I have just finished participating in the two-day fall retreat for Learning Forward BC. And just what is Learning Forward BC?
It is the rebranding of an organization that is well-known to many educators.
Learning Forward is the new name of the National Staff Development Council. We are an international association of learning educators committed to one purpose in K-12 education: Every educator engages in professional learning every day so every student achieves.
What struck me as different from this group from the many different formal and informal networks I often meet with around professional development is that at its core was the group’s commitment to being apolitical. In the room were educators who spend their days as classroom teachers, school administrators, district staff, university staff and ministry officials.
A lot of the discussion focussed on what place Learning Forward BC has in the current provincial landscape. What attracted me to the group, and the place I think it has is as an organization where people “leave politics at the door.”
I don’t have experience outside the province, but many people who have had experiences in other places in Canada, and around the world, often note that politics and education are intertwined in ways in B.C. unique from many other jurisdictions. Too often we spend so much time focussed on our roles in the system, that we don’t get down to the work of moving learning forward.
This was my first true taste as a board member for Learning Forward BC – but if it can play a role in providing venues for conversations free of our titles and roles, it could be time well spent.
Look for more information about Learning Forward BC coming this fall.