Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities for Teachers

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This Declaration forms part of the Constitution of The Alberta Teachers' Association.

The general purpose of education is the full development of the potential of each individual. Society, of which teachers are a part, establishes the goals of education and the organizational framework within which formal education occurs.

In its broadest sense, teaching is a process which facilitates learning. Formal teaching activities are based on the specialized application of the learning process adapted to meet the educational needs of the learner.

A teacher has professional knowledge and skill gained through formal preparation and experience. A teacher provides personal caring service to pupils by diagnosing their needs and by planning, selecting and using methods and evaluation procedures designed to promote learning.

In Alberta, a teacher is a member of The Alberta Teachers' Association and recognizes that membership in The Alberta Teachers' Association and support of it through the provision of fees is beneficial to the cause of education and the teaching profession in Alberta.

The Alberta Teachers' Association holds that teachers are entitled to the following rights and must accept the corresponding responsibilities.

  1. Teachers have the right to base diagnosis, planning, methodology and evaluation on professional knowledge and skills, and have the responsibility to review constantly their own level of competence and effectiveness and to seek necessary improvements as part of a continuing process of professional development.
  2. Teachers have the right to expect standards of pupil behavior necessary for maintaining an optimal learning environment and have the responsibility to use reasonable methods to achieve such standards.
  3. Teachers have the right to a voice in all decisions of a professional nature which affect them and have the responsibility to seek the most effective means of consultation and of collaboration with their professional colleagues.
  4. Teachers have the right to criticize educational programs and have the responsibility to do so in a professional manner.
  5. Teachers have the right to work in surroundings that are sanitary, healthful and conducive to teaching and learning, and have the responsibility to assess conditions encountered and to seek improvement of unacceptable conditions.
  6. Teachers have the right to a reasonable allotment of resources, materials and services of support staff and have the responsibility to use them in an efficient manner.
  7. Teachers have the right to fair and reasonable evaluation of professional performance and have the responsibility to give sincere consideration to any suggestions for improvement.
  8. Teachers have the right to protest and in extreme cases to refuse the assignment of teaching duties when they believe their qualifications and experience will not provide adequate service and safety to pupils and have the responsibility to consider any special circumstances under which the duties were assigned.
  9. Teachers have the right to be protected against discrimination on the basis of prejudice as to race, religious beliefs, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical characteristics, disability, marital status, family status, age, ancestry, place of origin, place of residence, socioeconomic background or linguistic background and have the responsibility to refrain from practising these forms of discrimination in their professional duties.
  10. Teachers, collectively and collegially, have the right to:
    a) be members of the organization representing their professional, economic and contractual concerns,
    b) serve the organization and be represented by it,
    c) adhere to and to expect other members to adhere to the organization's code of professional conduct,
    d) have a voice in determining criteria and procedures for the evaluation of professional performance of teachers,
    e) be protected under provisions outlined in contracts of employment with the employer,
    f) bargain for salaries and working conditions which include fair and equitable grievance procedures,
    g) receive an adequate income while teaching and upon retirement,
    and have the responsibility to support actively their professional organization in its objectives to regulate relations between teachers and their employers and to improve the quality of education, the status of teachers and the status of the teaching profession.

Adopted 1984 03 30, revised 1994 05 21, 2000 05 20 and 2004 05 22