About The Teaching Profession in Alberta
If you are interested in teaching in Alberta, this should be the first place you look. Find out about the role of the teacher, teaching authority, related legislation and policies, and places to look for additional information about the profession.
Role of the Teacher
Teachers are the foundation of Kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Alberta. The primary role of the teacher is to support the goals of the Student Learning Ministerial Order, which outlines the goals and standards applied to providing inclusive Kindergarten to Grade 12 education in Alberta. Excellent teachers ensure students achieve success and fulfillment, and reach their full potential.
Teachers apply and adapt teaching practices to support the unique needs and learning styles of each child. Next to parents and caregivers, teachers are the most important relationship in a child's life. Teachers are also lifelong learners who commit to continuous development throughout their careers, to ensure the best outcomes for Albertan students.
Authority to Teach
If you would like to teach in Alberta, you must hold a valid teaching certificate issued by the Province of Alberta. Once you hold a valid teaching certificate, you are authorized to teach!
Who’s Responsible for What?
- Alberta Education
- The Minister of Education is responsible for who holds teaching authority in Alberta.
- The Registrar (the Executive Director of Teaching & Leadership Excellence), is responsible for evaluation of qualifications and issuing Alberta teacher certification.
- School authorities (public, separate, francophone, charter, private, band-operated, and First Nations) are responsible for employment of teachers.
- Teacher Qualifications Service, operated by the Alberta Teachers' Association, evaluates credentials for salary purposes (see Teacher Qualifications Service).
- Certificated teachers are responsible for adhering to the Teaching Quality Standard Ministerial Order (TQS); and the Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy (TGSEP).
Governing Policy and Legislation
The School Act requires school boards to employ teachers who hold a certificate of qualification to teach. The Minister of Education appoints a Registrar to evaluate your qualifications and issue your teaching certificate. (see the Certification of Teachers Regulation).
Being granted teaching certification requires you to:
- apply appropriate knowledge, skills, and attributes toward student learning, as described by the Teaching Quality Standard Ministerial Order; and in support of the Student Learning Ministerial Order, and
- uphold the teaching practice and engage in professional growth (see the Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy).
Teaching Quality Standard Ministerial Order
The Teaching Quality Standard Ministerial Order is the standard that is applied to certification of teachers, ongoing professional development, and supervision and evaluation of teachers.
The Teaching Quality Standard is the foundation for excellence in teaching that is required from every certificated teacher. In the Teaching Quality Standard are select descriptors of the knowledge, skills and attributes that are appropriate for teachers throughout their professional careers. This short summary of the standards describes the responsibilities of certificated teachers which includes, but is not limited to, an understanding of:
- the importance of context with regard to teaching and learning;
- the structure of the Alberta education system;
- the Guide to Education and programs of study related to your specialization or teachable subject areas;
- a belief that all students can learn, albeit differently;
- short, medium, and long term planning;
- students’ needs for physical, social, and psychological security;
- a need to respect students’ human dignity;
- the many approaches to teaching and learning;
- the importance of engaging parents, purposefully and meaningfully, in all aspects of teaching and learning;
- how student learning is enhanced through the use of home and community resources;
- contributing, independently and collegially, to the quality of the school community;
- the importance of career-long learning;
- the importance of guiding your own actions with a personal, overall vision of the purpose of teaching;
- the legislated moral and ethical frameworks within which the teacher works;
- creating and maintaining environments that are conducive to student learning;
- being able to translate curriculum content and objectives into meaningful learning activities;
- applying a variety of technologies to meet students’ learning needs;
- using gathered information about students’ learning needs and progress to improve instruction; and
- establishing key partnerships within the school, home, community, and within your own school to improve the school environment.
Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy
A teacher’s professional responsibilities includes planned, ongoing development of their teaching practice throughout their career. Professional growth plans are documented annually and may include continued development of teacher competencies as identified in the Teaching Quality Standard, and school and district priorities.
Throughout their career, teachers are formally evaluated to ensure they are achieving the Teaching Quality Standard. Evaluation is a requirement for a teacher to be recommended for Permanent Professional Certification. The Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy outlines the necessary conditions that must be met to support continuous teacher development. This policy is important to school authorities, Early Childhood Services operators, superintendents, school principals and teachers.
Student Learning Ministerial Order
The Student Learning Ministerial Order describes the outcomes for students in Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 12 school system. Teachers develop teaching practices and provide learning environments that support and promote these outcomes.