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!)


February 24—Optional Reception

A welcoming reception (wine and cheese) will be held at Preston’s Restaurant (in the hotel) on Friday February 24, 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.

February 25—Conference

WELCOMING ACTIVITY—SESSION 1 and 2 (9:00–11:30 a.m.)

Stanley Park Talaysay Tours

Talaysay Tours offers you an authentic Aboriginal cultural and eco-tourism experiences in and around Vancouver, Squamish, and the Sunshine Coast. Our First Nation guides will share ancient and contemporary stories, legends, and our Aboriginal ways of living as we take in the sights of old growth forests, wildlife, beautiful northwest coast views, and the flora and fauna of the season. Join us as we share our knowledge and delve into the rich history and landmarks of our remarkable west coast.

Note: We would love for everyone to be participating in this workshop. This will be the only workshop option available for Session 1 and 2 (there will be two tours at Stanley Park). Buses will be waiting for all participants in front of the hotel lobby.

Please make sure you dress for the weather for this two-hour outdoor activity and remember that Vancouver is quite wet in winter!

If for any reasons you would wish not to attend the tours onsite, a livestream of the tours will be projected on-screen in the hotel ballroom. Please select "Livestream of the Stanley Park Talaysay Tours" during your registration so that it's added to your schedule.

SESSION 3 (1:15–2:30 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?

Behavior—Expect the Unexpected

Behavior is communication. Why students behave the way they do and how to help support them? How to set up your class for success? Today's classrooms are busy, dynamic, and complex. As a part of staying well in the teaching profession, it is important to be able to address these more complex classrooms with confidence and successful strategies. During this workshop, the facilitator will present suggestions about setting the stage for success and invite discussion on how to create a strong foundation for all students through building a successful classroom. Through a trauma-informed lens, we will look at both the importance and the “how to” of building relationships with our students, the important features to consider in your classroom ecology and, finally, the notion that behavior is communication. There will be many strategies and resources presented in this workshop to address challenging behavior, mental health (of both yourself and your students) and self-regulation strategies that can be taught both class-wide and individually to students.

Building Conflict Resolution Skills to Effectively Communicate With Other Adults

In teaching, while a lot of the focus is on our relationships with students, there are a lot of adult relationships that need to be navigated. At the core of all conflict is relationship. This workshop allows time and space to explore how to navigate those relationships with your administration, colleagues, and parents so that you can feel more comfortable when conflicts arise. The goals of this workshop are identifying our responses to conflict, understanding the dynamics of conflict, and practicing tools for effective communication. During the workshop, the facilitator will work to ensure that participants feel heard and safe to express themselves. These skills can be transferable to other situations. This workshop explores how the body responds to conflict, some ways in which we can work with those responses to calm the body down to be able to process the communication piece of the conflict and building conflict resolution skills to communicate and meet relationship needs in a conflict.

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.

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.

Playful Provocations With Nature in the Primary Years

Participants will walk away with hands-on and play-based ways to bring the outside into the primary classroom and the primary classroom into the outside more to promote a sense of wellness and joy in the primary classroom. Assessment and making learning visible will be discussed. Ways to weave in First People's Principles of Learning will be highlighted. Key words: natural elements, classroom design, Reggio-inspired, play-based learning, outdoor learning, inquiry, pedagogical narrations, making learning visible.

Responding to Place Through Storywork

Students are natural storytellers; they have an innate ability to make sense through story and commit ideas, knowledge, and understanding to memory through story. In this workshop, teachers will develop the use of narrative as a classroom tool for teaching, learning, and assessment, and inspiring students to become active participants in their local communities. Participants will also survey some storywork options that you will want to try with your students and try one or two together that relate to global citizenship and sustainability. Weaving the use of geographical and historical thinking skills with an appreciation for Indigenous Ways of Knowing, diverse access points for curricular content, and activation of place-responsive pedagogy will also be included.

This workshop may include an exploration of an outdoor area, so participants are encouraged to be dressed for the weather.

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 4 (2:45–4:00 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.

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.

Number Routines: The Way to Kick Start Your Math Class

Are you familiar with number sense routines? Number sense is both powerful and magical, and without it our students are lost. It is the foundation for many of the math skills we want our students to have. So how do we bring our students to a place where they can effortlessly manipulate numbers??? The answer is with number sense routines. Teachers will leave this workshop with a number of easy-to-use, low prep activities that they can begin to use in their classrooms immediately. They will also understand the importance of conversation and dialogue in the math class as well as the value of showing ideas in many different ways.

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.

Supporting Diverse Learners in our Secondary Classrooms

How to use a variety of methods to differentiate instruction to better meet the needs of a variety of learners. Various methods of adapting or modifying the curriculum for learners with disabilities. How to best utilize support people (certified education assistants, speech-language pathologists, behaviour resource teachers, learning assistance resource teachers, English language learning teachers, etc.) to support you in the classroom.

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.

Teaching for Inquiry on Climate History

The climate crisis and connected issues of local and global sustainability are critical topics for social studies classrooms. Participants will use an interactive activity to explore how Gr. 4–12 students can inquire into climate history and take action in their communities. The workshop will explore possible approaches to climate and environmental education in local contexts, and the work of a variety of organizations supporting climate education, such as the international Teach Climate History collective, which examines “Education in the Anthropocene” for social studies and history teachers. This workshop is designed for Gr. 4–10 and will connect to the Conference theme with a sub-focus on climate anxiety, wellness, and bringing hopeful inquiry to a serious topic.


Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel

1180 W Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC



The 2023 Vancouver New Teachers' Conference is sold out!