Ian's Message

Ian's Farewell Message



Ian Stewardson

Welcome back to all CTEC Teachers.

I hope that you have had a smooth start to the 2023-2024 school year. I have been working with the Alberta Teachers’ Association Career Technology Education Council (a Specialist Council supporting Career Technology Studies and Career Technology Foundations Teachers in the province of Alberta) for the past 9 years. Recently, there is a new advisor appointed to the Executive of the CTEC Council. Welcome, Philippe Bresee.

As this is a transition, I have had time to reflect on the great work that was done throughout the past nine years. There are many celebrations and activities which have supported teachers working in the CTS/CTF Classrooms. One of the biggest successes was the flexibility of the Council during the COVID outbreak which lasted a significant amount of time in student lives. The Council provided CTEC teachers with online meetings to share sessions highlighting best practices in this transition. The teachers who attended the online sessions reported that these sharing sessions helped to structure activities for them.

Another celebration, over the years, was the high-quality conferences that CTEC hosted in Canmore, Red Deer and Edmonton. These events provided hands-on sessions as well as panel and specialist updates for the teachers. Conferences like these are built on the work of the Conference Directors and the rest of the CTEC Executive. The work involved in creating an exciting two-to-three-day conference is astounding but with the team that worked on these events, it was always a fun activity to attend. I know you as a member of the CTEC Specialist Council will continue to have the opportunity to attend those great events. Please register early because it makes it so much easier to plan the event.

There are challenges that CTEC Teachers are facing in the future. Employment Services with the Alberta Teachers’ Association is very aware of the concerns about safety and class size. The CTEC classroom has more limitations regarding the safe use of equipment and supervision of students to keep students safe while learning life skills.

Another challenge is the need to increase an understanding of the important role that CTEC classes provide for students in the province of Alberta. It can be so much more than “Just an Option”. Relationships between students and teachers are built with hands-on activities such as participating in the “Skills” competitions. These competitions highlight the work that is done in the CTEC areas.

CTEC Programming is very diverse and has more moving pieces than other subject areas. This is because there are a variety of one credit courses which can be bundled to work for the students. There are five clusters in the Career Technology Studies area and the Career Technology Foundations (Grade Four to  Grade Nine) with its own set of outcomes. Career Education is identified by the Provincial Government as a focus area. CTEC is built to work in that area and must be supported through the funding levels. There were motions passed at the 2023 Annual Representative Assembly of the Alberta Teachers’ Association which supported the CTEC teachers.

I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic teachers in my role. Sadly, some of them have passed away and will be missed by me whenever I think about a funny story or event we attended together. With that being said, I know that you are in good hands with your current dedicated CTEC Executive Council. I have heard the plans for this year’s Conference in Canmore and I hope that you are able to attend this great professional development opportunity.

My thoughts are with you – Keep up your great work for students. 


Ian Stewardson

Retired Executive Staff Officer