A recent gathering of teacher organization presidents from Western Canada focused on sharing ideas on several common issues.
Held in Banff from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, the meeting focused on the political implications of gay-straight alliances and LGBTQ issues, how the teaching profession can support aboriginal education, the impacts of poverty on classrooms and the impact of the La Loche shooting in Saskatchewan, said Alberta Teachers’ Association president Mark Ramsankar, who conceived of the meeting.
Such meetings used to be a regular occurrence, but they were dropped about 20 years ago, Ramsankar said.
“I had an idea that we should be talking about western issues so I started it,” he said. “I just thought that it was a valuable experience to be able to start talking about our common issues.”
The event was attended by presidents of teacher organizations from all four western provinces, both territories and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. At the conclusion, Ramsankar passed the torch to Jim Iker, president of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation, which agreed to play host next year.
“It was a very, very successful meeting,” Ramsankar said. ❚