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; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a pleasure to read such an entertaining and irreverent piece
as Mordecai Richler's "School Days, Not So Golden Rule Days."
What a creative and invigorating break from the usual "professional
growth and learning programs" reports. Thanks!
Laura Subonovich is a learning
centre teacher at Tapleytown School in Stoney Creek.
Congratulations. The draft Standards of Practice for the Teaching
Profession should be kept and read often.
It provides a great opportunity for insight. I am on leave this
year and found reading this document to be very refreshing.
I'd like to add that Number 3 on page
7, "Equitable and respectful treatment" should have been
The respect of students is the key to success.
Elementary teacher Dianne
Theoret of Alexandria is on leave this year.
In Margaret Wilson's March report, she asks, "When did you
last suggest to a student that he or she would make a good teacher?"
Since the Harris government has been in power, my answer is, I haven't.
The overriding sentiment in small town
Ontario is that secondary teachers are overpaid, underworked, and
little more than the "warm bodies at the front of the class"
Mrs. Wilson decries. This sentiment has been reinforced by the teacher-bashing
from Queen's Park. I see tremendous student potential in the secondary
system; however, I have had to bite my tongue recently because I
cannot in good faith suggest the education route to even the most
Yes, there will be jobs, but is that enough? Teaching has become
thankless in many ways that were heretofore gratifying. The steady
bombardment has rubbed off on all of us, including the ones we are
closest to, the students. Professionally speaking, we have a great
deal of damage control to undertake before we start fishing for
recruits for what once was the greatest profession on the planet.
Rod McDonald teaches English at Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute.
NOT ACTIVE BUT
I graduated from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Education program
in the spring of 1996 (Junior/Intermediate - Computers). Although
I am not currently active in the profession, I still maintain a
keen interest in education in Ontario and would like to comment
on the article "Shortage Looms" in the December issue.
In the subject areas which are and will
be in high demand, the teaching profession is competing with private
industry for the same type of qualifications and talent.
For example, if a faculty of education
graduate had skills in either science, technology, mathematics or
French and had all kinds of bills to pay, securing a viable source
of continual income is a high priority. When I completed my studies,
I had the choice of either entering the profession via supply lists
or leveraging my qualifications in business and technology. For
the past two years I have chosen the latter, working in the telecommunications
industry while volunteering with young people in the community to
at least partially fulfil my love of teaching. I have many working
years ahead of me and I believe that teaching will be something
I will do sometime in the future. I do not feel today is the best
time, at least economically, for me to make a career move back into
One idea I haven't seen mentioned too
often is to attract individuals like myself: qualified but not active.
I am sure some of us are still interested and have much to offer.
Another idea might be to put some kind of premium on higher demand
subject areas, not unlike private industry.
Other professional bodies, such as the
Ontario Certified General Accountants (CGA), advertise in public
to remind people of the quality that comes with professional accreditation.
Nurturing a positive public perspective for the profession of teaching,
as opposed to the free advertising that comes with making news about
the latest work stoppage or government cutbacks, might become part
of the investment to attract new and talented people to the profession.
Lincoln Troi of Scarborough is senior marketing co-ordinator for
Lucent Technologies and a member of the College of Teachers.