Professionally Speaking welcomes
letters and articles on topics of interest to
teachers. We reserve the right to edit letters for
length. To be considered for publication, all letters
must be signed and provide the writers daytime
phone number. Letters should be addressed to: The
Editor, Professionally Speaking, 121 Bloor Street
East, 6th Floor, Toronto ON M4W 3M5 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
wife and I are both elementary teachers at the Mount
Isa School of the Air located in the
Australian outback. I have 14 years of teaching
experience and my wife has been teaching for nine
The school we work at
services a vast area of the western and northern
region of Queensland and has approximately 110
families living mostly on sheep or cattle properties.
We provide an education for students K-10 via
correspondence papers and high frequency radio
contact with the classes.
We would like to make
contact with a teacher (preferably in distance
education) who would be interested in negotiating for
a teaching exchange from January to December in 1999.
Please contact us at: email@example.com or P.O. Box 2964, Mount Isa, Q.
Peter and Beth
I am a Spanish teacher of English
at an Official School of Languages (a public school
of languages) and am looking to swap my post on the
sunny Tenerife Island (Canary Islands, Spain) for a
similar one at a high school, language school or
college in Canada. The exchange partner would teach
EFL at an Official School of Languages in S/C de
Tenerife and I would teach Spanish in Canada.
If you are
interested, please e-mail Jose Guimera at firstname.lastname@example.org before mid-February
Jose M. Guimera
Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de La Orotava
Tenerife - Canary Islands - Spain
have just read the second issue of Professionally
Speaking with much
interest and I am writing to say that I think you and
your team have done a superb job. It is extremely
well presented and offers a good balance of articles
I extend my best wishes
to you and to those on the team.
H. Gordon McIntyre
H. Gordon McIntyre is Depute Registrar of
the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
receiving my first mailed copy of Professionally
Speaking, I leafed
through it enthusiastically, scanning articles and
letters for relevant discussions. However, I almost
immediately noticed that the character of the
photographs was singular and disturbing. Except for a
few pictures, none of the teachers shown were persons
of colour. While this may well represent the present
state of affairs in the general Ontario teaching
population, my understanding is that initiatives are
well under way in most regions of Ontario to
encourage potential teacher candidates among
Aboriginal, African-Canadian and other communities of
colour. Significantly though, students of colour are
candidates must see faces like their own in trade
magazines if we are to witness and encourage a shift
in the balance.
Ian Turner is a teacher/convener at
Avondale School in North York.
I am hoping that the
Ontario College of Teachers will benefit me in some
way. I was annoyed when I discovered I had to pay a
yearly fee to the College or else risk losing my
standing as a teacher in Ontario. It is insulting to
think that it is a fee that says I am a teacher, and
not my training or experience. I expect to get my
I do find your magazine
very informative. Our education system is going
through some major changes and it is important for
all of us (teachers, parents and taxpayers) to be
aware and stay informed. I feel though, that your
magazine is lacking in articles for those instructors
who teach adults. While importance is placed on the
education of children, we should not forget that
family literacy is an important issue as well.
Grace Santeramo is an ABL/ESL instructor
at Flemington Adult Learning Centre.
some apprehensions about the long term benefits of
the Ontario College of Teachers, I enjoyed my recent
read of Professionally Speaking. I found the articles
interesting and informative and the artwork was well
My hope is that the fine
looking members of our Council will be able to assist
in promoting the teachers of Ontario as wonderfully
caring and hardworking professionals, contrary to the
current public opinion.
Robert Thompson teaches at W.E. Miller
Public School in Timmins.
her letter (Sept. 1997) Barb Warf speaks of student
teachers who dont know much math and want to
teach the lower grades.
I have known high school
math teachers who never had a math course in
university. They were hired even though there were
plenty of well trained math qualified teachers. Why?
Some school boards deliberately hire such teachers to
give easy courses to keep the students from dropping
I suggest that all
teachers be required to post certificates showing
which courses and levels they are qualified to teach;
that school boards be prohibited from allowing
teachers to teach subjects or grades for which they
are not qualified when qualified teachers are
available; that the province raise the university
subject requirements to teach a subject in 7
12; and that candidates for teaching 1 6 be
required to take math and language tests for
admission to a teacher college.
Irma Cohen is a supply teacher of
mathematics in the Ottawa-Carleton area.
the birth of the Ontario College of Teachers and the
development of its magazine Professionally
Speaking I have
nothing but praise for the results.
I am quite impressed and
most encouraged by the article "Teachers
Career Prospects Are Much Brighter as the New Century
the September 1997 issue.
It is wonderful to have
the former bad news dispelled in clear,
concise and factual terms.
Also, it is nice to
learn that the Council amended a bylaw to remove the fee for name
changes on the Colleges registry. It is most
considerate of the Council to do this as "it is
mostly women in society who have to change their
I cant believe
Im reading this in a teachers magazine.
Women do not have to change their names.
It is nice to be more
equitable but to indicate to our women teachers that
women have to make this change is not very
contemporary to say the least.
I would like to think
that it was a poor choice of words.
Eldred Cook is a retired teacher.
I have enjoyed reading
issues of Professionally
Speaking. I find the articles timely,
informative, and entertaining. I especially applaud the addition of
My question is, what is
your response to Minister Snobelens recently
introduced Bill 160? Given that the College of
Teachers mandate is to regulate the teaching
profession, would any non-teachers that Mr. Snobelen
puts into classrooms for the purpose of teaching
subjects such as art, computers, library, etc. also
be required to be members of the College? What need
would there be for a College of Teachers if many of
the people teaching in classrooms are not, in fact,
teachers? How would these people be regulated and,
more importantly, how will this improve the quality
of education in the province of Ontario?
I look forward to your
Donna Lesperance is a Grade 7 teacher at
Dunning Foubert Elementary School in Orleans.
I read through the September edition of Professionally
Speaking, I was
pleased to see our Chairs letter to the Minister of Education and
Training expressing concern over the lack of
consultation in the development of the new Ontario
As the teachers of
Ontario seem pressed by the government to take action
in retaliation to many of the proposed changes, I
would expect that the new body mandated to support
the teachers of Ontario would respond as assertively
as did the College of Physicians in opposition to the
governments efforts to modify the health
David Hutton is principal of Mountain
Secondary School in Hamilton.
the College of Teachers considering including
educational assistants in the College membership just
as the College of Nurses includes RPNs? I think this
is an important question for consideration while the
College is still in its early stages of operation.
Danielle Renaud teaches in the
developmental services worker program.
you call what teachers do "artistic"?
Rebecca Cossar in her recent article, "Capturing
the Art of Teaching" (Professionally Speaking,
September 1997) identifies the artistry of teaching
as "spontaneous, engaging and
that leads to unforgettable learning
I would like to caution
Ms. Cossar and others that to deem anything
"artistic" requires an understanding of how
to examine "the intricacies and complexities of
an art form."
But we must not confuse
a dedicated, skilled teacher with a romantic notion
of artist. Their roles are not the same even if the
language used to describe their affect is. One
crucial aspect of the teachers role was
noticeably absent from the article: evaluation.
Artists have a very different relationship with their
audience than teachers have with their students.
Professional artists assess and are evaluated within
their profession. However, the professional
conventions, the rules of the art world, determine
the form and objective of the evaluation.
The teachers role
as an assessor and evaluator has very different
intentions and results from those of the artist.
Teachers are trained to evaluate learning but artists
are trained to evaluate art. As professionals,
teachers and artists are trained differently, play by
different rules, with different expectations for
their professional behaviour, goals and growth.
All of us can live and
think and behave artistically without being artists,
but not all of us can call ourselves professionals in
education unless we are trained in the conventions,
skilled in the practices, and value the goals of
teaching as a profession. In this distinction resides
all the ethical and practical problems of
"differentiated staffing" policy now being
touted by the Ministry of Education and Training.
It would be prudent for
the Ministry of Education and Training to address
only what is sound educational policy in its
legislation regarding who shall teach and how to
describe the teachers role in Ontario public
The ministry must
acknowledge the professional role of qualified,
certified teachers, no matter what their education
venue and according to their subject expertise.
Susan L. Brown
Susan L. Brown is the president of the
Ontario Society for Education through Art (OSEA).