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June 12, 2018 Greg Jeffery, ATA President

This... From ATA President Greg Jeffery

Right now, many of you have probably just put a big X through another date on your June calendar. Yes, summer is here and another school year is almost over.

For some of you, this may have been your first year teaching.

have a restful and
happy summer.

Just like college football players who turn professional and find the game at that level is a lot faster, you sometimes may have felt a little overwhelmed at the pace you had to maintain to keep on top of things in your classroom. Here in my 34th year in the teaching profession, I felt your pain.

I too had a steep learning curve to navigate this year. It was my first as president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association — the first year since 1984 (sadly, before most of you first-year teachers were born) that I wasn’t in the classroom.

Being president is a serious undertaking and can get quite hectic from time to time (two ATA staff members were in my office talking to me about four media requests that I needed to respond to as I was writing this very sentence), but I am proud to deliver the messages of Alberta teachers.

Speaking at more than 30 events (inductions, retirements, aannual meetings) hosted by various locals around the province, I have learned about different local traditions and witnessed the pride each one takes in celebrating its members.

Working with Provincial Executive Council has kept me busy. I can tell you they represent very well those of you who teach in their districts. They are very dedicated, and they have many, many perspectives and ideas for the Association to explore and pursue in the interest of improving the profession.

Conferences, speaking engagements, meetings with government officials, media requests, even our own Council meetings — preparing for all of these things (and more) is a lot of work. The staff at the ATA are extraordinary, and without them I would not have survived many different times throughout the year. They too are dedicated to supporting the work of teachers.

I have no doubt that next year will be a busier one for the Association. I have been making many contacts with the leaders of other provincial organizations, both in and outside of Alberta, in preparation for the upcoming provincial election.

I have to admit that every now and then, out of the blue, I get a wave of nostalgia for my band room, my students and the sheer adventure of being a classroom teacher. I miss those things, but having survived my first year as president, I can tell you that being entrusted with the honour of representing more than 46,000 remarkable teachers is pretty special too.

That said, I feel that one of my last presidential duties of this year is to give you five things (in no specific order) to think about over the summer:


Have a restful and happy summer. You deserve it! ❚

I welcome your comments — contact me at

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