Fourth Council’s work provides strong foundation for our successors

A look back shows a highly productive period in the College’s life, thanks to hardworking Council members and the outstanding advice and support of retiring Registrar Brian McGowan.

by Don Cattani

As we enter the final months of the fourth Council, I would like to recall with you some of the changes enacted during our tenure. Each change in and of itself can be equated with a trickle but, as you well know, trickles become streams and streams become waves.

Over the past term, Council continued to enact significant changes to the Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation, arising from the first substantial review of Regulation 184 in 25 years. By adding new courses to the Additional Qualification schedules and removing outdated ones, these measures will directly affect teachers taking AQ courses throughout their careers.

Some of the new courses focus on Aboriginal culture, teaching in minority settings, teaching kindergarten and e-learning. You can expect that reforms to qualification courses in technological education will occur early in the tenure of the next Council.

Council studied the issue of a future facility for the College and began a formal search for a new home. We remain open to all possibilities, whether leasing, purchasing or building. Purchasing a building would provide members both equity and assurance of long-term cost stability, so this remains our preferred option.

Late last year, Council established a professional designation for teachers that will indicate that each member is an Ontario Certified Teacher. Teaching was one of the few self-regulated professions in Ontario without a professional designation. Full implementation will begin later this year.

Through its Discipline Committee, Council sought independent legal advice about publishing discipline decisions. In the interest of transparency and fairness, and after releasing our findings to all interested parties, we instituted new procedures governing public access to decisions rendered by our hearing tribunals.

Council also addressed our ongoing communication with French-speaking members. For example, Pour parler profession now has its own identity, distinct from that of Professionally Speaking. Council has supported clear goals for achieving and maintaining our ability to serve our French-speaking members at the same level as we do our English-speaking members.

And, in concert with the Ministry of Education, we continue to examine reforms to Regulation 347, which governs the accreditation of over 49 programs at Ontario’s faculties of education.

These and other measures, whether fully engaged or still gathering momentum, have combined to create a healthy wave of change. Council and College leadership are also in the process of change.

“Brian McGowan stands at the forefront of the education landscape in this province.”

New Council members will take their seats beginning in July and a new Chair and Vice-Chair will be selected soon after. Administratively, the College’s leadership is also undergoing renewal.

Effective at the end of March, Brian McGowan is retiring as Registrar and Chief Executive Officer. Council has appointed Michael Salvatori, the College’s former Director of Membership Services, as Brian’s successor, later this spring.

Brian will be sorely missed by this Council and, in particular, by this Chair. His leaving stirs in me thoughts of William Shakespeare’s line: “They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts.”

Brian has indeed played many parts. He has been an English teacher, university instructor, secretariat member, program facilitator, Deputy Registrar and Registrar.

In his role as Registrar, he stands at the forefront of the education landscape of this province. We have accrued the benefits of his incredible knowledge of legislation, regulation and policy. It has been my experience that it would be easier to sneak the sun past a rooster than to catch him unaware.

On behalf of Council and our over 219,000 members, Brian, thank you for your superb work as Registrar and in particular for your thoughtful and kind guidance. Your wave has indelibly altered the shores of teacher professionalism for years to come.

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