EdCamp 2016

It’s taken a while to write this, but as always there has been so much happening in our schools.

The first EdCamp was held on April 23rd, 2016 with 56 participants. We had 2 time slots which held 4 sessions that were based on topics that the participants selected. Passing by the rooms, people were engaged and quite passionate about what they were talking about. As the morning grew closer to noon, smaller groups formed informally in the hall. People were finding like minded individuals that they were able to to connect to.

It’s this kind of discussion and connections that we all want. There is so much information out there, particularly about the revised curriculum, that we are still processing. Having this chance to informally converse about our fears, concerns, frustrations, and progress was a perfect way for people to meet and engage each other.

If you are interested in seeing more EdCamps like this one in our school system, contact us and let us know. We loved doing it and seeing our community come together. Hopefully we will see more people come out and contribute to the conversation.

Alan Charlton joining the conversation by giving us some history on the VCSTA beginnings 40 years ago!

Alan Charlton joining the conversation by giving us some history on the VCSTA beginnings 40 years ago!

Teresa, Elizabeth, Sue, John and Alan all taking part in the first VCSTA EdCamp.

Teresa, Elizabeth, Sue, John and Alan all taking part in the first VCSTA EdCamp.

John winning one of our tech give aways, an Apple TV.

John winning one of our tech give aways, an Apple TV.


Andrew with his door prize: A Herschel Computer Bag

Andrew with his door prize: A Herschel Computer Bag

Danielle and Danielle both walking away with some summer Raddlers by Whistler Brewery.

Danielle and Danielle both walking away with some summer Raddlers by Whistler Brewery.

Faith winning a gift basket from one of our Sponsors at Whistler Beer.

Faith winning a gift basket from one of our Sponsors at Whistler Beer.

Knowing these rules are always helpful: Robert’s Rules


Click to view the complete Cheat Sheet 


NOTE: Nothing goes to discussion without a motion being on the floor.

Obtaining and assigning the floor

A member raises hand when no one else has the floor

• The chair recognizes the member by name

How the Motion is Brought Before the Assembly

  • The member makes the motion: I move that (or “to”) … and resumes his seat.
  • Another member seconds the motion: I second the motion or I second it or second.
  • The chair states the motion: It is moved and seconded that … Are you ready for the question?Consideration of the Motion
  1. Members can debate the motion.
  2. Before speaking in debate, members obtain the floor.
  3. The maker of the motion has first right to the floor if he claims it properly
  4. Debate must be confined to the merits o fthe motion.
  5. Debate can be closed only by order of the assembly (2/3 vote) or by the chair if no one seeks the floor for further debate.

The chair puts the motion to a vote

  1. The chair asks: Are you ready for the question? If no one rises to claim the floor, the chair proceeds to take the vote.
  2. Thechairsays:Thequestionisontheadoptionofthemotionthat…Asmanyas are in favor, say ‘Aye’. (Pause for response.) Those opposed, say ‘Nay’. (Pause for response.) Those abstained please say ‘Aye’.

The chair announces the result of the vote.

1. The ayes have it, the motion carries, and…(indicating the effect of the vote) or
2. The nays have it and the motion fails


1. Listen to the other side
2. Focus on issues, not personalities
3. Avoidquestioningmotives
4. Be polite


You want to propose a new idea or action for the group.

  • After recognition, make a main motion.
  • Member: “Madame Chairman, I move that _________.”AMENDING A MOTIONYou want to change some of the wording that is being discussed.
  • After recognition, “Madame Chairman, I move that the motion be amended byadding the following words ________.”
  • After recognition, “Madame Chairman, I move that the motion be amended bystriking out the following words ________.”
  • After recognition, “Madame Chairman, I move that the motion be amended bystriking out the following words, _________, and adding in their place the following words ________.”REFER TO A COMMITTEEYou feel that an idea or proposal being discussed needs more study and investigation.

• After recognition, “Madame Chairman, I move that the question be referred to a committee made up of members Smith, Jones and Brown.”


You want the membership to have more time to consider the question under discussion and you want to postpone it to a definite time or day, and have it come up for further consideration.

• After recognition, “Madame Chairman, I move to postpone the question until ________.”


You think discussion has gone on for too long and you want to stop discussion and vote. • After recognition, “Madam President, I move the previous question.”


You think discussion is getting long, but you want to give a reasonable length of time for consideration of the question.

• After recognition, “Madam President, I move to limit discussion to two minutes per speaker.”


You want to kill a motion that is being discussed.
• After recognition, “Madam Moderator, I move to postpone the question indefinitely.”


You are against a motion just proposed and want to learn who is for and who is against the motion.

• After recognition, “Madame President, I move to postpone the motion indefinitely.” RECESS

You want to take a break for a while.
• After recognition, “Madame Moderator, I move to recess for ten minutes.”


You want the meeting to end.
• After recognition, “Madame Chairman, I move to adjourn.”


You have made a motion and after discussion, are sorry you made it.
• After recognition, “Madam President, I ask permission to withdraw my motion.”


At the beginning of the meeting, the agenda was adopted. The chairman is not following the order of the approved agenda.

• Without recognition, “Call for orders of the day.”


The agenda has been approved and as the meeting progressed, it became obvious that an item you are interested in will not come up before adjournment.

• After recognition, “Madam Chairman, I move to suspend the rules and move item 5 to position 2.”


The noise outside the meeting has become so great that you are having trouble hearing.

  • Without recognition, “Point of personal privilege.”
  • Chairman: “State your point.”
  • Member: “There is too much noise, I can’t hear.”


You are going to propose a question that is likely to be controversial and you feel that some of the members will try to kill it by various maneuvers. Also you want to keep out visitors and the press.

• After recognition, “Madame Chairman, I move that we go into a committee of the whole.”


It is obvious that the meeting is not following proper rules.
• Without recognition, “I rise to a point of order,” or “Point of order.”


You are wondering about some of the facts under discussion, such as the balance in the treasury when expenditures are being discussed.

• Without recognition, “Point of information.”


You are confused about some of the parliamentary rules.
• Without recognition, “Point of parliamentary inquiry.”


Without recognition, “I appeal from the decision of the chair.”

Rule Classification and Requirements

Class of Rule

Requirements to Adopt

Requirements to Suspend


Adopted by majority vote or as proved by law or governing authority

Cannot be suspended


Adopted by membership

Cannot be suspended

Special Rules of Order

Previous notice & 2/3 vote, or a majority of entire membership

2/3 Vote

Standing Rules

Majority vote

Can be suspended for session by majority vote during a meeting

Modified Roberts Rules of Order

Adopted in bylaws

2/3 vote

A couple of thoughts on Memberships

My apologies for not completing my note to members (or future members) about the importance of their memberships. I tried to write the letter several times and then fell prey to report card time. I just couldn’t come up with the words to explain the importance of joining. It seems no one really can. Those who join do it because they know how important it is, are told that it is important and then join, or go into automatic pilot and trust that someone is trying to do something. We’ve all seen it and perhaps have gone through the stages ourselves. We have a mandate that outlines what our goals are and what we do for the teachers, but I know that still does not cover everything we do.
  • We are bringing in Lesya Bolsevich and Frank Dagojevic a few times a year now to explain policies directly to teachers so that they can hear first hand what they are allowed to do, and how to best negotiate issues with their administrators.
  • A lot of time has been spent over the past few years, just updating our association and to be open to communication through the use of technology. Something that I think we have been able to use to our advantage in positive ways.
  • We have an upcoming contract that is going to be rolled out and will be presented to us in a draft form in January so we can present it to a lawyer and obtain an objective opinion and explanation. (Try and do that on your own for $75!)
  • We want to connect teachers in schools so they don’t feel like they are compartmentalized away and only have a singular perspective of school/teacher life – again the power of social media and cloud computing technology.
  • We want to open communication with Administrators, so that the Administrator Association Executive can talk to other principals and we are all aware of potential issues that may arise in our schools and discuss best practices as professionals.
I could list so many little things that circulate through the many conversations, but in the end the VCSTA listens. We listen and we hope you feel like we respond in a way that helps.
Some teachers may say that the VCSTA doesn’t actually have any real power in the CISVA. No, we don’t have any direct power in decision making, but we can provide help through clarity and some well thought out opinions and then share those ideas with you.
This year will mark the 40th Anniversary of the VCSTA. We’d like to think that some good things happened for teachers during that time. Many teachers were a part of it, but everyone benefited from it. Tell other people they can be a part of the VCSTA and take part in the good things to come.

Second Annual Turkey Bowl Recap 2015

On October 3rd teachers, teaching aides and principals came out to knock a few pins down, and to try and win a few great prizes. What everyone did win a a whole lotta fun.




We had about 60 people come out to Rev’s Bowling Alley for an evening of Pizza, beverages and bowling. I’d like to say that competition was fierce but I have to say there was a lot of rust that was being shaken off in first set of frames. That said, it was not without about 10 people coming close to bowling a “turkey” (3 consecutive strikes by an individual). The actual winner of our turkey was Rosendo from St. Francis Xavier bsed on our draw – This would be the second year in a row when the turkey went to St. Francis Xavier. Come on people someone from another school has to win the turkey next year!


I don’t think Rosendo has ever cooked a turkey before, but he won a turkey and all the fixings, for this weekend’s feast.


During the first game, people with the highest scores won a $10 Coffee Card. The big winner of our Canucks Tickets Draw went to Maria C. of St. Mary’s in Vancouver, and all she had to do was show up! She won 2 tickets to the Minnesota game coming up in February.




This year’s winning team of the Coveted Turkey Bowl Cup went to Holy Cross Elementary. This was the team with the Highest team average score. All individual hoisted the cup and poured themselves a cup of victory which they savoured into the evening.

IMG_9070 IMG_9093Make sure you come on out next year for the Third Annual Turkey Bowl in October 2016. It’s a great evening out with friends and colleagues doing an activity that everyone has a fair chance at winning at.

The best suggestion for next year’s Turkey Bowl came from Pasquale, “I think you need to hand out a second prize of a Cornish Game Hen.” Good one Pasquale. I’m seriously taking it into consideration.