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From The Chair

Privilege comes with responsibility.

In Good Standing

By Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT
Photo: Matthew Plexman

Photo of College Chair Nicole van Woudenberg smiling.

Renewing my driver's licence is an uneventful experience. I join the line at Service Ontario, pay the required fee, and have an awful picture of me taken that will remain on my licence for the next five years. I'm then on my way with the continued privilege of legally being able to drive.

There are responsibilities that come with that privilege: I have to know the rules of the road and adhere to them. Only at age 80 will I be required to demonstrate that I am still knowledgeable and fit to drive according to the rules. Otherwise, my "spotless" driving record allows for auto-renewal as long as I pay my dues.

As a teacher, I also pay a fee to renew my annual teaching licence to maintain the privilege of teaching in publicly funded schools in Ontario. It is an auto-renewal as long as I am "in good standing."

In order to renew and maintain my teaching licence, I adhere to the expectations of the profession. As professionals, we strive to keep ourselves informed of best pedagogical practices; yet how much do Ontario teachers know about the guiding principles of the profession?

There are some basics that all Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) should know when they renew their licence each year. Take the following quiz and see how you do.

  1. The Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession are:
    1. care, trust, integrity, respect
    2. honesty, trust, excellence, care
    3. respect, fairness, kindness, trust
    4. fairness, equity, trust, care
  2. The Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession do not include one of the following: 
    1. commitment to students and student learning
    2. professional knowledge
    3. care and trust
    4. ongoing professional learning
  3. What are the College's core mandated activities?
  4. True or false: the governing Council makes decisions in the public interest.
  5. True or false: professional advisories inform OCTs about maintaining professional standards and guide their professional practice no matter where one is employed.

As a licensed OCT, I am one of approximately 234,000 eligible members to teach in publicly funded schools. By paying a fee, I recognize that privilege comes with responsibility. I therefore keep myself informed to remain a College member in good standing.

Read the Governing Ourselves section in the magazine to further your knowledge of the direction Council is setting for the teaching profession in Ontario.

Nicole van Woudenberg's handwritten signature.


1. A (; 2. C (; 3. Accredit pre-service programs and set the standards for the teaching profession, license, investigate, determine disciplinary action (; 4. TRUE; 5. TRUE (