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December 2008, Issue 3

The Public Interest

Thank you for your interest in news from the Ontario College of Teachers.

In this issue :


College Council supports use of professional designation for teachers

Most of Ontario's regulated professions, including nurses, engineers and chartered accountants, have designations – acronyms next to their names to signify their professional status.

Most of those asked in recent online and telephone surveys and in face-to-face focus groups whether teachers also deserved a professional designation supported the idea.

Accordingly, Ontario teachers, certified by the Ontario College of Teachers, will soon have OCT - Ontario Certified Teacher - or EAO - Enseignante agréée de l'Ontario or Enseignant agréé de l'Ontario in French - next to their names.

During its September meeting, College Council approved granting a professional designation to all College members upon registration and for as long as they remain in good standing. 

The designation recognizes the discrete knowledge and skills that teachers have that distinguish them from those in other occupations. It also signifies that professional ethics and practice standards guide the work of Ontario's teachers.

The College is seeking to trademark the OCT and EAO designations now. A full launch will occur in 2009. Watch for more information in the new year.

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You can access Discipline Committee decisions from our library

As part of its mandate to serve the public interest, the College publishes summaries of its Discipline Committee decisions on its web site and in the College's official publication Professionally Speaking.

The summaries provide a synopsis of decisions affecting College members who have been found guilty of professional misconduct by a quasi-judicial tribunal. Each three-person Discipline Committee panel includes elected and appointed members of Council. Elected members are teachers who have been elected by their peers from across Ontario. Appointed members have been appointed by the provincial government to represent the public.

In most cases, the summaries include the member's name, registration number, details of the misconduct and the penalty imposed by the committee.

By law, the College is bound to report these matters. You can request a copy of the full decision by e-mail to library@oct.ca.

You can see the online versions of the decisions on the College web site.

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What teachers are learning

You probably have a good idea what your children are learning in school. Are you curious about what teachers are learning to make them more effective in the classroom?

The College accredits courses and programs that teachers can take to earn additional qualifications in subject areas and topics such as special education or inclusive classrooms.

The College recently added more than 60 new courses and programs to additional qualifications. A list of all additional qualifications, including the new courses and programs added this year, is available on our web site.

We also issued a professional advisory to our members about the role that additional qualifications play in a teacher's ongoing learning.

Once a member completes an additional qualification, it appears on their record, available at Find a Teacher.

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Public participation in College governance

College Registrar Brian McGowan has just issued the call for nominations for the election of 23 teacher members on the College Council.

Teachers, elected by their peers, form the majority on the College's ruling body, but the public also plays a significant role in College governance. Alongside the 23 elected members sit 14 members of the public appointed by the provincial government. Public appointees to Council serve with elected members on an equal footing.

Council serves as the College's board of directors and is responsible for the College's policy governance. No Council or committee meeting can go forward without the presence of at least one public member.

No discipline hearing takes place without at least one appointed member of Council sitting on the three-member hearing panel. No teacher education program in Ontario is reviewed without the involvement of at least one public member.

If you would like to be considered for appointment to the Council, you can contact the Public Appointments Secretariat to register your interest.

Through the College web site you can access information about the election and Council members, committees and Council meetings that are open to the public.

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Public Interest E-news

Questions? Thoughts for future issues? Please send a note to info@oct.ca.

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