Direction 2025 intended as streamlined blueprint for future
As one of those who has been involved since the process started three years ago, Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Associate Executive Director Ian Krips labelled the recently released Direction 2025
report as a significantly streamlined blueprint to guide the Federation and teachers in the province for the next five years.
Krips indicated there are many similar principles from the Strategic Plan 2015-20 from five years ago, adding that this document “is a reflection of our commitment and beliefs as a profession and it underscores the importance of governance and its role.”
According to Krips, Direction 2025 is a wide-ranging, albeit succinct, document that outlines the Federation’s vision, mission, values and strategic directions.
Alluding specifically to the revamped mission statement, Krips said that it is intended to reaffirm “that we are an organization working towards advancing the interest of teachers and advocating for excellence in public education.”
Reflecting on the fact that this document was the culmination of collaborative work across the membership, Krips maintained that the process had been really smooth and the end product is foundational in articulating the overall role and relationship between the STF staff and its members.
He cited the importance of involving local association presidents, school staff liaisons, and ultimately councillors who gave their final approval.
“From the start we were committed to making sure the membership was involved. The result is a document that I believe articulates what really matters to teachers and as staff members of the STF. It sums up what we are all working towards and what makes you come to work in the morning.”
Krips realizes that as well-intentioned as the document might be, there is the unmistakable reality that in order for it to come to fruition, it will need similar endorsements from public education partners including the Ministry of Education.
“I think relationships are always going to be important and we need that. I’m confident this document will further help us move in that direction.
“I think we [STF] have shown we will come to the table as long as it’s reasonable and that we are all working together in the interests of public education and students. We’re pretty transparent about that and so people know when we show up what we’re about. This document confirms what we believe in.”
One of the strategic directions emphasizes the importance of teacher voice being included in all decisions made in relation to the public education sector. Sometimes that has proven elusive, if not frustrating.
“We have worked really hard to make that happen. Even if a teacher isn’t at the table, we are listening to them and so their voice is still being heard and represented. By having that communication with our members, it gives us the opportunity to bang the drum on their behalf.
“I think it resonates with our partners and by having a clearly articulated set of guidelines for the future, I am confident our education partners will not just be paying us lip service,” Krips said.
Krips underscored the commitment to truth and reconciliation as a concrete example of how the Federation is listening to members, citing this as a really important piece of the overall plan.
“We acknowledge this will be a long-term process and teachers need to go on their own journey,” he said, maintaining there is purposely enough wiggle room that it is not a prescriptive one-size-fits-all formula.
“Our intention is that this document should be a guide for teachers’ professional practices, while recognizing that there is context to where they are teaching.”
Krips also noted that he sees this as an accountability tool for those working on teachers’ behalf at the STF.
“This document makes it clear that we can’t run off in all directions and it helps us focus on the work we do. Our marching orders are pretty clear,” he summed up.