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February 2009

February 2009, Issue 43

Your College and You

Thank you for your interest in receiving breaking news and professional information from the Ontario College of Teachers.

In this Issue:


Candidate Biographies Available Online

The March issue of Professionally Speaking is now online with biographical and other information about the candidates in the Council election.

Thirty-four members of the College submitted valid nominations for 23 positions. Seventeen candidates were unopposed at the close of nominations and have been acclaimed. They will begin their term on the fifth Council on July 1st.

The remaining 17 candidates are contesting six positions. A number of them have taken advantage of the opportunity to furnish additional information in the form of a leaflet, a voice message and answers to three questions chosen by the Election Committee. You can access these additional messages through links in the candidate biographies.

You can also get an advance look at the many specialized sports programs popping up all over Ontario schools in A Sporting Chance and our annual Transition to Teaching report on how new and nearly new teachers are faring in the Ontario job market.

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Voting Begins March 9

Voting in the Council election begins 9 a.m. EDT Monday, March 9 until 11:59 p.m. EDT Tuesday, April 14.

You will be able to access your ballot on March 9 via the Members' Area.

Because there are a number of positions where a single candidate was acclaimed, your ballot will first present you with the positions where there is still a contest. It will contain live links beside each candidate's name, and you can click back and forth between candidate information and your ballot before you submit it.

The list of positions you can vote for will be followed by a list of your acclaimed candidates with links to their biographies.

The results of the election will be available on our web site on April 16.

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Well-prepared Ontario Teachers Ready to Work – Anywhere

A story in the national media last weekend suggested that Ontario teachers are less qualified than teachers in other provinces because our BEd program is shorter.

The story was connected to the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), which will take effect in April. The agreement would enable teachers educated in one province to work anywhere in Canada without need of reassessment, re-evaluation or retraining.

But any doubts about the readiness of Ontario teachers to work anywhere simply fly in the face of facts, says Ontario College of Teachers Registrar Brian McGowan.

For example:

  • Ontario faculties of education are consistently ranked among the best in the land for teacher education
  • the Ontario College of Teachers has over 220,000 licensed members, 150,000 of which actively practise in Ontario's publicly funded schools
  • Ontario teachers continually upgrade their skills and knowledge. On average, every licensed Ontario teacher has 5.2 additional qualifications. Only Ontario has a highly organized system of additional qualifications linked to classroom needs
  • the Ontario College of Teachers is the only regulatory body in Canada that takes responsibility for the accreditation of pre AND in-service teacher education programs and courses
  • the numbers of Ontario teachers acquiring additional qualifications has increased almost three per cent a year over the last five years, totaling more than 33,000 in 2007
  • new Ontario teachers also benefit from a comprehensive New Teacher Induction Program.

Perhaps the greatest testament to teacher qualification is the success of Ontario's students, says McGowan.

According to results from the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses the achievement of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science, 91 per cent of Ontario students met or exceeded the competency level for scientific knowledge and skill use.

Ontario students performed at the Canadian average in overall science achievement, reading and mathematics – with Canada being among the top performing countries in the world.

Since 2000, Ontario students made the greatest gains internationally in science – a 15-point increase – and well above the five-point increase in the overall Canadian average during the same period. Reading and mathematics remained consistently high over the same period.

In the TIMMs 2007 study (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study), the average score of Ontario's Grade 4 students jumped 23 points since 1995, which is consistent with the growth in student achievement measured by Ontario's Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

Ontario's Grade 4 students performed on par with students from other Canadian provinces. Of the 40 jurisdictions that took part in the tests, Ontario's students performed equally well as those in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

"Ontario teachers can be justifiably proud," says McGowan. "They are teaching professionals of the highest order striving to reach personal and professional ideals while inspiring their students to ever-increasing levels of achievement."

Moving to full labour mobility will be a complex challenge for all provinces, professions and trades. But let's not confuse differing pre-service programs with differing or lower standards.

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Now More Than 7,000 Resources For You

You can choose from among more than 7,000 education-related books and videos available in your College's Margaret Wilson Library.

We will mail books and videos postage-free to your home or school address. Using a special-return mailing label, you can mail books back to the library free of charge.

In addition to books and videos, we also have approximately 200 professional journals and many other resources in English and French. You can search the library database online from the College web site.

Simply log into your Members' Area account to request books and videos from the College library online, check the status of your holds, renew materials you've checked out and create your own library lists.

You can also request a literature search by library staff, who will mail, fax or e-mail the journal articles.

More information regarding the library and its resources or e-mail library@oct.ca.

Olivia Hamilton
Ontario College of Teachers
Margaret Wilson Library
121 Bloor St. E.
Toronto ON M4W 3M5

Phone: 416-961-8800 ext. 679 or 1-888-534-2222 ext. 679
Fax: 416-961-8822

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