Teachers tell me their number one concern right now is their working conditions. Things have steadily deteriorated for decades, and teachers are feeling overwhelmed. Expectations have grown to become daunting for many teachers. Our Association and the Provincial Executive Council must work even harder to pressure the provincial government and Alberta Education to address these concerns.
The number one priority of all teachers is their students, but we are lacking the supports we need to adequately help them. Class composition, class size, a lack of educational assistants and excessive documentation all add to this struggle. We can’t be expected to continue to do it all. Our working conditions are students’ learning environments, and we need to address issues now in order to fully meet the needs of the children in our care.
In the recently legislated framework agreement, the government promised measures to reduce workload and to improve teacher efficacy. Most teachers are telling me that this has not occurred. In fact, a good number of teachers have indicated that their workload has increased in the last two years.
If elected, I promise to fight for improved working conditions. Inclusive education, class size and supports need to be evaluated and addressed now. I believe I have the skills to push forward in addressing these concerns.
Darrin is in his 20th year of teaching and is currently a high school teacher at St. Francis Xavier High School in Edmonton. He teaches Off-campus Education and is the school’s online learning coordinator. He has also taught Grade 5, junior high math and at Edmonton Catholic’s Outreach High School. He is currently the vice-president of Edmonton Catholic Teachers and has served in numerous capacities on the local executive for the last five years.
Watch Darrin Bauer's campaign video.
As our schools evolve, the teacher’s role continues to expand and work intensifies. Alberta teachers strive to meet their students’ diverse needs in preparing them for success in an increasingly competitive global community. As teachers, you have identified critical issues that need to be addressed: consistent and sustainable education funding, optimal learning/teaching environments along with full support for inclusion and ideal class sizes, personal professional development and autonomy, work-life balance and competitive salaries.
We need to collectively champion teachers through political engagement, and collaborate and forge partnerships with education stakeholders through our ATA to keep improving and transforming our education system. We must look to research and teachers’ collective wisdom to help guide innovation. We must rally public support by raising the profession’s status.
Thank you for your support and advice, and for sharing your educational concerns. I am honoured to represent Edmonton and Fort McMurray teachers on Provincial Executive Council. It is your expertise and dedication to students and community that build our strong, world-renowned public education system. I encourage you to continue participating in our Association.
As your voice and advocate, I remain committed to listening and acting to support your work at its best.
Markiana is passionate about teaching and learning. Her teaching experience spans kindergarten through adult education with ECSD, teaching English to international students and working with children and adults in care. She is currently a learning coach.
Representing the teachers of Edmonton McMurray on Provincial Executive Council, Markiana currently serves on the Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Committee and the Finance Committee, and is the PEC liaison to the Early Childhood Education Council and GETCA.
Markiana’s portfolio includes ATA professional development instructor and PD facilitator; Ukrainian Bilingual program development; ECT local vice-president, communications officer, and PD co-chair (co-developing a beginning teachers’ mentorship program).
Watch Markiana Cyncar-Hryschuk's campaign video.
Teachers continue to work harder to meet the diverse needs of their learners, with larger classes and ongoing school initiatives. Teachers are already trying to cope with daily work intensification that challenges their personal and professional lives. Teachers are tired and face enormous challenges to be everything that their students deserve.
The district representative can direct provincial council decision making with teachers’ professional needs at the centre. To focus on improved workplace conditions, relevant research initiatives and professional development opportunities, effective collaboration with our education partners will be essential.
We must work together to improve the conditions of practice for teachers and support effective classrooms for learning. We must engage our membership to lobby for increased fiscal responsibility from the government that provides adequate and stable public education funding.
Teachers are the classroom experts, and respect for their voice must be part of the solution to improve our schools and provide the best possible educational experiences for our students. We need improved and effective bargaining practices that will better compensate teachers with respect for their professional work.
Through advocating for quality programming from the ATA, and effective member representation, we can respond to these challenges and create dynamic 21st-century schools. I welcome the opportunity to continue serving our members as district representative for Edmonton and Fort McMurray teachers.
For more than 30 years Christine has performed many roles as an educator: classroom teacher, counsellor, special needs coordinator, undergraduate instructor and district consultant. Her work with the Alberta Teachers’ Association spans many decades. With pride and commitment she has worked with local executives, convention boards, provincial committees and specialist councils to promote excellence in public education and professional practice. For the past six years she has demonstrated leadership as the district representative for Edmonton McMurray on Provincial Executive Council.
Watch Christine Harris' campaign video.
At the local level with Edmonton Public Teachers, I began representing colleagues on the Council of School Repesentatives about 32 years ago. The purpose of working collectively with colleagues, at all levels of the Association, is to talk about and promote what’s best for teaching and what’s best for teachers. Provincially, I became a district representative in 2009 and am asking for your support to grant me another opportunity to serve on Provincial Executive Council representing the district of Edmonton McMurray.
I became active with our Association to engage meaningfully in my professional growth and to help shape the growth of the profession. I believe that we work best when we work collaboratively with collegial regard for each other. It is only through the collective strength of the Association that we can uphold the dignity and rights of our colleagues. Let us continue to strive toward finding ways to connect with our learners more effectively, teach with greater relevance and empower our students and ourselves with the gift of lifelong learning.
The importance of public education cannot be overstated. Equitable access to well-resourced learning environments is the foundation of a true democracy.
I view teaching, at its best, as shaping and supporting a sustainable, affirmative, creative, resilient culture. In this task, everyone is a teacher; everyone is a learner. We build our world together.
I began my career as a classroom teacher in 1979. In the beginning I taught kindergarten for the Leduc Preschool Society. The next year I began with Edmonton Public Schools. During my time in the district, I have taught at Norwood, Malmo, Inglewood, Hillcrest and Hardisty. I have been lucky enough to teach a variety of subjects in all grades from K–9. At present, I am happily assigned to division three, teaching Grade 7 and 8 math.
Watch Quintin Yardley's campaign video.