Teacher conventions will be online in 2022. Convention boards around the province are working extremely hard to plan the outstanding professional development experiences you have come to expect, and while your convention experience will no doubt be different this school year, the principles underlying teachers’ conventions remain the same.
- Safety – As we deal with the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, your health and safety continue to be of paramount importance to your Association. As you make decisions about your convention participation, we urge you to heed the advice and practices of health officials to protect yourselves. We look forward to returning to in-person teachers’ conventions in years to come when it is safe to do so, however take care not put your health at risk as you participate this year.
- Participation – Your two days of self-directed professional development at teachers’ convention remain the same, and your professional and contractual obligations to attend for these two days continue unaffected. Convention boards are planning outstanding programs with top-notch keynote presenters and relevant concurrent breakout sessions. Most sessions will either be offered live using Zoom conferencing software or as pre-recorded on-demand sessions. You will have opportunities leading up to your convention to ensure that you can connect to these sessions. As always, if you wish permission to attend an alternate professional development experience taking place at the same time as your convention, or if you wish permission to attend an alternate convention, please apply at ata.smapply.ca.
- Learning – Your convention boards are excited to offer you numerous online keynote and concurrent breakout sessions that align with the Teaching Quality Standard. This programming along with networking opportunities and online exhibitors are intended to help you meet the goals of your professional growth plans and develop required competencies. The Association advises members to participate from home to retain professional autonomy in making professional development choices for your convention experience. With many live sessions being recorded for viewing throughout the convention and large capacity Zoom sessions, you will have greater flexibility to access the sessions you need when you need them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: 2021 12 01
With Teachers’ Conventions being virtual, am I required to go into school on those days?
No. The two days for teachers’ convention are listed in the Education Act under s205(1) as “2 days on which a teachers’ convention authorized by the Alberta Teachers’ Association is held”. These are days that are under the control of the Association. Teachers are encouraged to attend convention from home or from a location where stable internet connections exist. Teachers are also encouraged to download any convention material in advance to minimize bandwidth requirements during convention. While some employers may allow you to use the school for convention, that is up to you to decide. (2020 12 09)
Can teachers gather together during convention?
If members choose to participate in their teachers’ convention with a colleague, they need to adhere to gathering restrictions put in place by the Government of Alberta and, if gathering at school, gathering restrictions put in place by their school division.
Can teachers organize their own professional development activities during convention?
No. All active members of the Association have legal as well as professional obligations to attend the annual teachers’ convention to which they are assigned. Although a worthy enterprise, self-directed professional development is not a sufficient reason for requesting to be absent from convention. For more information on convention attendance protocols and options for being released from convention attendance please visit the convention attendance page.
For the latest updates on your convention, please visit its website. For specific questions pertaining to collective agreement clauses related to teachers’ conventions or convention attendance recommendations, please contact a duty officer in Teacher Employment Services by calling Barnett House toll free at 1-800-232-7208. For general questions related to online teachers’ conventions, please contact Danny Maas at Daniel.Maas@ata.ab.ca.