President's Message

Colleagues,

With the last few years being so unsettled, I wish you all a hopeful blessing as we step into a new school year with bargaining, masks, vaccines, retirements, and new curriculum on the horizon.

  1. 2021-22 continues the bargaining process once again for our central table bargaining. Currently we have two campaigns in place provincially, to use the path of democracy and contacting your MLA, with being willing to attend Bargaining Unit General Meetings (BUGM). I urge you to attend the BUGM for your board, to voice your concerns and cast your vote in any motions carried. This year may be another tight spending year for government, but we hope that the binding arbitration will hold and our efforts will not go wasted. If there are any talking points or news briefings. Stay connected and keep yourself in the know. Facebook, Twitter, and the videos on YouTube are ways you can share your support and stay abreast of the events.

  1. The curriculum is in draft form its proposed roll out from the UCP government. For those early on in their teaching careers, resources are still available, and best practices from your colleagues, at your side. For those of us that have taught through the last big curriculum update, I wish with you that the government makes wise and swift decisions so our students are learning thought provoking current outcomes to help their skills soar, and to make our high school student complement, job ready and driven, to take educated risks for their personal development. Signals from the Provincial ATA and the UCP government point to the high probability that this round of government will see change, which speaks again to the importance of ensuring you are engaged and informed about the process.

  1. The ATA is urging all of us to complete a letter to our MLA for the Stand for Education campaign that will be rolling out to all school reps. I urge you to find 5 minutes to write about the complexity, teaching stresses and needs of your classroom, without mentioning the school, your employer, and students or staff members, but moreover the issues you as a teacher feel are present in any of the classes you teach in regards to complexity of students not feeling ready, language learners, individualized educational plans, mental health concerns, absenteeism, or dare I say it, acts of aggression in your classroom. As a province, both urban and rural populations are experiencing complexities that were not present 10 years ago and with the increased apathy of our students coming out of the global pandemic waves of yo-yoing many are struggling. For those teachers early in their career, or first year teachers, the classrooms that you will lead this year may exhaust you mentally, so with the ATA spearheading this campaign, all you need to do to contribute is write a letter. The ATA has a webpage that will collect some basic information to channel the message to our MLA as well as any MLA across the province for our School of Hope teachers who live outside our area. The more we stand together, the more our voice is heard. School reps will be there to help with questions, or fell free to contact me directly.  I've written mine, and it is already through the process. I will, no doubt, write another letter soon. You can still write letters to your MLA outside of the format provided by the ATA, and voice your concerns over any of the pressing issues teachers are faced with. Any support you can voice will help to make our stance for education a solid one. #StandForEducation

This will undoubtedly be another year of extreme challenges, but I do believe that on the horizon are opportunities that teachers in this province have long desired and deserved. Should we choose to actively engage in the political, social and economic issues that affect public education in this province in a manner that exemplifies our professional body of talented pedagogical pathfinders, then hand in hand, teachers of this local, and across the province, will secure a future that is bright and prosperous for all.

Yours in Education,

Brian Skinner

President - Park Plains East