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.
This past year, the College's publication, Professionally Speaking/Pour parler profession was recognized with 11 awards — at home and abroad — for writing and design.
The National Magazine Awards: B2B, presented by the National Media Awards Foundation, recognized the College publication with seven honours. Pour parler profession won Silver for Best Department (Pratiques exemplaires). Professionally Speaking picked up a Gold for Best Photograph (Great Teaching, "The Write Stuff," June 2019), as well as Honourable Mentions for Best Department (Great Teaching), Best Photograph (Cover, September 2019), Best Profile of a Person (Great Teaching, "Failure Is an Option," December 2019), Best Profile of a Person (Great Teaching, "The Road Less Travelled," September 2019), and Best How-To or Series of Articles ("Diverse Learners," December 2019).
As well, Professionally Speaking was one of only eight publications to receive four or more Tabbie Awards this year, winning: Honourable Mention — Top 25 for Best Single Issue (March 2019); Silver for Department (Great Teaching), Honourable Mention for Focus/Profile (Great Teaching, "Failure Is an Option," December 2019), and Honourable Mention for Cover Photograph (December 2019).
The Tabbie Awards, presented by TABPI (Trade Association Business Publications International), recognize editorial and visual excellence in English-language trade, association and business magazines worldwide. This year's contest featured nominations from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
On September 23, 2020, the College held its Annual Meeting of Members, entirely online, for the first time in its history.
In her address, Chair of Council Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT, shared key activities and accomplishments from 2019 and noted, "Council passed many motions that enhanced the transparency of the functioning of the organization to its members and the public."
The Chair touched on focus group meetings with members and the public, held during the summer of 2019. "We conducted these sessions to gauge opinions on a number of College initiatives and communication products," said van Woudenberg. "For example, we discussed the College governance structure and preferred topics for future professional advisories."
Van Woudenberg also shared information about legislative changes, Bill 48 and other significant initiatives and events from the year. As well, she noted the three accomplished teacher candidates who received recognition through the annual Ontario College of Teachers Scholarship Program.
Deputy Registrar Chantal Bélisle, OCT, reported on several College activities, including meetings with Ontario's faculties of education to help teacher candidates understand the roles and responsibilities of the College, the privilege of self-regulation and how to register.
Bélisle also reported on a review of the College's legal needs and providers, in support of disciplinary, corporate and registration processes. "To improve accountability, we developed a method to track Discipline Committee orders that impose costs and fines," said Bélisle. "To inspire public confidence, we automated our system to ensure timely [posting] of hearing notices leading to timely outcomes while striving for administrative fairness to our members."
During 2019, the College also conducted an examination of how incidents of alleged professional misconduct or incompetence were being reported. During her address, the Deputy Registrar touched on that review, and added that the College had reached out to directors of education across Ontario to discuss ways this data might be used to protect students.
Members also heard reports from John Hamilton, OCT, Chair of the Discipline Committee, Tom Potter, Chair of the Governance Committee, and Mary-Anne Mouawad, OCT, Acting Chair of the Standards of Practice and Education Committee.
The meeting concluded with a question and answer session. The Deputy Registrar and the Chair answered questions from members, covering a range of topics including the College's commitment to anti-racism, diversity and inclusion; the composition of the College Council; and the format of Annual Meetings of Members into the future.
At its October 1 meeting, Council created a new scholarship, the Brian P. McGowan Scholarship for Resilience, in honour of the College's fourth registrar. This is in addition to the three other scholarships the College offers to teacher candidates: the Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence In Teacher Education; the Ontario College of Teachers Primary/Junior or Junior/Intermediate Scholarship; and the Ontario College of Teachers Intermediate/Senior Scholarship.
Teacher candidates in an Ontario consecutive or concurrent teacher education program who will graduate in 2022 will be eligible to apply for the 2021–22 scholarship. An award of $1,500 will be made annually to one student.
Applications will be assessed on a teacher candidate's demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity and their tenacity to overcome significant barriers to achieve their academic and social goals to pursue a career in the teaching profession.
Brian McGowan's career was in the field of education. He was a member of the research and writing team of the Royal Commission on Learning, which recommended the establishment of the College and its mandate to protect the public interest.
In both roles as the College Deputy Registrar (2003–06) and Registrar (2006–09), he was instrumental in reducing barriers to certification and supporting fair and transparent registration requirements for internationally educated teachers.
His role was key in ensuring the College was transparent by making Discipline Committee decisions publicly available. He also led an external review of the College's Complaint Resolution Program, which provides alternative ways of dealing with complaints against College members.
McGowan was regarded as a kind and positive person with a big heart and a unique sense of humour. He was known for his ability to manage unexpected challenges with a positive focus, tenacity and had strong connections with others.
He retired in 2009 and passed away suddenly in 2019.
A snapshot of the College's past year.
In her Annual Report message, Chair Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT, stated that nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of Ontario students. Legislative change, such as the therapy and counselling funding that was passed in 2019 and came into effect January 1, 2020, is one such example.
The Chair also touched on Bill 48, which included governance changes to the Ontario College of Teachers Act, and received royal assent in April of 2019. She added that many related motions passed by Council, and communicated to the Ministry of Education, provided the ministry with clear information about what the governing Council believes allows for transparent, robust governance to self-regulate the teaching profession in Ontario.
In her Annual Report message, Deputy Registrar Chantal Bélisle, OCT, underscored some of the College's work in support of strengthening transparency and accountability, managing risk more strategically and improving stakeholder engagement.
The principles of risk mitigation and harm reduction guide College investigations and hearings processes. In her message, the Deputy Registrar noted that the College conducted a detailed review of our legal needs and providers to better support our disciplinary, corporate and registration processes.
To help those aspiring to become teachers, the Deputy Registrar provided updates to the College's Essential Advice for the Teaching Profession and the creation of guides to explain the registration appeals process to College applicants.
The College has made it a priority to speak plainly in all of its communications. The Deputy Registrar offered the latest examples of this in her message: an update to our mobile app for easier access to membership information, new and improved library services, and timely College news.
Finally, the Deputy Registrar made note of the collaborative efforts of the past year, including how, with members' help, the College began to develop standards-based teacher education resources.