New teaching and leadership standards (TQS and LQS) will be effective on September 1, 2019. The ATA News will feature a new series of articles related to the new standards to help teachers understand the standards and what they will mean for your practice.
In Alberta, we often talk about “PD” as a specific workshop or event, but professional development is the continuum of learning and reflection activities that teachers and school leaders choose to pursue over the course of their careers to keep their knowledge and skills current and to enhance their individual and collective efficacy for the ultimate benefit of improving student learning.
Professional development is more like Dorothy’s adventures down the yellow brick road and all the growth that she and her companions experience along the way. At journey’s end, the wizard didn’t bestow heart, intelligence and courage to the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, for they had developed and demonstrated these attributes during their travels. To Dorothy, the wizard only provided the revelation that she always possessed that which she sought. Like Dorothy travelling the yellow brick road, teachers learn over the course of their professional journeys, not only on defined days or at specific workshops.
A new journey begins
In September 2019, all certificated teachers in Alberta will be held to new professional standards. Teachers will need to be able to demonstrate that they meet the competencies in the revised Teaching Quality Standard (TQS), and school leaders must meet the competencies in the new Leadership Quality Standard (LQS). As the end of 2018 approaches, now is a good time for members to take stock and plan the professional development journey that leads to September 2019 and beyond.
In the coming issues of the ATA News, executive staff officers from the Association’s Professional Development program area will be providing an ongoing series of short articles to help members navigate the road ahead. Each article will feature curated activities, resources and professional advice that will facilitate the development of the competencies in the TQS and LQS.
For now, here’s an overview of the various professional development supports available to Association members. More details can be found in the Professional Development Program and Services Guide available at HTTP://L.EAD.ME/ATAPD1819 or through the QR code on the right.
The Association publishes professional development monographs, research, reviews, reports, proceedings, studies and guides, as well as material on learning and teaching issues developed for teachers. These include Stepping Stones developed through the Walking Together: Education for Reconciliation Professional Learning Project, the Teaching Immigrant Student series developed through the Association’s ongoing Diversity, Equity and Human Rights work, and the PRISM (Professionals Respecting Individual Sexual and Gender Minorities) toolkits for elementary and secondary schools. Most resources are available in English and French.
The ATA library
The Association maintains a professional library that contains an extensive collection of books, ebooks, journals, maker technology kits, DVDs and streaming video available to all Association members. All reserved materials are sent to members by mail with prepaid return postage provided at no charge. The library also provides research assistance for members, and access to full text databases of academic journals is available through the library website.
The Association’s professional development workshops are all linked to the competencies in the new standards and provide engaging school-based learning activities for groups of teachers and entire staff teams. All workshops are delivered by trained Association instructors who are practising teachers from around Alberta. Detailed descriptions of each workshop are listed in the Professional Development Programs and Services Guide. Many workshops are available in English and French.
Conventions and conferences
In addition to the annual teachers’ conventions and specialist council conferences, the Association offers a number of other professional learning events for teachers and school leaders. Check out the events calendar under the My ATA menu at www.teachers.ab.ca for more. ❚