101 Bloor Street West
Toronto ON, M5S 0A1
P: 416-961-8800
Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1-888-534-2222
F: 416-961-8822
info@oct.ca

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Find a Teacher

Questions and Answers

Questions are posted as received and have not been edited.

Making it easy for parents to find a teacher is key to key to inspiring public confidence. Per College bylaws, members are required to practice under their registered name.

Through regular communication, such as our annual membership renewal process, we remind members to review and update their personal information to ensure the register lists their most up-to-date information.

The reinstatement fee is levied when a member has allowed their membership to lapse. The fee is set:

  • at a reasonable level so that it doesn’t place undue financial burden on someone trying to reinstate;
  • to allow us to recover costs related to bringing someone back into good standing;
  • to encourage members to renew annually.

In the College’s context, the student is at the very centre of the public interest. Student well-being, student welfare, safety and meaningful learning opportunities are at the heart of the public interest.

The College’s role includes different aspects that will have an impact on students, for example, the quality of Ontario’s teacher education program. The public wants to know that teacher candidates are prepared and can provide students with those meaningful learning opportunities when they are in the classroom.

College Council members are also mindful of their role in putting the public interest first. When Council members begin their term, they take an oath promising to serve and protect the public interest, regardless of whether or not they are tied to other education groups.

Voter turnout and membership engagement for regulatory bodies has generally been on the lower side. We are working with other regulators, such as the College of Veterinarians who do have higher voter turnout, to find a solution for better engagement.

The Governance Committee has been focused on member engagement. For example, one of the initiatives was a series of regional information sessions to encourage candidates to run for candidacy and also to encourage members to vote. We are evaluating to see how effective engagement was to determine next steps.

Our data shows us that the reminders we send do result in more members voting and we are hopeful that numbers will continue to increase.

We are disappointed with voter turnout. We want to increase voting. We do welcome members to provide engagement strategies so that we could better engage and show the value of voting for council members.

Members are encouraged to ask questions live at the meeting. We have a livestream format to provide access to all members, including those online, and ask members submit their questions in writing. The questions are shown on-screen, in real time, in-person and online so that we can all see the question and hear the answer.

Our experience tells us that we are able to take more questions when we ask members to write them down. We don’t censor questions and show them as given.

Last year, we had so many questions that we couldn’t get through all of them during the meeting. What we did do was collect and then provide answers through our website afterwards.

The College has a Professional Learning Framework that lists the learning opportunities our members can pursue, including Additional Qualification (AQ) courses, conferences, seminars and professional learning communities.

We accredit AQ courses through our Standards of Practice and Accreditation Committees, but we don’t typically host or provide these opportunities directly.

We are mandated to provide for the ongoing education of our members. That doesn’t mean we are the provider of these courses. We achieve this by developing the guidelines for more than 400 AQ courses and also approving providers who develop courses outlines based on those.

We also make members aware of other professional learning opportunities through our e-newsletter Your College and You. We recognize the importance of professional learning for our members and the important role it plays in inspiring public confidence.

Once every two years, we do offer the Inspiring Public Confidence Conference, which took place last week. This is primarily for other regulators, but there is a stream on teacher education (research and innovation) and also sessions for the public.

Employment is outside of the College’s mandate and responsibilities.

Without moving beyond our mandate, we have, for 13 years, looked at teacher employment through our Transition to Teaching study. It provides information about early employment and career experiences and job prospects for newly certified teachers and whether or not prospects in certain areas have improved, for example, French as a second language. All of our reports are available on our website.

We also provide information about jobs in education and where they could start their search.

Some of our AQs are also designed to help members with employment, including one called Orientation to Teaching in Ontario, specifically designed for internationally educated teachers.

Our Membership Services department also holds monthly sessions to help orient newly certified members. Employers are also invited to give a presentation on what they look for when hiring.

We also have a webinar for employers to them understand certificates with conditions on them. Some of our internationally educated teachers have terms, limitations and conditions on their certificate – this means there was a gap in their teacher education program, but these members do have five years to fill that gap. We want employers to know these teachers are fully qualified and able to teach.

We hope these measures are also helpful to members with finding employment.

We are also identifying the shortages in certain areas, including French as a second language. We are letting our members know the area of study they can pursue and also working with education partners to develop more learning opportunities.

Our meetings are held in the evening as many of our members are employed and teach during the day.

We are open to exploring different times that would make it more convenient for people to attend and urge members to provide us with suggestions.

There could not be a similar situation. Our Act makes it a legal requirement for employers (including district school boards and private schools) to report to us if they have restricted the duties of a member in any way, or if there has been a criminal charge or conviction or any other time they feel the College should look into the conduct or capacity of a member.

The College acts independently of employers.  What the employer does won’t influence what we will do. We’ll look independently and fairly to look at the facts to determine what should happen at the College-level.

If any allegations against a teacher are proven true and require more than a caution or admonishment, our panel would refer it to a hearing, which could result in suspension or revocation.

We consistently look at risk and working with experts, actually developed a forecasting report to stay on top of what we should be aware of.

We also have daily news reports to keep us informed. We are in a cycle of continuous improvement to ensure students are safe and matters are dealt in a swift and timely manner.

Our corporate approach hasn’t changed, but the inquiry has informed us on risk mitigation.

Kathy English is not a member of the Toronto Star’s editorial board and the invitation to Kathy was extended before the election was announced.

We take great care and time in selecting our speakers to ensure they can speak not just about regulation, but the public interest.

The College has no plans to provide financial incentives.

Our role is to develop guidelines for the AQ courses that certified teachers can take to gain greater depth in their area study or to gain other areas of study, or to take on roles as a principal or a supervisory officer, which may lead to financial incentives.

For example, French as a second language (FSL) is an area where a teacher can take AQs to teach immersion or work in French settings. The incentive for someone to take FSL is employment as there is a teacher shortage in this area. We are, indirectly, promoting that as an incentive to take that course.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416.961.8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222 / F: 416.961.8822 / info@oct.ca

© 2019 Ontario College of Teachers

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