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.

Qualification guideline review

Teachers share insight and expertise about associate teacher course

Educators from across Ontario attended a review of the Associate Teacher AQ course guideline, held at the College in December.

Tina Bawa, OCT, frequently uses the knowledge and leadership skills she learned from taking the Associate Teacher Additional Qualification course. How frequently?

As head of the math department at Catholic Central High School in London, her answer is: “Every day.”

Bawa participated, on December 11, in a review of the Associate Teacher Additional Qualification Course Guideline at the Ontario College of Teachers. She was one of 57 people from across the province who shared their experience, insight and wisdom about associate teaching. Classroom teachers, principals, vice-principals, faculty of education representatives and three College Council members took part in the session.

The consultation was designed to ensure that the guideline content addresses the realities of the associate teacher role and prepares teachers who want to assume this important role of supporting teacher candidates in their practicum placements.

Bawa believes that the course is important and is glad she took it. She said that the range of participants really made a difference.

“It was motivating. As professionals, we could discuss our perspectives and how important it is to be an associate teacher. We discussed the qualities that a good associate teacher should possess. We also talked about leadership and how it connects to an associate.”

A provincial writing team will develop the revised guideline this year. The consultation generated 12 reports and will provide rich material to enhance the guideline for future associate teachers. Associate teacher feedback, how associate teachers can support struggling candidates and the relationship between faculty, associate and student candidates are a few of the topics discussed.

“Associate teachers are an essential component of teacher education,” said John Lundy, Director of the English Language School of Education at Laurentian University in Sudbury. “They help pre-service teachers to reflect on their daily experiences in the classroom and to recognize the importance of solid planning and careful and artful lesson implementation. Associate teachers help novice teachers ground teaching theory in everyday practice.”

The College used the popular Open Space Technology method for the consultation. This approach is designed to be democratic and self-directed, allowing for a free flow of ideas.

“It’s amazing that you can bring such a diverse group into one room and find so many commonalities and visions of education,” said Sharon Young Kipp, OCT, Chair of the College’s Standards of Practice and Education Committee. “It will provide a true picture of the job that needs to be done. We are representing all of our education system.”

“It gives credibility to the voices of teachers across the province,” added Nick Forte, OCT, another Council and committee member who took part.

“This is an example of self-regulation in action,” said Déidre Smith, OCT, Manager of the College’s Standards of Practice and Education Unit, who co-ordinated the event. “Our members are helping to shape the future of our profession.”

It is estimated that 20,000 Ontario Certified Teachers take on the mentoring role of associate teacher every year in Ontario.

For the past seven years, the College’s Transition to Teaching study has clearly shown that mentoring is highly valued by Ontario’s future teachers.