It’s the most wonderful time of the year

OFF SCRIPT with ATA President Jason Schilling

October 15, 2019


 Early in the fall, the leaves and weather begin to change, and ATA locals start to organize their annual new teacher induction ceremonies. Having been on Provincial Executive Council for 10 years, I have attended many new teacher inductions and have enjoyed every one. Teachers new to the profession bring an energy and excitement that I saw first-hand when we would get new staff at my school — fresh sets of eyes and new perspectives.

Induction ceremonies hosted by the locals across the province are as unique as the teachers being introduced. I am not sure if you recall your induction, but I vividly recall mine. Picture it if you will: the Vulcan Legion on a cool, crisp fall evening. There were many jokes and stories, along with a strong sense of collegiality. Members of the ATA local and several colleagues from my school attended it, all welcoming me to teaching and my professional organization, the ATA.

Though at the time we joked about the line, “may this ceremony be a highlight of your career,” in hindsight, it truly was. I was grateful to be welcomed into an association that advocates daily on my behalf and for the learning of my students.

So even though you may be swamped with marking, up to your eyeballs in planning and battling that dreaded first-year teacher’s cold (don’t worry, you’ll get the flu soon), I would strongly encourage all our new teachers to attend their induction ceremony. It truly is a special night.

I would also encourage the teachers who may or may not know a new teacher to attend the induction ceremony hosted by their local as well. Not only is it great to see and hear about our new teachers, but you can connect with other colleagues you may not have seen in a while. The evening is also a way to renew your own pledge to the Alberta Teachers’ Association. As we face many challenges now and in the future, the Association thrives on the involvement of its members, and that includes you. Induction season truly is the most wonderful time of the year. ❚

I welcome your comments — contact me at

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