He Likes Me! He Really Likes Me!

My husband got an email from the Minister of Education that he forwarded to me.  Apparently I’m not on “the list” but there is opportunity to add myself simply by emailing him.


But here’s what the email said:

Good afternoon! I’m personally reaching out to as many teachers as possible to let you know how much the Premier and I appreciate all you do. As I travel the province and meet with teachers, I am encouraged to hear how many of you are implementing the vision of Inspiring Education. Thank you.Recently, I met with a group of teachers in a staff room in Lac La Biche. We had an excellent conversation and I promised to look into some issues they raised with me. That conversation made me realize that we need to have a more open and transparent way to communicate.

I also know that in order for you to be innovative and creative, you need a less prescriptive curriculum; you need time and space; and you want to ensure kids have equity in terms of access to opportunities and resources. These things will be a priority for me in the coming year because at the end of the day the kids have to come first.

I know we have more work to do. We want to move even more toward the Inspiring Education vision and develop changes in curriculum and assessment. We will also have to address the province’s fiscal challenges and the ATA contract negotiations.  I know many of you would also like to talk about the changing role of the teacher in the 21st century – something that came up often during our two years of Inspiring Education consultations. All of this means we need to have open communication and ensure you have access to accurate information.

Especially now. It’s my goal to make sure that as we move through this difficult budget time we are investing our limited dollars in the programs that are critical to ensuring the success of our kids, that we are protecting class sizes and inclusion funding as well as jobs for teachers to the greatest extent possible. You have told me that’s what is important to you and I am listening.

You will be hearing from me on a regular basis. But, please contact me anytime at education.minister@gov.ab.ca. Please share this information with your colleagues. I know my current list may not be comprehensive and I want to reach as many teachers as possible. So, if you received this from a colleague, it means you aren’t on our list. Please email me or go to our existing engagement tools on the web at Engage. A new Teachers’ link will help us connect with even more of you. Eventually, this is where we will post ideas for us to share.

I hope you will participate in this dialogue with me.

Talk to you soon.


Jeff Johnson
Minister of Education
MLA, Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater

“You have told me that’s what is important to you and I am listening.”

Well Mr. Johnson…..I listen to my kids tell me every night that they want hotdogs and Kraft Dinner for supper.  That doesn’t mean I do anything about it.  And so far, all I’ve seen from you is talk.  Talk about Merit Pay. Talk about legislating contracts.  Do you have a split personality we don’t know about?  Because in your emails and talk directly with teachers you seem to have one face and when it comes to the public, school boards, and media you seem to have another?  It’s very confusing.

So now you’re sending propaganda emails directly to teachers through email instead of news outlets. Congratulations on figuring out how the send button works.

The problem is that you seem to know how to talk the talk but not how to walk the walk.  And as many people have said in the past….

Talk is cheap.


About Cherra-Lynne Olthof

I've been a middle school teacher for my entire career (which began in 2001). Like my students, I too am a life long learner. My goals include helping my students to achieve their goals, support them in their learning, and to encourage them to think "beyond the grade".
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