Chair's Speaking Notes
September 07 2004
I am here this morning as the Chair of the teaching profession’s regulatory
body to applaud the work of Ontario's teachers, the ones who spark dreams,
encourage students and help them to reach higher, achieve more and realize
That's not just me saying that. It's the people of Ontario.
This year, for the first time, the College surveyed the public along with
our members to gather their thoughts about the work of teachers, schools
and public education. We didn’t go looking for kudos. We weren’t looking to
highlight concerns although we heard both.
We simply wanted to provide an opportunity to let the community have its say
about education. We wanted to see how community opinions compared with the
thoughts of those in the teaching profession itself. And we wanted to share
that information with our members and the public.
As you've heard from Mr. Winn, the news is overwhelmingly good.
As a working teacher, I can’t tell you how good it is to hear the public say: You
do a good job. Kids are better prepared today than they were a generation ago.
You inspire them to work hard, pursue post-secondary education, aspire to reach
career goals and to succeed in life.
The data tells us that teachers already have great self-confidence. They are
idealistic. But they are also sensitive to perceived judgments and criticisms,
particularly from those outside the system.
They want to do the best job they can to prepare their students for all future
possibilities. Eighty per cent of the teachers who responded said that helping
students to learn and grow was their greatest source of job satisfaction. And
they believe they do help and that the education environment is improving.
But their confidence will swell again with news that the public is recognizing
them for exemplary work.
There can be no doubt that Ontario's students are well served by educators
who believe in themselves, in their schools and in the quality of Ontario's
Professionally Speaking , the College's magazine commissioned this
annual study because we believe open communication is good for the growth of
the profession. We believe our members will find the results interesting. And
we believe the data can serve to stimulate dialogue and precipitate action
where necessary and where appropriate.
year's survey (117
KB) gave us a
chance to speak with members directly, to hear their beliefs. The College holds
a privileged position of having 193,000 members who represent all education
systems in the province. Those who participated in the surveys reflected the
thoughts and concerns of English and French members in public, Catholic and
independent schools across Ontario.
This year, the magazine went one step further. It asked the public what it
It's one thing to feel you're doing a good job. It's another to have that
belief supported by the people you serve.
Differences in opinion on matters such as testing suggest even more reason
for open communication and more opportunities for the exchange of ideas between
the teaching profession and the public. And this survey clearly indicates that
the public wants accountability in public education.
We believe it's important to scan the education environment over time. We
think its important to record moods and identify trends in thinking that affect
teachers as professionals.
It was another College research initiative our Transition
to Teaching study of first and second year teachers that underscored
the difficulties faced by new teachers entering the profession and put
them at risk of dropping out within their first five years. That led to
further research and recommendations to the government that it create mandatory
support programs, including mentoring, for newly certified teachers.
The College has also been active in support of provincial recruitment campaigns
for teachers in high need areas such as math, science, computers, French, and
tech studies. We conduct this research in response to and in partnership with
various education stakeholders, including school boards, faculties and the
Ministry of Education.
And we are continuing in this vein by exploring ways to attract more men to
the teaching profession in direct response to needs expressed by school boards.
The College works in the public interest to ensure that the people it certifies
to teach Ontario's students meet the province's high practical and ethical
standards for teaching professionals. We will continue to stimulate dialogue
among education’s various partners that results in changes that improve teaching
Knowing what educators think and feel about the work they do is important.
We think it is also important to monitor public perceptions.
The story today coinciding with the high hopes and expectations of students
and parents on the first day of school is hopeful. Ontario's educators can
take pride in jobs well done and know that the public believes in them and
We welcome your questions.