The provincial budget announced Oct. 24 has caused a lot of anxiety and frustration for teachers, and rightfully so. Once again, we have a budget that asks teachers to do more with less. Once again teachers are seeing supports for students in our classrooms eroded. Once again we have education policies passed that disrespect the profession and create uncertainty in our schools. As teachers, we know that uncertainty creates an instability that is never good for our profession and our schools.
|Together, teachers in Alberta need to take on the challenges that threaten the education of our students.
What do we do about it? This is the question posed to me most often. My answer is — get involved. Now is the time. The ATA’s strength comes from the collective voice of its nearly 50,000 members. Every teacher has a role and responsibility in voicing concerns about the future of public education. Your students depend on your voice. I know from experience how busy teaching can get. Right now the majority of us are waist-deep in parent–teacher interviews and report cards. Time is a factor. However, if we as a profession fail to stand up for education, then who will? Because teachers value public education, it makes sense to me that teachers should be the ones who advocate for it.
Like you, I am frustrated and I will use my voice until I am hoarse, but I need your assistance. The time has come, colleagues, for all of us to get involved in the issues and be engaged in our association. Contact your MLA, write a letter in the ATA’s letter campaign, talk to your neighbours, go to a rally, talk to community members — there are so many ways to be engaged. Together, teachers in Alberta need to take on the challenges that threaten the education of our students. If not us, then who? ❚