Governing Ourselves

Governing Ourselves informs members of legal and regulatory matters affecting the profession. This section provides updates on licensing and qualification requirements, notification of Council resolutions and reports from various Council committees, including reports on accreditation and discipline matters.

Atkinson update

Valerie Hathaway-Warner, OCT – teaching, writing, learning and playing music

Valerie Hathaway-Warner (foreground) teaches hand drumming to educators at the Music Pro Education Centre in Barrie.

Where others might be discouraged by the current lack of teaching positions in their fields, Valerie Hathaway-Warner, is brimming with optimism. While she waits for an opening, last year’s winner of the Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education is keeping busy 24/7.

Hathaway-Warner is now qualified as a secondary school specialist in both music and physical education and as a general teacher for Grades 4 to 8.

Hiring for new teachers in the Barrie area has been disappointing, but she has remained focused on teaching and keeping busy. First, she decided to set up a classroom at home for her two children, who are in Grades 3 and 5.

“I’m home schooling because it’s exciting to apply what I’ve been learning,” says the 42-year-old single mother. “After two years of studying education as an undergraduate, I am really connecting deeply with my own kids.”

When Hathaway-Warner is not teaching her children, she continues as a student herself, working on her Master of Education degree and as a graduate assistant with a professor in the Deaf and hard of hearing teacher education program at York University.

Hathaway-Warner has a background in – and passion for – music. The principal instruments for the former itinerant music specialist with the Toronto DSB are drums and percussion. She also plays guitar, bass, piano and saxophone. “But my favourite instrument is the timpani,” she says.

Not even weekends are a time of rest. Besides caring for her children and studying, she recently found time on a weekend to write a book – The Top 10 Things Music Educators Need to Know about Percussion.

The e-book is the first in a self-published series. “Music educators need concise reference guides for instruments they’re teaching but may not have studied in depth,” says Hathaway-Warner. (To order a copy for $29.95, e-mail

Hathaway-Warner also runs a business, Valerie Warner and Associates, providing weekly music clinics for area teachers as well as music-themed professional development day workshops.

She is confident that the Atkinson scholarship will help her secure a position once teaching opportunities open up.

“It was a tremendous honour,” she says, “and it helped me get into the Master’s program.” She adds: “I’m sure it will help me get a job as well.”