By Donna Marie Kennedy
The Ontario College of Teachers is just one year old, but much has been accomplished
already, with much still to do in the coming months. The annual report
highlights contained in this issue of Professionally Speaking outlines work
done by each of the committees of Council, which have accomplished an incredible amount of
Members of Council are to be commended for their efforts, since all their work is
voluntary and each member has personal and professional responsibilities outside the
demands of the College. I am sure the members of Council did not fully realize the time
and energy that would be required during their first year.
We have debated many issues at the Council table. Some have been dealt with quickly,
while others have been highly contentious and the discussions have, on occasion, been
heated. As a result, the decisions taken by Council and the directions pursued by the
College have received both kudos and criticism. Nonetheless, the resolutions have been in
the best interest of both the public and the profession.
Members of the College can take pride in knowing that Council worked vigorously to have
four clauses removed from Bill 160 clauses that
would have paved the way for unqualified instructors in Ontarios classrooms. It is
to the Colleges credit that in this, its first year, it was able to persuade the
government of the importance of having qualified professionals teaching our children.
RANGE OF VIEWS
Naturally, some people believe the College is moving too slowly, while others feel it
is moving too quickly. That is to be expected in a College composed of 165,000 members.
Some criticism has been warranted and staff have moved quickly to address these areas. In
other cases, committees have studied the issues and made recommendations to Council, and
our policies will continue to evolve over the years to come.
It is important that members of the College continue to correspond and express their
views. Its always interesting and helpful to learn more about the broad range of
views that teachers hold on so many professional issues.
We realize, as well, that not every member of the College, or everyone who applies for
teacher certification, is going to be happy with all the rules or decisions of the
College. But that is part of being a professional licensing body with the mandate to
regulate teaching in the public interest.
STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE
The College and members of Council are committed to the teaching profession and the
excellence we are all striving to achieve. We will continue to communicate openly and
professionally with educators across Ontario and elsewhere.
There are many people to thank at the end of this first year. Obviously, Councils
commitment of both time and energy has been remarkable. College staff have had to
establish the College, responding in a most professional way to each new challenge.
And finally to the hundreds of teachers who have volunteered to serve on committees,
contribute your expertise, experience and time in the area of standards
of practice and accreditation, or write articles for Professionally Speaking/Pour
parler profession, I say, thank you. Each one of you has helped to make this year a