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 writer’s daytime phone number. Letters should be addressed to:
The Editor,
Professionally Speaking,
121 Bloor Street East, 6th Floor,
Toronto ON M4W 3M5


Broaden Horizons

Lois Browne’s article "Double Cohort Students Urged to Widen Horizons" (September 2001) certainly strikes the right note in encouraging students to consider all the options and to take responsibility for their choices by doing thorough research. I applaud her inclusion of Phil Hedges’ recommendation that students consider college, apprenticeships and work as options.
As Pat Comley (quoted in the article) obviously knows, it is certainly true that many graduates of colleges of applied arts and technology programs decide to broaden their horizons by completing an additional program at a university, which we support and encourage by offering a variety of university transfer credits through our General Arts and Science program.
However, it is also true that the single biggest feeder school to our college is our local university, with large numbers of students choosing to complete college programs in addition to their university degrees.

Ruth Rodgers
Ruth Rodgers is Curriculum Consultant and Secondary School Reform Liaison Officer at Fanshawe College in London.

Ironic Photo

Isn’t it ironic? The September issue of Professionally Speaking featured a cover photo of a teacher and three students experiencing outdoor education. Outdoor education is the experimental component of environmental education that is so crucial in connecting students to their environment and in developing attitudes of caring, responsibility and stewardship.
It is a great concern that the Harris government’s new curriculum and associated funding are indirectly forcing boards throughout Ontario to eliminate outdoor education staff, centres and programs. Outdoor education is not mandated like other subjects such as math and English.
Environmental literacy is just as important as any other. One can only hope that the next government will give back to this teacher and her students the experience that, in the photograph, is obviously such a meaningful and joyous discovery.

David Arthur
Science teacher David Arthur has recently retired from the Waterloo Region District School Board.

Thanks, Linwood

Thank you Linwood Barclay! I only wish this article was required reading for every politician and parent in Ontario. Many would miss the point but maybe, if we're lucky, a few might take a step back and think before they criticize and complain.

Martha Tait
Martha Tait is an elementary teacher from Toronto.

Cost of Self-Regulation

I found it interesting that you attempted to address concerns over the increase in Ontario College of Teachers membership fees commencing in January 2002 by publishing in the September 2001 issue of Professionally Speaking the membership fees of other self-regulating professions in the province, and commenting that "the College fee remains the lowest of all self-regulated professions in Ontario."
Perhaps in a future issue you can publish the names of other self-regulated professions in the province which require their members to take a minimum number of courses every five years in order to maintain their licence to work in their chosen profession which requires at least three years of university courses and one year of postgraduate education. And could you please highlight with an asterisk those professions which require their members to take such courses at their own expense?

Michael Ford
Michael Ford teaches at Gordon Graydon Memorial Secondary School in Mississauga.

Good idea. We’ll do that. — Ed.

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