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.
How We’re Enhancing Our Communications Outreach Program.
Do you know what an arboriculturist* is? What about a nephologist* or a mycologist*? Would you like to find out? Creating a sense of curiosity is key to the strategy behind the development of the College’s public awareness initiative.
In December 2013, the College announced the launch of a communications outreach program that was designed to increase public awareness of its services. The College licenses, governs and regulates 239,000 members of the teaching profession in Ontario. It sets the standards of practice and ethical standards, accredits teacher education programs and conducts disciplinary hearings. Unfortunately, research shows that only 4 per cent of Ontarians surveyed in 2013 knew this.
“The College exists to serve the public interest and as such we are mandated to communicate with the public,” says Michael Salvatori, OCT, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar. “It’s critical that we ensure Ontarians know the role we play and the resources available to them because the public cannot be served by an organization they are unaware of.”
To fulfill this mandate, the College is engaging in conversation with the public on something that matters to everyone — our students. The public awareness messages — delivered through English and French print, radio, television and online outlets across Ontario — support recommendations from the LeSage report (an independent review of the College’s discipline process), and address feedback from focus groups and public surveys.“We are purposefully evolving the way we communicate with the public,” says Richard Lewko, Director of Corporate and Council Services. “From the visuals we choose to the language we use, we are working to ensure that what we create is interesting, informative and always engaging.”
The concept for these ads builds on the basics — the letters of the alphabet — and uses them to explore a variety of unique careers available to students. The message is that there’s no telling what students will achieve when teachers are equipped to excel.
Each advertisement is adapted to suit the particular medium in which it plays and is designed to drive traffic to oct.ca. Print ads show students from Ontario’s publicly funded schools and — similar to the 30-second French and English radio ads — focus on lesser-known careers (such as a mycologist) to pique the audience’s interest.
The visuals for the online video ads highlight the role a teacher plays in education while the audio focuses on how the College sets the standard for great teaching. Digital banners follow the same theme and can be found on websites frequented by Ontario parents. The College has also created unique advertisements for CP24, using still images as a contrast to the activity on screen.
All of the ads incorporate the tag line, “Ontario College of Teachers: Setting the Standard for Great Teaching,” and collectively explain the College’s role within the Ontario education system. Not only does the initiative deliver essential information about the College, it reminds parents and other members of the public of the important work that our members do in the classroom and the incredible influence they have on their students.