Governing Ourselves

Governing Ourselves informs members of legal and regulatory matters affecting the profession. This section provides updates on licensing and qualification requirements, notification of Council resolutions and reports from various Council committees, including reports on accreditation and discipline matters.

Annual report

Building for the future

Building for the Future – recognizing the roles that our members play and the impact that each teacher has on the lives and development of Ontario’s students – is the theme of the College’s 2009 annual report.

The idea of building for the future drives the College’s activities as we continue to make progress on many issues that are significant to Ontario’s teaching profession.
One particularly noteworthy event during the year was the introduction of the professional designation for teachers.

Other highlights of 2009 included research on teacher supply, work on teacher certification and qualifications, our support to teachers throughout their careers and, of course, buying a new headquarters for the College.

The OCT designation – launched by the College in the fall of 2009 – affirms to students, parents and the public that our ethical standards and standards of practice guide and inspire the work of Ontario teachers every day.

Both the English and French designations – Ontario Certified Teacher and enseignante agréée de l’Ontario / enseignant agréé de l’Ontario – and their abbreviations are now trademarked as official marks of the College, for its exclusive use.

This is the first time in the history of Ontario education that teachers have a professional designation. In fact, this is a first for teachers anywhere in Canada.

Employment prospects

The Transition to Teaching study presents an in-depth look at the early careers of teacher-education graduates of 2004 through 2008. In 2009, for the eighth consecutive year, the College surveyed teachers in their first five years in the profession.

Two trends were evident. Growing numbers of English-speaking teachers are underemployed, while the market for French-language teachers remains more robust.
The province’s English-language teacher employment market is highly competitive. There are now roughly 7,000 more certified, qualified teachers entering the profession each year than there are retirement spots to fill.

Meanwhile, many graduates of French-language teacher education programs and others who can teach French as a Second Language in English-language school boards continue to have better job prospects, although we are starting to see what appears to be some softening of this job market.

Teachers’ qualifications

The College’s 2006 study, Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow, identified many changes we needed to make in the way we prepare teachers for the classroom and for professional certification.

During the year, the College, with the Ontario government, fine-tuned the details of a groundbreaking update of teacher certification in the province. The subsequently approved wide-ranging changes to teachers qualifications will help to improve educator preparedness for the classrooms of tomorrow.

The College is moving

The College will move to a new, permanent home in 2010.

At a special meeting in April 2009, College Council approved the purchase of a majority interest – eight floors – in a building at 101 Bloor Street West, centrally located one block west of Bay to provide easy access by public transit for members and staff, and in close proximity to stakeholders, government and education partners.

Improving the environmental footprint of the new building is a high priority. Energy efficiency is a key feature of the new building that dovetails with the College’s commitment to sustainable development. The College is seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification – a green building rating system – for the new facility.

The renovation plans include making our new building smarter and greener while reducing energy/water consumption and operating costs.

Bilingual capacity

The College made many improvements in its bilingual capacity over the past year in areas such as services to members, information technology and French-language publications. The College’s French-Language Services report highlights these achievements.

We continue to improve the French-language capacity of staff in various College departments and the francophone character of our French-language publications in order to reflect the distinct challenges and realities of the Franco-Ontarian education community.

Financial highlights

The budget for 2009 College activities was set at $31,581,000 with an anticipated surplus of $333,000, which was to be allocated to the Reserve for Fee Stabilization.

The final surplus was $963,000, slightly better than planned. Overall, the College tracked very close to the budget and the overall variance represents less than two per cent of the total budget.

The College is financed primarily by members’ fees. At the end of 2009 the College had 224,484 members in good standing, an increase of 5,319 over 2008. While membership is expected to grow in 2010, there has been some moderation in applications to both faculties of education and the College.

The Finance Committee recommended and Council approved that the 2009 operating surplus of $963,000 be allocated to the Reserve for Fee Stabilization within the Members’ Equity reserve accounts.

Ontario College of Teachers

for the year ended December 31, 2009

(in thousands of dollars)

  2009 2008
Annual membership fees 27,048 22,879
Other fees 2,950 2,991
Advertising 1,093 1,223
Amortization of deferred capital contribution 226 226
Special projects 205 179
Teach in Ontario project 666 1,349
Interest and other 419 1,060
  32,607 29,907
Employee compensation 17,164 16,243
Council and committees 780 686
Services to members and applicants 3,135 3,146
Professional practice 546 470
Investigations and hearings 2,053 2,520
Operating support 5,622 5,493
Teach in Ontario project 666 1,349
Amortization 1,311 1,207
Council elections 367  0
  31,644 31,114