Thanks to all our Remarkable Teachers
Ontario's schools are full of remarkable teachers. Under often less thandesirable conditions, College members continue to contribute so much to thelives of their students.

By Joe Atkinson

For me, the highlight of each issue of Professionally Speaking continues to be our series on remarkable teachers.

In my last column as Registrar, I want to thank the remarkable teachers who contributed so much to my life. To me they represent everything that is good about the profession of teaching.

I was blessed with teachers who welcomed me, encouraged me, motivated me, challenged me, respected me and valued me. Because of them, I not only loved going to school but loved the experience of being at school.

Looking back at my elementary school years at Seventh Street School in the former Lakeshore board, I can only conclude that my teachers possessed the patience of Job. Today, I would have been labelled; back then I was simply a handful.

Yet, as challenging as I must have been, the teachers at Seventh Street never gave up on me. Two stand out. In Grade 3, it was Lyla Crossley (it seems so disrespectful to use her first name!). She had such a positive effect on my early years. Her class was a magnificent journey filled to the brim with marvellous learning experiences that have left me with only the fondest of memories.

In Grade 8, it was Reg Mose who guided me tremendously when it came to select the right path at a very important fork in the road of life. He kept me focused when there were so many distractions of adolescence. Reg went on to become Dean of the Faculty of Education at Brock University, where he was a fine ambassador for the teaching profession.

My secondary school years were split between Thistletown and Kipling collegiates in the former Etobicoke board. My teachers encouraged, coached and challenged me both academically and interpersonally. At Thistletown, it was Nancy Ferguson, Norm Purdie, Netti Malanchuk and Gerry McMartin. While their calling was their subject areas, their strength was their ability to connect with teenage students.

Finest Principal
It was at Kipling that I experienced the most able group of teachers and the finest principal. They were supportive, compassionate, demanding and gave freely of their time not only to our academic pursuits but also to our extracurricular lives.

Thank you to Margaret Black for inspiring me to be a better student, to Gerry Glinski, Rae Gaouette and Barry Goss for introducing me to the joys of drama, music and the stage, and to John Spence for so many athletic opportunities.

My highest praise is for principal Clare Perry. To this day, I remember him as an outstanding leader, a remarkable human being and a superb role model for students and colleagues alike. It was Clare who convinced me to pursue a teaching career.

While I experienced many capable and caring teachers during my university studies and my teacher training, it was my elementary and secondary school teachers who had the most profound effect on my life. They molded my character, built the foundation for any academic success that I have enjoyed and inspired me always to be a better person and a more productive citizen.

Sincere Thanks
One of the great privileges of being Registrar is the opportunity to interact with College members and students in our faculties of education. I hope that all teachers will accept my sincere thanks for the opportunities that I have experienced as a student, teacher, federation staff officer and finally as Registrar of your College.

A great part of who I am, I owe to you. The rest I owe to caring parents, including a mother who taught as a young woman, to a loving and supportive wife who herself has enjoyed a successful career as a teacher and principal, and to our three amazing youngsters, two of whom have also chosen teaching as a career.

To one and all, thank you. You have been remarkable!


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