uLead showcases ATA as global example

April 24, 2018
Greg Jeffery, ATA President

As you read this many of you have likely just gone through a three-day stretch of having one or more of your in-school administrators absent from your school. When this used to happen to me I recall thinking, “What is central office doing to them now? Why don’t they leave them alone to do their jobs?” Well, it is likely that this latest absence can be attributed to the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

That’s because we held our uLead event from April 15 to 18. Organized by the ATA’s Council for School Leadership, uLead is a conference designed for education leaders. The attendees include teachers, in-school administrators, central office teachers, superintendents, academics, education ministers and ministry officials, as well as leaders of teachers’ organizations.

If you are thinking, “That’s quite a group,” now expand it by 10 or more countries represented. This was an amazing opportunity for your principal, and I hope that you get to hear their perspective on the conference in the near future.

As an Alberta teacher and president of the ATA, I felt great pride as we showcased what a professional teachers’ organization can accomplish. A significant reason for this success is the unified nature of the ATA. Not all the teacher organizations represented at uLead have principals as their members, and others were amazed at the strength of our collegial relationships. Out of these PD events some of our research partnerships with countries such as Finland, Norway, Iceland and New Zealand have been born or nurtured, and I will tell you that new relationships are ahead because of time spent together at uLead.

Time and time again I am reminded of what we have as the ATA and how the rest of the world aspires to be more like us. So maybe this one time we can resist the urge to ask our principals, “What did they do to you this time?” Maybe instead we can ask, “I read about this uLead conference. Was it really that good?”

When you ask this, give yourself a little time, as I suspect the answer might be lengthy. I also think it will be positive and gladly shared — just one more example of our Association providing world-class professional development for all our members and the rest of the world. ❚