This... from ATA President Greg Jeffery

January 16, 2018
Greg Jeffery, ATA president

Welcome back and happy new year, Alberta teachers! It’s a new year with a lot of new things on the horizon in education — a new Teaching Quality Standard, new provincial curriculum, a new round of central table bargaining — oh, and This.

One of my resolutions in 2018 is to connect more regularly with you, our ATA members. And I’m hopeful my new column, This, will help achieve that. Thanks to the managing editor and editor-in-chief of the ATA News, I get to use This to share with you some of the things that are on my mind. In future editions, I will talk about issues like the ones I have already mentioned — bargaining, curriculum, the teaching quality standard, etc. Add to that list the provincial budget, as it too will impact the teaching profession and we as teachers.

Mental health, technology, human rights and poverty are all issues that can affect teaching and learning, so my views on those topics and others may show up in this space as well. If an issue is relevant to teaching or learning, I will talk about it.

But it won’t be all business. No, no.

I may reflect on my favourite memories as a teacher, vent about the weather, wish you a happy World Teachers’ Day, or even muse about the performance of my BC Lions or Vancouver Canucks (sorry, you can take the boy out of B.C. …).

I may also want some inspiration. So, if you see me out and about (I will be attending and presenting at all 10 ATA teachers’ conventions next month) say hello and share your ideas for This. ❚

Five things on my mind

1. ATA teachers’ conventions

I need to start packing. The season begins with the first of 10 teachers’ conventions held Feb. 8 and 9. Check the ATA website for your convention dates and location.

2. Budget 2018

The provincial budget and education funding are still TBA, but until Feb. 2 teachers and other Albertans can give input. See the ATA home-page for the story and budget survey link.

3. Central table bargaining

The current agreement between the ATA and the Teacher Employers Bargaining Association expires Aug. 31, 2018. Check the Collective Bargaining Updates link on the ATA homepage for the latest information.

4. K–4 curriculum

As per the provincial government’s announcement in June 2016, new curriculum is to be developed for kindergarten to Grade 4 by late 2018.

5. New Teaching Quality Standard

As you may know, a new Teaching Quality Standard is in the works. To stay updated, read the ATA News, watch the ATA website or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

I welcome your comments — contact me at greg.jeffery@ata.ab.ca.