Teachers don't play when kids're away PD day is teacher chance to upgrade skills Among professional development day activities today, Oct. 24, some Howe Sound school board teachers will be in Whistler attending the 36th annual Northwest Mathematics Conference. And in Squamish the Peace and Global Education Conference features "hot issues in social justice." The Whistler conference started yesterday and continues Saturday for Grade K-12 and college teachers from B.C., Oregon and Washington. This year's theme is "Mathematics on the Rim". There is a recurring concern among school teachers that parents don't think teachers slack off when one of four PD days occurs, says Howe Sound Teachers Federation president Alex Miller. "In 1972 teachers asked for an expanded school year to cover the PD days," Miller says. "I guess we need to do some public education to inform parents about the very valuable role of PD days," Miller says. "They are really key in helping every child's teacher become a better practitioner of the art and science of teaching." A calendar of events shows there are — in addition to the math conference in Whistler — about 20 other conferences for teachers to take in throughout the Lower Mainland and Victoria. "It's a case of teachers teaching other teachers to do their job better," Miller says.