NELSON, BC | MAY 13, 2023


Nurturing with Nature—Supporting wellness through place-based learning


The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) will be hosting two New Teachers’ Conferences this year. One regional conference in Nelson and one Metro conference in Vancouver. The conferences are designed specifically for teachers and teachers teaching on call in their first five (5) years of teaching, as well as teacher candidates.

Vancouver Conference (sold out!)


May 12—Optional Reception

A welcoming reception (wine and cheese) will be held at Port701 Marinaside Dining (in the hotel) on Friday May 12, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Places are limited and participants must select the welcoming reception during the registration process in order to get access to the restaurant.

May 13—Conference

REGISTRATION (7:00 a.m.)

OPENING (8:30 a.m.)

ACTIVITY (9:00–10:15 a.m.)

Welcoming Activity

We would love for everyone to be participating in this workshop. This will be the only workshop option available for this time of the day.
Please make sure you dress for the weather as this activity will likely be happening outside.

SESSION 1 (10:30–11:45 a.m.)

Intersectional Identities: Anti-Oppression in the Classroom

Participants will have a better understanding of their own intersectional identities, their own privilege, and possible areas of marginalization. Participants will understand how their lived experience impacts the way they see and experience the world. Participants will start to understand unconscious bias. This workshop would be specifically helpful to educators who will be working with diverse student populations and who have different lived experiences than their students.

La géo-enquête: Un projet scientifique par et pour les élèves

Concept 1 : Utiliser les objectifs de développement durable dans les cours de sciences. Idée : Faire le lien entre les apprentissages en classe et le monde qui nous entoure.

Concept 2 : L'apprentissage axé sur les lieux permet aux élèves de prendre un engagement dans leur communauté. Idée : Sortir prendre des marches dans la communauté permet aux élèves de prendre des observations réelles sur lesquelles ils peuvent bâtir leurs questions d'enquête.

Concept 3 : Permettre aux élèves de se responsabiliser envers leur apprentissage à travers l'apprentissage par enquête. Les élèves peuvent travailler seuls, en petits groupes, en groupe classe ou même comme école entière afin de mettre en œuvre un projet d'enquête qui a un impact sur leur communauté. Pendant l’atelier, les enseignants recevront les ressources nécessaires et des exemples de projets déjà effectués pour commencer leur projet dès leur retour en classe. Il y aura aussi un temps de discussion afin de parler des barrières à l’accès possible afin que nous puissions trouver des solutions ensemble. Des idées comme les Objectifs de Développement Durable et les stratégies d’enseignement dehors peuvent aussi être utilisées hors du contexte de la géo-enquête pour enrichir leurs leçons en science en d’autres contextes.

Let's All Play: Thin-Slicing

How do we design low-floor, high-ceiling activities for our students so that everyone can play? Better yet, how do we design low-floor, high-ceiling sequences of activities so that students can connect previous knowledges with current challenges. This session is an invitation to participants to play with sequences and press rewind on challenging problems, creating sequences that invite students to play with ideas before successfully engaging with those problems. These sessions will be an introduction to thin-slicing (Peter Liljedhal) and Mathematical Discernments (Math Minds / Structuring Inquiry).

New Teachers: Learning About the BCTF and Your Local

This participatory workshop introduces new members to their union’s services and familiarizes them with collective agreements. Content also includes teacher evaluation, professional challenges and support, health and safety issues, and the roles of school union reps.

Taking Language Learning to the Outdoors

Participants will walk away with language activities that they can use on Monday with little to no prep! Key concepts include language learning in the outdoors fosters authentic learning, hands-on engaging activities in the outdoors encourages language use and development, and outdoor learning promotes a student’s better ability to focus. The outdoor environment can be a highly motivational place for students to develop language skills. Because students learn best through activities and experiences that engage all of the senses, the outdoor environment is an ideal place to learn. In addition, outdoor spaces can provide more freedom and space to engage in motivational activities that support language development. This participatory workshop will have participants engage in language games and activities that will foster oral language and vocabulary development. Examples of these activities include: I Spy Nature Walk, Inquiry and Elimination, Mapping, Follow the Leader, and Take Away. This workshop will likely be facilitated in the outdoors, so participants should be dressed for the weather.

SESSION 2 (1:15–2:30 p.m.)

Collaboration With the Teacher-Librarian in Inquiry and Research

What collaboration looks like with the Teacher-Librarian Research and Inquiry process across elementary, middle, and secondary school contexts. Opportunities to connect with other subject areas, teachers, etc. New teachers do not always know what their Teacher-Librarian (T-L) can offer in support with their classes. This would be a great opportunity to showcase the advantages to working collaboratively with the T-L in their school. Levels of connection and collaboration may vary and having the T-L co-teach inquiry and research is a valuable tool to use.

Moving From Behaviour Management to Expectation Management: A Ross Greene Approach

1) New lenses: An understanding of behaviours and moving away from lagging motivation towards lagging skills, and from modifying behaviours to solving the problems that are causing those behaviours

2) New timing: By becoming proactive you can make the shift from crisis management to crisis intervention

3) New practices: How to use the Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ASLUP) to identify lagging skills and unsolved problems, and how to solve those problems proactively using Plan B.

Playing in Nature In and Outside the Classroom With SEL/Making Connections Through Music Games and Literacy

A number of games to use inside or outside that build connections and foster a positive community in your classroom. A number of stories that foster activities for outdoor and indoor activities that are play-based will be shared, as well as an update of the Primary Program Participation; practice and fun to share with your children.

Teaching Elementary/Middle School Core French With Confidence

Ideas will be shared for unit planning and fun lessons that you can present to your students tomorrow. These are all activities and lessons that the facilitator is currently using in an elementary classroom. No matter your level of French fluency, the facilitator will share some ideas of how to include French learning that can be presented to your students tomorrow or in the future. There will be space to hear from one another.

The Well Worker: Health and Safety 101

Join this workshop to better understand your rights when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, learn of mechanisms to support health and safety changes at school sites, and walk away with physical/digital materials to assist you, your colleagues, and joint occupational health and safety committees at your worksite. Enhance your understanding of the Form 6A, inspections, investigations, refusal of unsafe work, and the WorkSafeBC claims process. There will be short wellness activities designed to support the concept of a well-rounded well worker in this one-stop shop presentation designed to give participants all the information needed on health and safety in entering the work world of teaching.

SESSION 3 (2:45–4:00 p.m.)

215 Le Estcwicwey Honouring the Children Buried at Kamloops Indian Residential School

The workshop shares resources and ideas of how to teach the topic to students in K–12. Teachers learn about Residential School impacts and trauma that are still felt in schools today. Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being are shared with teachers to help teach with an Indigenous lens. Across Canada, many Indigenous communities are exploring the sites of residential schools and finding unmarked graves. How do we teach this subject and talk to our students about it?

Achieving Work/Life Balance Through Spending Time in Nature

Ideas on how to achieve work/life balance and overall well-being with an introduction to forest bathing, how to create healthy boundaries with your work, strategies to avoid burnout as a new teacher, and an exploration on how connections are so important for our well-being (i.e., connections to nature, connections to one another, connection to place, connection to community, etc.). This workshop is intended to help teachers avoid taking things like stress leaves by providing ideas for creating a healthy work/life balance and share the love of nature with all.
This workshop may include an exploration of an outdoor area, so participants are encouraged to be dressed for the weather.

Jeux et activités pour les classes de français

Participants will be shown how to play over 20 games and activities with their French class. They will be given a document containing more than 40 game/activity ideas. The games aim to help students practice and review all 4 aspects of learning a language: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. We will also include math-based games and explore ways to adapt and modify the games to suit students age and level. Most games can be adapted to the students age and level. Participants will also be invited to share their own ideas with the group throughout the workshop.

Roles and Responsibilities of Support Teachers (Learning Assistance, Resource, Learning Support, Inclusion Support)

Many new learning assistance teachers are provided with minimal guidance for a unique teaching position. Key information will be provided to support new teachers in balancing the many demands placed on them as they support some of the most vulnerable students. Teachers will leave with a better understanding of the learning support role, strategies for program implementation and time management, and resources for teaching and assessment.

Teaching in a Time of Climate Grief

This workshop will draw on Joanna Macy's “Work That Reconnects,” and Ayana Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson's “All We Can Save” in an attempt to help participants reconnect to the natural work and deal with the emotional impact of facing the realities of climate change, both in and out of the classroom. This will help educators engage with the grief of living through these challenging times and develop skills around how to engage with young people and teach in ways that honor these challenges while trying to have an open heart and be hopeful. We need a climate change workshop that acknowledges that much of the work that needs to be done is not regurgitating facts and statistics but that engages with the very real emotions these realities bring up—fear, grief, anger, hopelessness. We can't move through this if we never acknowledge it.



Prestige Lakeside Resort

701 Lakeside Dr. Nelson, BC


Register for this conference

Register using the rate most appropriate for your situation

General Registration

For non-BCTF members teaching in independent schools


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BCTF Member

For BCTF members in their first five years of teaching

$175 $75

BCTF Members (TTOC)

For BCTF members who are TTOCs

$175 $60

Teacher Candidates

For teacher candidates

$175 $45

Faculty Associate

For faculty associates

$175 $90