Protecting our professions world-class reputation
Tough times call for adherence to standards and resolute leadership that is sensitive to the profession, our members and the public we serve.
By Doug Wilson
A sea change in education in recent years has tested the resolve of many practitioners. New economic pressures clash with the idealism of new and veteran educators. Public accountability seemingly directs the winds of policy development. Critics multiply and challenges continue to mount.
However, in many ways, our students have never been served better. Ontarios teachers members of the College of Teachers see to that.
Ontarios knowledgeable, skilled and caring teachers set a standard for educational instruction and service that is envied the world over. For 35 years now, Ive seen it first hand as a teacher and as an administrator. Thats why I am proud and privileged to have been appointed as the third Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the College, the regulatory body for the provinces teaching profession.
The College works hard to protect and enhance the reputation of Ontarios teaching profession by certifying only those who are qualified to teach, who understand and respect the professions ethical and practice standards and who respect and maintain its rules of professional conduct.
The College also has a role in helping to shape the future of the profession itself.
Its time to explore the use of technology in distance education for pre-service as well as in-service programs and to examine ideas concerning teacher induction programs.
We know there is a continuing exodus of experienced teachers due to retirement. Thats why its urgent to look at induction programs that mentor and guide new teachers. We need to remove the initial struggle that many new teachers face, help them become better faster, retain them longer and encourage greater on-the-job satisfaction. The College is now circulating a proposal, New Teacher Induction: Growing into the Profession. A report on this proposal is featured in this issue as the lead item in our newly positioned PS News.
In fact, Professionally Speaking has been re-organized with this issue. Members will now get news up front including College initiatives and interventions so youll know about our efforts to represent the profession as well as other developments in education at home and abroad. Features follow, offering more in-depth coverage of issues of interest to educators. Reviews, reports and resources come next and are followed by the must-have information of the College Blue Pages and PS Calendar.
Both this magazine and the New Teacher Induction paper are part of the Colleges effort to initiate dialogue. The paper in particular is meant to stimulate a discussion that will lead to provincial support of a two-year, mandatory induction program.
As Registrar, I want to engage the profession in this and other emerging issues. I want to seize opportunities for consultation. Where there is no discussion, I want to start it. And where there is common ground for projects that will improve teaching and public education, I want to participate.
When the College provides advice to the public and government about what teachers need, that advice must be based on dialogue with teachers themselves. And we must be realistic about school board resources so that time and money will not be obstacles to implementation.
Public confidence in teaching demands that the College remain diligent in upholding the professions standards, investigating complaints and ensuring qualified teachers in Ontarios publicly funded schools. Thats why members need to understand the role of the College and the importance of self-regulation in serving the teaching profession and the public.
As Registrar, I have the responsibility and capacity to make many decisions with respect to individual members, to people who want to be members and to the teaching profession. I take that responsibility to heart.
Our teachers are respected around the world. Its my wish to have the teaching profession respected among all other professions as well.
Our adherence to principles and standards, excellent service and forward-looking actions will make it so. On that you have my word.
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