Hibernation is not an option
The election has come and gone, and many of us have expressed our individual opinions. So now what? Is that it until 2023? Does all the great advocacy work done by the teachers of Alberta just get tucked away until it is election time yet again? The answer I want to hear is a resounding no!
Many will say that our efforts went for naught, but I strongly disagree. During the campaign we caused the United Conservative Party to retreat from a return to Grade 3 PATs and bring back 50 per cent weightings for diploma exams. Although our big issues of class size and supports for inclusion were not addressed, Albertans are now aware of these issues, and that is something we need to build on, not save for four years from now. These issues did not go away on April 17, but they will in the minds of everyday Albertans if we let them. There has been no move on retreating from standardized testing for grades 1 and 2, mandatory teacher testing or on teacher recertification. We still have work to do and tasks we need to accomplish. Advocating for public education should not be a sporadic activity.
Although our big issues of class size and supports for inclusion were not addressed, Albertans are now aware of these issues, and that is something we need to build on.
A large number of us, myself included, now have a new MLA, so why not go for a chat and find out where our representatives stand on our issues? If enough of us do this, the conversation may move to the government caucus room, and that’s where our messages need to be heard. At least send a congratulatory email and ask a question or two. You might become a go-to person for your new MLA on educational issues, and you can certainly feel good about standing up for the students and the teachers of our province.
Let’s not go into election hibernation for four years, because public education in Alberta deserves better and 2023 may be too late.
Thanks for all you have done and for all you are still about to do. ❚