About teachers’ conventions

Teachers’ conventions are annual 2-day professional development events.

There are 9 convention associations across Alberta, which plan their own events. Volunteer teachers lead each group, and the ATA is grateful for the time they put in.

How are teachers’ conventions paid for?

  • A small portion of active ATA member dues pay for the costs associated with teachers’ conventions
  • The funds go from the ATA to the locals, who pay their convention boards.
  • Teachers’ conventions are a very efficient way to receive valuable professional development: per teacher, the cost works out to only about $72-100 depending on the convention association. The costs of teachers' conventions are built into the fees for active members and no additional payment is necessary. Associate members pay a fee to attend. 

Attendance at teachers’ conventions

Full-time teachers (active ATA members)

Convention attendance is mandatory for all active ATA members.

You can apply to be released from convention if your situation involves any of the following:

  • Collective agreement provisions (including leaves)
  • An alternate PD event scheduled during your assigned convention time
  • Coaching a provincial finals competition organized by the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association

Please check the convention attendance page for more information.

Substitute teachers

If you have worked as a substitute teacher in a public, separate or francophone school during the current school year, you are automatically an active member of the ATA and can attend convention. Please note that most locals don’t pay substitute teachers to attend convention. Check your collective agreement for more information.

Part-time teachers

Unless your collective agreement or employment contract says otherwise, you only need to attend your assigned convention on the days and times you would be expected to work during a typical school week.

Teachers who work in central office

If you have chosen to remain an active ATA member, convention attendance is mandatory.

If you are an associate member of the ATA, you can register as a guest delegate (see below).

Associate members/guest registration

If you are an associate member, you can register as a guest.

Undergrad students

If you’re a pre-service teacher attending an Alberta university or college that serves as a convention venue, or if you’re registered in your final year of a bachelor of education program, you can attend convention free of charge if you’ve purchased a membership in your ATA student local. Contact your student local for more information.

Graduate students

If you’re pursuing graduate studies part-time while teaching part-time, you only need to attend convention on your regular teaching days.

If you’ve taken a negotiated leave provision to pursue graduate studies, you do not need to attend convention.

If you’re an education graduate student not employed by a public, separate or francophone school board, you can attend convention as a guest delegate if you are an associate ATA member. You will need to pay the convention’s guest registration fee.

Teachers employed outside of Alberta

You can attend convention as an out-of-province delegate if you can provide proof of membership in your local teachers’ organization. You will need to pay the required registration fee to the convention you wish to attend.

Teachers in Alberta as part of a formal exchange program

If you are an exchange teacher, you can attend convention as a guest delegate at no cost. Please call 1‑800-232-7208 and ask to speak to the Professional Development duty officer for more information.

Convention speakers or exhibitors

Please contact the convention association directly for information about presenting or purchasing display space.


If you’re a member of the press, you can attend a convention keynote address, session or workshop. Please ensure that you have permission from the speaker before following these steps. Contact the convention association for help if necessary.

  • Register with the ATA’s Media Relations office at 1-800-232-7208 to coordinate your convention visit and interview requests.
  • Check in at the registration/information desk upon arrival to receive media passes for access to convention venues.

School board trustees

Public, separate and francophone school board trustees may be invited by convention or local presidents to attend certain aspects of a convention’s program as observers. As observers, trustees may not attend convention sessions or social events unless they have been explicitly invited.

Municipal, provincial or federal politicians

From time to time, the ATA may invite politicians to attend certain portions of the convention program as observers or active participants. In these cases, the ATA will take reasonable steps to ensure that politicians from across the political spectrum are invited, as appropriate. Invited politicians may not attend convention sessions or social events unless they have been explicitly invited.

Questions about convention attendance?

If your situation isn’t detailed above, please check convention attendance details.

Read more


Professional Development