Professionally Speaking 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 writer’s 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.
After reading the accounts of A Day in the Life of educators (December Professionally Speaking), I was saddened by several of their stories. Although many individuals stressed the importance of "balancing" their professional life with their personal (family) life, it became painfully obvious that it was the "imbalance" which was highlighted. I believe in working hard, being organized and sharing my expertise. I also know that some days will require longer hours and more energy, but I also believe in a life outside of my school and away from the stressors of our profession.
Are these regular "long days", outlined in your article, perhaps one of the main reasons that an increasing number of teachers, vice-principals and principals are off on health and stress related leaves?
It was with alarm that I read in the December issue of Professionally Speaking about the rising number of unqualified teachers practising on a regular basis in this province. I read that the College has been pursuing this matter with the Ministry of Education since February 1999, more than three years.
If one uses the Regulated Health Professions Act as a model outlining the responsibilities of a professional college, one sees that a primary function of the college is the protection of the right to title and protection of the right to practise within the said profession. Those who are not qualified by college standards, but who use the title and perform services protected under the Act are in violation of more than just college regulations.
These actions should be considered illegal. Our college has a duty to represent the interests of its members and pursue these cases in a court of law.
If I were to practise a regulated health profession, such as speech-language pathology or occupational therapy, without proper qualification or if I were to use the title "Speech Therapist," I would be in contravention of the law. Members of these professions would demand that their right to title be protected.
As a teacher, I demand the same from the regulatory body of my profession. It seems contradictory for the government to threaten to decertify Ontario teachers unless they complete required professional learning, while simultaneously allowing unqualified non-members to practise our profession!
EQUITY OF ACCESS A RIGHT
Thank you for indicating that you will be publishing the names of other self-regulated professions in Ontario which require their members to take a minimum number of courses every five years, within their own time and at their own expense.
I would also like the College to list the courses that will be available to those of us who reside in northern and rural communities. Those of us who have undertaken initial qualifications and additional qualifications from the north have already expended much larger sums than teachers resident in urban and southern regions of the province.
These mandatory courses put a further financial strain on us, as well as significant personal sacrifice, if we continue to have to leave our homes and families to access these courses. In the event that our tuition is paid by our employers, this does not include transportation, accommodation and childcare costs. In addition, most online courses are replete with technical and system overload difficulties.
We require access to quality courses offered during the school year within our communities, and this has never been available. The Ontario College of Teachers has a responsibility to ensure equity of access for all members resident in Ontario.
From the Chair  |  Registrar's Report  |  Remarkable Teachers  |  Blue Pages
News  |  Reviews  |  Calendar  |  Netwatch  |  FAQ  |  Letters to the Editor
Ontario College of Teachers
121 Bloor Street East, 6th Floor Toronto ON M4W 3M5
Phone: 416-961-8800 Toll-free: 1-888-534-2222 Fax: 416-961-8822