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Ontario Teachers Get Professional Designation

September 01 2009

Sept. 1, 2009 (Toronto) – Ontario teachers have a new professional designation – a first for Canadian educators.

Ontario Certified Teacher – or OCT – will be granted by the Council of the Ontario College of Teachers to qualified, registered members in good standing.

The designation serves to:

  • identify qualified educators in Ontario’s publicly funded schools
  • recognize teachers as professionals with specific knowledge and skills
  • honour the career-long professional development that teachers engage in
  • acknowledge that teachers are members of a community of highly educated, responsible and caring practitioners who are committed to the growth and development of Ontario students.

OCT or EAO in French (Enseignante agréée de l’Ontario or Enseignant agréé de l’Ontario) lets students, parents and the public know instantly that teachers’ professional practice is guided and informed by the profession’s standards of practice and ethical standards.

The designation is also testament to the respect, trust, care and integrity that Ontario’s teachers and school and system administrators demonstrate with students, parents and each other.

College Council approved granting the designation in September 2008. In the months since, the College has sought federal trademark approvals and revised materials and systems to reflect the new mark of professionalism.

“Most of Ontario’s regulated professions, including engineers, chartered accountants and nurses, already have recognized designations,” says Liz Papadopoulos, OCT, Chair of Council. “Now, so do Ontario teachers.”

OCT will appear next to members’ names on certificates of qualification and registration (teacher licences), on the College’s public register (the list of all members, their qualifications and status), and in all manner of printed and electronic material, including magazines and business cards.

The notion received overwhelming support from College members themselves. In written and phone surveys and focus groups, more than 5,000 teachers across the province expressed a desire for a professional designation.

“This is a powerful symbol to parents and the public,” says College Registrar Michael Salvatori, OCT. “It recognizes members of the teaching profession as highly educated professionals, committed to their students and to lifelong learning. From now on, the nobility of the calling has a special distinction – Ontario Certified Teacher.”

The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher education programs affecting its 220,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is the largest self-regulatory body in Canada.

For more information:
Brian Jamieson 416-961-8800, ext. 655
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655

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