Teachers Play an Important Role in
the Work of Committees
Council is looking for ways to involve more College members in the
work of the ever-growing number of subcommittees and panels.
By Donna Marie Kennedy
As I write this column, the College has not yet had any news from the
Ministry of Education on teacher testing. I know this is a major topic of discussion for
many people, inside and outside the profession. We are waiting for formal communication
from the Ministry of Education on this issue, and once we receive it, we will respond.
In the meantime, College staff are busily compiling research from around
the globe on teacher re-certification. I can assure you that in the past the College has
relied on sound research and broad consultation with the public and the profession when
making decisions and will continue to do so.
You will find a report in the Blue Pages of a meeting that Registrar
Margaret Wilson and I had with Minister of Education Janet Ecker on August 10, when Ms.
Ecker toured the College. The meeting was both pleasant and productive. The Minister
understands regulatory bodies and is well aware of the Colleges achievements. Her
commitment to regularly scheduled meetings with both College Council and staff is very
welcome. We look forward to working with the education ministry on issues that have an
impact on all of us.
I think you will find the Michael Fullan and Andy Hargreaves article,
"Mentoring in the New Millennium," very relevant to our profession today.
Mentoring has always been a part of teaching. In this issues "Remarkable
Teacher," broadcaster Elwy Yost recalls collegial relationships that were a form of
mentoring during his teaching experiences. Formal mentoring, however, has always been more
Ontario has tried mentoring initiatives such as induction programs, for
example, but as Hargreaves and Fullan mention, implementation has been a problem. Some
years ago, peer coaching was introduced in many jurisdictions. It was, and still is, an
excellent approach, but here, too, implementation has been difficult. Peer coaching
demands an extensive commitment of time on the part of teachers and boards and, as we all
know, time is a precious commodity for educators.
All the institutions in the educational community universities,
school boards, teacher federations and the Ministry of Education have a
responsibility to see that the essential elements of time, expertise and resources are an
integral part of any new initiative.
The collegial professionalism discussed in the Fullan and Hargreaves
article reflects much of the essence of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching
Profession. The five key elements of the standards commitment to students and
student learning, professional knowledge, teaching practice, leadership and community and
ongoing professional learning define who we are as professionals. Mentoring is a
viable and logical way to continue to re-energize and improve the profession.
The number of teachers who actively manage their own professional learning
is highlighted in the article about the Colleges recent professional learning
survey. The survey attracted an above-average number of responses. Were fortunate to
have had the participation of such a large number of teachers who volunteered to fill in
the survey, be part of a focus group or work with a committee.
The College is always looking for new volunteers to serve on our
ever-increasing number of subcommittees. I particularly want to encourage classroom
teachers to submit their names to the College if you are interested in getting involved.
You can find information on Council committee openings in the magazine or on the
Colleges web site.
The College Council is eager to find ways to further involve members in
committees and panels. This will require changes to our bylaws and, in some cases, changes
to regulations. Nonetheless, it is something that can only benefit the College and the