Michelle Bezubiak of the Early Childhood Education Council provides information to an preservice teacher at Concordia University of Edmonton on Saturday, Jan. 14.
A second-year initiative aimed at connecting future teachers with the various specialist councils offered by the Alberta Teachers’ Association drew healthy crowds to two recent events in Edmonton and Calgary.
A total of about 280 preservice teachers from around the province gathered Jan. 14 in Edmonton and Jan. 21 in Calgary to learn about specialist council programs through table displays, publications, networking and a round of “specialist council bingo.
The initiative began in January 2016 and was the brainchild of Don McLaughlin, who is president of the Global, Environmental & Outdoor Education Council.
“We needed to find a way to connect with preservice teachers, to encourage their membership and to inform them of all that specialist councils have to offer,” McLaughlin said.
“It’s the collaboration between the student local, the hosting institution and the specialist council volunteers that makes these events so exciting.”
The no-cost Saturday morning events were hosted with faculty and institutional support by the student locals at Concordia University of Edmonton and Mount Royal University in Calgary. They included workshops on classroom management, indigenous cultures and world
views, and teacher wellness offered by the Association’s Instructor Corps.
What are specialist councils?
The Association’s 21 specialist councils were created to foster the professional development of teachers interested in common curriculum or specialty areas. The first six councils formed in 1961, with the newest council formed in 2009.
Councils are operated by teams of volunteer teachers to provide members with opportunities to share ideas and gather new information and skills by organizing annual conferences, producing publications, maintaining websites and offering regional workshops and seminars.
Student membership is free
Student members of the Alberta Teachers’ Association enjoy free student membership in specialist councils. To become a student member of the Alberta Teachers’ Association, contact your preservice program’s student local or the Association directly for application support.