March 1998

College Members Are Making an Impressive Contribution

The behind-the-scenes work of many volunteers will help ensure that the development of accreditation processes and standards of practice for the profession reflect the experience and values of practising teachers.

From the Chair

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wpe14.jpg (4123 bytes) By Donna Marie Kennedy

In each issue of Professionally Speaking, we bring you up to date on the decisions and actions of the 31 elected and appointed members of the College Council. However, that only tells you part of the story about what’s going on at the College.

Almost 400 members of the College of Teachers from across Ontario have volunteered to participate in developing standards of practice and accreditation processes for our profession. The Professional Affairs Department is involving as many classroom teachers as they can in a wide variety of activities.

College members on Council subcommittees are researching, debating and reporting on a wide range of issues. The work of members-at-large on the subcommittees has been very impressive. I’ve found their research to be thorough and their comments have been well thought out.

The deans of Ontario’s faculties of education have been generous in sharing their time and expertise as members of College subcommittees.

Members Contribute

But in my work with Professional Affairs committees, I’ve also seen how the College is benefiting from the commitment and knowledge of teachers like Michael Prendergast, a Grade 8 teacher from Prince Charles Public School in Hastings County and Lori Barkans, who teaches Grade 2 at Branlyn Community School in Brantford. They’ve been deeply involved in subcommittee work on action research as part of ongoing professional learning.

The Accreditation Committee’s pre-service program review subcommittee includes two classroom teachers – John Dunscombe, who teaches elementary school in Parry Sound and Robert Pellerin from Barrie – as well as a superintendent from the Leeds and Grenville board, Eleanor Newman of Brockville and Janet Ouellette, principal of Holy Names High School in Windsor.

Four volunteers from among the College membership are contributing to Accreditation’s subcommittee on in-service program review: Liz Falco, who teaches secondary phys ed and French in Port Hope, elementary teacher Rochelle Williams from North York, Bill Gerth, principal of South Huron District High and Hélène Koscielniak, a superintendent with the Kapuskasing District Roman Catholic Separate School Board.

Too Many to List

There are many more teachers all across the province who deserve to be recognized for their contributions to the work of the College. They’re working on other subcommittees, participating in focus groups, reviewing and commenting on College working papers and writing articles for Professionally Speaking.

The fact that there are too many to list in this article underlines the progress that staff and members have managed to make on many College priorities in just a few short months. There are still more months – for some projects, years – of work ahead before we see the final products.

But it’s safe to say that when we do, Ontario teachers will have standards of practice and education and accreditation programs that reflect the experience and commitment of practising teachers who have thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the work of the College.

And while the voluntary work of College members is vital to our success, the work of the College staff is equally important. The employees of the College are an incredibly professional and talented group. The skill level in every department has facilitated the work of the Council, the executive and the committees.

Annual Meeting Scheduled

Please mark Saturday, May 30 on your calendar. That’s the date of the College’s first annual meeting. You will find the agenda in the Blue Pages of this edition of Professionally Speaking.

I hope you will plan to attend. Council members considered many different dates, looking for one that would make it as easy as possible for members from around the province to attend. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the College – on the sixth floor at 121 Bloor Street East in Toronto.

Please call Charlie Morrison at (416)961-8800 ext.228 or e-mail to let us know you’re coming so we can ensure there’s adequate seating.

The College is a short walk from the subway at Yonge and Bloor and is close to the Don Valley Parkway for members driving in from out of town.