The show must go on – PCT conference goes digital
PPTA's Provisionally Certificated Teachers' Conference was set to be a face to face event aimed at supporting teachers on their journey to full certification.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant a rethink however and the conference was quickly moved into the digital space.
PPTA PLD fund national coordinator Kirsty Farrant said of all PPTA's conferences that fell within the pandemic period, the PCT conference was the best fitted to a virtual delivery mode as it was never intended to have a lot of workshops.
Focussing on three different areas: certification requirements, pedagogy and classroom management, it was always intended that delegates would attend the same three keynotes, Kirsty said.
"Fortunately the conference organising company we were working with had access to a conference platform that allowed it to be delivered virtually, meaning PPTA was able to quickly respond to the changing Covid situation and deliver on this part of the PLD fund," she said.
We are still in the process of gathering survey results, but anecdotally PCTs have reported that they have found the conference useful, Kirsty said. In the final feedback session a recurring them was the usefulness of the keynote on Tapasā - the cultural competencies framework for teachers of pacific learners - and how practical the keynote on classroom management was. "Margaret Ross will be delivering an additional classroom management webinar for those who attended the conference in August or September, which will hopefully act as a touchstone for these teachers," she said.
The timing of the conference was less than ideal, coming at the end of what was essentially a 23 week term, but the turnout showed it was something that was needed Kirsty said. "We were really excited that registrations reached more than 80, indicating to us that while teachers were exhausted they also felt the need for some support.
"It was great being able to chat to teachers through the networking function in the conference, and meet teachers who started their career during Covid, teachers who have taught overseas for some time and are new to New Zealand, teachers who had eight weeks in the classroom and then had to change everything they were doing and teachers who are getting close to full certification," she said.