.