Chair’s Message

The theme of this year’s annual report is Equipping Teachers for the 21st century. In it we recognize Ontario teachers who commit themselves to professional development to improve their practice and keep their teaching relevant and inspiring for students.

Every month across Ontario, teachers attend thousands of Additional Qualifications courses. Learning new strategies in special education, computer studies or in literacy and numeracy, teachers are enriching their practice in an ever-changing world.

Teachers love to learn and we have the stats to prove it. The College added more than 42,000 Additional Qualifications to teachers’ Certificates of Qualification in 2010 alone.

Groundbreaking update of teachers’ qualifications

Teachers were also front and centre in the many groundbreaking changes in the new Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation (TQR). The regulation has undergone a sweeping revision, its first major update in more than three decades.

Thousands of College members across Ontario were involved with Council members and staff in revising qualifications programs. The review produced the report Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow, which contains 66 recommendations made by Council.

The recommendations cover the content and length of teacher education programs, their enrolment requirements and refinements to the course lists that name Additional Qualifications.

On March 26, the College Council passed the new TQR and consequential amendments to the Accreditation Regulation and sent them to the Minister of Education.

Among the highlights of the review is the new three-course specialist Kindergarten program that will start in 2011. It is very timely because teachers want to be part of the early learning initiative. This new course will be a benefit to members of the profession who want to specialize and gain a specific skill set.

A new full-year program for teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and a new group of 64 courses in Technological Education in areas like communications technology and construction technology are also part of the changes.

The College is continuing with its plan to finish Phase 5 of the TQR, which focuses on initial teacher education.

Teachers’ professional designation

Support for the professional designation for teachers continues to grow according to our 2010 Member Survey. Our members say they strongly feel it is important for teachers to be able to use the designation to distinguish themselves (and their qualifications) from other professionals.

During 2010, the Minister of Education requested that the College undertake a consultation with educational stakeholders on several motions to amend the Ontario College of Teachers Act that dealt with our quasi-judicial proceedings. These amendments would allow the College to:

  • impose publication bans to protect the identities of victims or vulnerable witnesses
  • hold reinstatement or variation hearings (typically related to members’ certification) in public, unless there are compelling reasons not to
  • ensure that our quasi-judicial decisions stay during an appeal
  • disclose information to a body that governs a profession and to police officers to help in investigations.

Joseph W. Atkinson scholarship

In 2010, the College’s Foundation named Christopher Carswell as our eighth Joseph W. Atkinson scholarship recipient.

Christopher, a teacher candidate at OISE/UT and an aspiring high school teacher, is studying to become qualified in the Intermediate and Senior divisions in English and history. He began his first practicum in November and will complete his BEd in May 2011.

He brings proven academic and research excellence to his studies, as well as a passion for the classics and the power of knowledge.

In high school he participated in Woburn Collegiate Institute’s teaching assistant program. The program paired students with Woburn staff members and introduced him to lessons in Special Education, differentiated modes of instruction and other subjects.

He was awarded the Certificate of Achievement as the student who made the most progress as an educator and the Woburn Staff Alumni Award for his contributions to the school’s learning community as the co-ordinator of the peer tutoring program.

Christopher – who speaks Ancient Greek, Latin, French and Italian with different degrees of competency – continued to excel at Queen’s University. He earned an Honours BA and won the classics department’s academic medal for the top graduating student.

He achieved an MA in classical studies, and his thesis Sidera Augusta: The Role of the Stars in Augustus’ Quest for Supreme Auctoritas was nominated for the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

As a graduate student he was a teaching assistant for classical studies, Latin and Greek. He was nominated for the Queen’s University Christopher Knapper Award for Excellence in Teaching Assistance by the classics department.

The College is proud to honour such an exemplary future teacher.

Council members have shown themselves to be strongly committed to the profession in the public interest. College staff members work hard to ensure that our members get the best service possible. They show it every day through the expertise and care they bring to their work. To all of them, I offer my admiration and thanks for the progress we’ve made.

Signature: Liz Papadopoulos

Liz Papadopoulos, OCT

Council Chair