Questions and Answers
1. “In order to support student mental health, I believe we need to value
and develop self management and self awareness capacities in our students.
However, in order for this to happen we need teachers who value, and are
developing those same capacities in themselves. We need to develop Educators
who are emotionally and socially intelligent as well as intellectually and
academically knowledgeable. My question is -would the college find value in
considering the benefits of mindful awareness training for educators as a
basis for developing these skills with an integrated framework that promotes
well being and would it consider helping individual teachers, and especially
young trainee teachers to be able to deeply value the importance of their
role, and to help them develop practical ways to sustain themselves.”
Mental health is important for everyone, both teachers and students. We all
have to be mindful to model appropriate wellness and destigmatize
environments. Teachers’ mental health is outside of our mandate.
While we validate and support the importance of teachers’ mental health,
training and other teacher education courses fall under the purview of other
organizations, such as federations.
2. What's the most important challenge facing the College in the near
Serving the public interest and maintaining the public’s confidence are
challenges we face. We are at an arm’s length distance from the government.
We want to serve the public interest so that parents can be confident their
children are being taught by high-calibre individuals and professionals.
We are positioned like other self-regulatory bodies. We need to be
transparent and upfront with our decisions so that we can inspire public
confidence. This means more than just protecting the public interest. As we
go forward, especially during the governance review. Our members must
understand our role and mandate and how we must act as the regulatory body.
We are striving to be seen as a collective body – as one profession.
3. How does the College support the mental health of teachers?
Our mandate is to protect the public interest, which is why our advisory
focuses on supporting students’ mental health. Though a healthy teacher will
By releasing the advisory and sharing it through our outreach, we are
planting the seed. We are getting the message out there. We are not the
solution, but we can be the one that nudges teachers towards looking after
their own mental health.
4. Could we have a compulsory Guidance course "once per week" from grades
1-12? Using a degreed Guidance Specialist?
We could look at this through the development and review of Additional
Qualifications (AQs). There is a whole process in regulation as to when
cyclical reviews happen. If there’s a need, it would be directed through the
5. What about teachers' privacy concerning health issues whether physical or
mental? How do you get access to that information?
We don’t collect physical and mental health data on members.
The only time we would have data is if a member is in the Fitness to
Practise or disciplinary stream. And it would need member consent to be
shared. Any hearings that occur are closed to protect the privacy of the
6. How can we support the mental health of non-Canadian students, for
example international students who attend boarding schools who often do not
have counseling staff? Often, students at international schools are not
minors, how do we help these young adults? What resources are available?
This doesn’t technically fall into our mandate, but as an overall
profession, it is a part of our responsibility. The community at large has
resources that are available, for example, students can reach out to
community supports that is, Kids Help Phone.
Also, our advisory provides a tool for self-reflection, “Do I keep my
communication with parents and students professional, culturally appropriate
The last part of the advisory asks OCTs to reflect who in their community
can be the connector to more resources.
7. Just wanted to say that the mental health panel was very strong. Wishes
it wa accessible on the YouTube channel.
You can see the recorded session of this meeting on our
8. What can be done about student violence against teachers and other
students in the classroom?
While it is outside of our mandate, we would suggest that you refer to our
Professional Advisory Responding to the Bullying of Students. It talks about how OCTs are an effective intervenor in bullying.
There are other agencies that advocate for teachers. We suggest reaching out
on this subject to your employer and federation.
9. If you had more resources where would you want it to go?
If there was more money, we would direct it to continue ensuring a fair and
timely judicial process for members.