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June 2007, Issue 2

The Public Interest People Sitting

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

In this issue :

College Continues Commitment to Public Accountability

A Commitment to Transparency, the 2007 annual report of the Ontario College of Teachers, highlights the work of the College and its Council committees in enhancing transparency and accountability in how we regulate the teaching profession in the public interest. If you are a parent or member of the public, you can expect accountability from Ontario teachers.

Teachers understand accountability.

They are accountable in so many ways – to colleagues, administrators, boards, parents, to the public. And above all, they told us in a recent survey, teachers are accountable to students.

The College, through words and pictures in its various publications - including the annual report - continues to introduce you to teachers across Ontario who are committed to the accountability that is an essential part of teaching.

This commitment is also reflected in a number of initiatives, including an examination of the College's policies on the availability of discipline decisions from public hearings and a review of College registration practices.

Our recent review of the availability of discipline decisions led to more effective procedures that comply with our obligation to provide public access to Discipline Committee decisions following public disciplinary hearings. For more information about the College's disciplinary process, see the Investigations and Hearings section of our web site.

The College also made significant progress in 2007 on many issues vital to Ontario's teaching profession, including our research on teacher supply, how we register new members and a review of the qualifications teachers need in the 21st century.

This report is among more than 50 documents the College publishes on various aspects of the teaching profession, such as brochures on the investigations and hearing processes, research documents and reports.

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Surplus of Quality Teachers Available to Ontario Schools, Study ShowsTwo women at computer

Ontario's publicly funded school boards have their choice of highly qualified, certified teachers, a College study shows.

But the surplus of teachers means long waits for regular jobs among newly-minted teachers.

The College's Transition to Teaching study, now in its sixth year, presents an in-depth look at the early careers of teacher education graduates of 2002 through 2006.

The latest large-scale survey received 3,545 responses from teachers whose career entry spanned a five-year period in which the employment market weakened, fragmented and eventually divided into two markets – a robust French-language teacher market and an English-language market with increasing numbers of underemployed teachers.

Dwindling teacher retirements combined with substantial increases in new teachers has generated a significant imbalance in teacher supply and demand. Employment prospects are particularly slim for new, English-language Primary-Junior teachers.

In sharp contrast, most graduates of French-language teacher education programs and others who can teach French as a second language in English-language school boards continue to succeed in finding regular teaching jobs easily in these strong French language job markets.

The study found:

  • only one out of six (17 per cent) of the 2006 teacher education graduates who are English-language Primary-Junior teachers outside the Greater Toronto Area  found regular jobs by the end of the 2006-07 school year, and only about one-third (35 per cent) of the similar group of 2005 graduates had found regular jobs a full two years into their careers
  • almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of French language teachers from the 2005 graduating class had found regular jobs in their first year and three in four of them by the end of their second year
  • New Canadian teachers who completed their teacher education outside the country and were certified in Ontario in 2006 report much lower rates of job success in this weakening job market – almost half (48 per cent) were unable to find even daily occasional teaching employment and only one in twelve (eight per cent) managed to get regular teaching contracts in Ontario district school boards.

The study also found that the province's New Teacher Induction Program is fully in place across the province for teachers newly appointed to regular teaching positions.

New teachers report that the orientation, mentoring and professional development support they are receiving is very helpful to them in the challenging early years in the profession.

To learn more, see Transition to Teaching 2007.

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Teaching Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The draft guideline for the new Additional Qualification program Teaching Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing is now available to members of the public, the College and education stakeholders for feedback.

The new program will permit certified teachers to earn a qualification to teach students who are deaf or hard of hearing using either sign language or verbal and oral communication.

This is one of dozens of new qualifications that have been created for teachers' ongoing education. With the aid of our members, education stakeholders and other experts, the College is developing guidelines for the courses and programs members will take to earn the new qualifications.

The College recently issued Additional Qualifications: Extending Professional Learning to our members, a professional advisory that explains the purpose of additional qualifications and the important role they play in a teacher's ongoing professional learning.

If you have comments to make on the guideline for the program Teaching Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, please fill out the form and return it to the College. We value your input.

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Canadian Council on Learning Takes National Look at Learning from All Levels

The Canadian Council on Learning provides you with current information about the most effective approaches to learning. If you are interested in how we learn and how we help others to learn, you will likely find the Council's web site worth visiting.

Its activities span learning through all of life's stages, settings and forms. For example, it seeks to find what's working in adult literacy, what the keys to childhood learning are and how education can improve the health of Canadians.

Through research and knowledge mobilization, monitoring and reporting on progress in learning and sharing information about effective learning practices among stakeholders, the Canadian Council on Learning works to improve learning for all Canadians.

To learn more about the Council's work, themes and initiatives, visit its web site at www.ccl-cca.ca.

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