Certification 

How do I apply for a teaching certificate?

In Alberta, all teaching certificates are granted by the provincial Registrar in the Department of Education. Certificates are divided into two categories: interim and permanent.

If you are eligible for certification, you must apply through the Teacher Workforce Information System (TWINS).

The minimum requirements and costs for certification are listed here.

In addition to applying for your teaching certificate, don’t forget to apply for your TQS evaluation.

If you have any questions, please contact Professional Development staff at pd@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.

What are the different types of teaching certificate?

Temporary Teaching Authority

Graduates from an Alberta Bachelor of Education program who have received an offer of employment from a school division may be eligible for a letter which grants them temporary teaching authority for 90 days.

Find out more here.

Interim Professional Certificate

Interim professional certificates may be granted to applicants who have completed their Bachelor of Education programs in Alberta, in other provinces, or abroad.

If awarded, interim professional certificates generally expire on August 31 of the third year following the year in which it was issued. The Registrar may subsequently grant extensions of an interim professional certificate for up to a three-year period.

Find out more here.

Permanent Professional Certificate

After two successful years of full time teaching (approximately 400 days) and two successful evaluations from your school leaders, you may apply for your permanent professional certificate.

A permanent certificate remains in effect unless withdrawn by the Minister of Education. 

Find out more here.

 

Contracts

There seems to be information missing from my contract. What gives?

Teaching contracts are typically very brief documents that simply indicate your employing school division, your contract type and term length, the full-time or part-time nature of your position, and a few other administrative details concerning pay dates and resignation requirements. Information assigning you to a particular work site or teaching assignment is rarely included.

Information about salary and benefits is not included in your teaching contract. This information is found in your collective agreement.

If you have any questions about teaching contracts, contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.   

What are the different types of teaching contract?

In general, there are three different types of teaching contract.

Temporary teaching contracts are offered for terms up to a year in length. Many beginning teachers are placed on temporary contracts to cover the assignments of teachers who are on leave or to fill other short-term vacancies. The start and end dates of temporary teaching contracts vary greatly.

Probationary teaching contracts are offered to many beginning teachers. Teachers on probationary contracts are not covering for teachers on leave or filling short-term vacancies. That said, there is no guarantee that your position will be renewed at the end of its term. Term lengths are typically a year or two in length.

Continuous teaching contracts are awarded to teachers on probationary contracts who have completed at least two years of teaching and who have applied for and received their permanent professional teaching certificate.


Pay and Benefits

Where do I find out how much I will be paid?

Salary and benefit information for teachers is found in collective agreements. Your position on the salary grid is determined by your years of formal teacher education and your years of professional teaching experience.

The current collective agreements for Alberta’s public, separate and Francophone school divisions can be found here.

If you have any questions about salary or benefits, contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.

How do I find out where I will be placed on the salary grid?

The Teacher Qualifications Service (TQS) is the agency in Alberta responsible for evaluating a teacher's years of education and experience to determine salary.

Application forms and costs can be found here.

If you have any questions, please contact Professional Development staff at pd@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.

Where can I find out more about the other benefits I am entitled to?

Detailed information on the specific entitlements of your collective agreement (including assignable time maximums, employment insurance, group benefit plans, pension information and explanations about the types of leave you can access, can be found here.

If you have any questions about salary or benefits, contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.


What are all these deductions that are coming off my pay every month?

In addition to Employment Insurance (EI) and Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, you’ll notice a number of other deductions coming off your salary every month.

Contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208 to find out what these are and whether your deductions are correct.


Professional Development

What’s a TPGP?

Every year, you must develop a teacher professional growth plan that maps out your professional development goals for the year. These goals should be informed by a self-evaluation of your current teaching context and areas of potential growth related to the competencies listed in the Teaching Quality Standard.

The Association offers a number of growth planning templates as well as an online self-evaluation tool. Find out more about these resources here.

If you have any questions, please contact Professional Development staff at pd@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.

What kind of professional development opportunities exist for teachers?

The Association offers a wide array of conferences, workshops and professional development events that you can access.

As a member of the ATA, you can join one or more specialist councils, attend your annual teachers’ convention, and participate in face-to-face and online professional development workshops. Your school division might even have a mentorship program for new teachers!

A complete listing of professional development programs and services that you can access can be found here.

If you have any questions, please contact Professional Development staff at pd@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.

Does the ATA have any resources that I can access to help inform my work?

You bet! The ATA develops and curates a range of resources to support your career-long longing.

Check out the print materials, digital LibGuides, and interactive kits that are available through the ATA Library!

Resources developed through the Association’s ongoing Indigenous Education, Inclusive Education, and Diversity, Equity and Human Rights work can be accessed through the ATA website.

If you need help finding something specific, please contact Professional Development staff at pd@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.


Scholarships, Grants and Awards

The Association and the ATA Educational Trust offer a wide range of scholarships, grants, and awards that you can access to attend specialist council conferences, post-secondary courses and graduate degrees, and more. Click here for a complete listing of these opportunities. If you have any questions, please contact Professional Development staff at pd@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.


Professional Conduct & Competence

What’s the difference between conduct and competence?

Professional conduct describes your behaviour and actions; how you conduct yourself as a professional teacher. The guiding document that lists the minimum expectations for teacher conduct is the Code of Professional Conduct.

Professional competence concerns the pedagogical knowledge, skills and attributes you possess as professional teacher. The guiding document that lists the minimum expectations for teacher competence is the Teaching Quality Standard.

Contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208 if you need to know more.

What happens if a teacher engages in unprofessional conduct?

Teachers who engage in unprofessional conduct not only damage their professional reputation, but can also erode public assurance in the teaching profession. Any member of the public including students, parents, and other teachers may file a complaint with the Association if they believe a teacher has acted in an unprofessional manner.

When a complaint is filed, the Association’s executive secretary assigns an investigator to look into the matter. Based on this investigation, the executive secretary may order a number of actions, including requiring the investigated member to appear before a hearing of a Professional Conduct Committee.

More information about conduct complaints and the discipline process is available here.

If you have any questions, contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.

Who can I talk to if I’m having trouble navigating a tricky relationship with a colleague, parent or student?

Association staff provide advice, support and mediation services to help you manage difficult interpersonal relationships.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208 for support!

What happens if a teacher fails to demonstrate their professional competence?

Teachers must continue to demonstrate the competencies in the Teaching Quality Standard throughout their career. The Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy explains how teachers explains the relationship between a teacher’s self-directed professional development, but also the role school leaders have to supervise and evaluate teachers to ensure their ongoing professional growth and continued competence.

In the rare situations where a teacher fails to demonstrate their ongoing competence despite the ongoing process of growth, supervision and evaluation, this teacher may be subject of a competence complaint.

Competence complaints are filed to the division superintendent, who, after an investigation, may request that the Association’s executive secretary convene a hearing of a Professional Practice Review Committee to rule on the matter of the teacher’s competence.

More information about competence complaints and the practice review process is available here.

If you have any questions, contact Teacher Employment Services staff at tes@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208.

Who can I talk to if I need help finding professional development opportunities or resources?

Please don’t hesitate to contact Professional Development staff at pd@ata.ab.ca or 1-800-232-7208 if you need help finding or accessing professional development supports!


Getting Involved with the ATA

How can I get more involved with the ATA?

There are lots of ways you can become more personally involved with the Association and its various subgroups (locals, specialist councils, convention associations and bargaining units).

You may participate in one of our ongoing advocacy or political engagement campaigns. You might want to apply to sit on an Association committee or volunteer as a consultant or instructor. You simply might want to follow us on social media.

No matter what your level of engagement, we’re glad to have your help!

How do I help elect the ATA’s leaders?

The ATA elects members of its Provincial Executive Council every two years. More information about running for office, promoting candidates and voting is available here.