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.
Setting the Standard for Great Teaching, which succinctly summarizes the work of the College and serves as the tagline for the College’s public awareness initiative, is also the theme of the 2013 Annual Report.
The initiative and the report aim to educate the public about who we are, what we do, how we regulate teaching in Ontario in the public interest and, most importantly, how highly qualified Ontario teachers are.
One of the College’s legislated responsibilities is to “communicate with the public on behalf of the members of the College.” The annual report is one way we do that.
The report’s statistics section is a popular destination for members, media, politicians and the education community, who frequently peruse this wealth of information about Ontario Certified Teachers.
You can take advantage of the key statistical information, such as member demographics by sex and age. You can find out about the geographic distribution of teachers and where members are earning their teacher education degrees in Canada and throughout the world. Or maybe you’re curious about the Top 5 teaching subjects that new teachers have when they enter the profession.
Last year was one of milestones for the College and a productive year in self-regulation for Ontario’s teaching profession.
The Minister of Education announced plans to create an enhanced program in initial teacher education at Ontario’s faculties of education with significant leadership and support from the Ontario College of Teachers. The promised changes reflect the College’s advice and that of practitioners.
The new program, which begins in September 2015, will expand to four, full-time semesters from two and include a minimum of 80 days practice teaching (increased from 40). As well, it will have enriched learning opportunities to link theory and practice in areas such as diversity, teaching in the Ontario context, the use of technology in teaching, mental health, special education and well-being, among other core elements including mathematics and literacy.
Also highlighted in 2013 was the launch of a strategic-planning process that sets the course for the College’s future.
For the first time in College history, Council members and senior College staff met to establish a mission statement, a vision, values and strategic priorities for the organization. The work accomplished demonstrated the power of participation of Council and College staff to work together to create a framework for the College’s work in the years to come.
The plan includes a commitment to the public and members to clearly articulate how the College operates and what we will focus on in the coming years.
Minister of Education Liz Sandals introduced the Protecting Students Act in September of 2013 to improve transparency and efficiency for students, teachers and parents.
The proposed legislation, Bill 103, contained the most significant changes to the Ontario College of Teachers Act since the College was formed in 1997. The amendments reinforced the College’s continuing efforts to streamline its investigation and discipline processes. Bill 103 was in second reading at the end of 2013; however, it did not become law as a result of the general election that was called in 2014.
Teacher unemployment and underemployment rates rose yet again in 2013.
Every year, more of Ontario’s teacher education graduates look beyond Ontario’s borders for work in the profession. Many work in non-teaching jobs to meet financial needs and few escape the challenging job market.
The College’s Transition to Teaching survey looks at the early careers of new Ontario teachers. What was it like to be a new teacher in 2013? See the report at bit.ly/1pe1Tqe.
The College adheres to financial principles that ensure that its mandated services are properly funded and that fees are maintained at levels appropriate to ensure the College’s financial stability.
The College is financed primarily by member fees. At the end of 2013, it had 238,201 members in good standing, an increase of 952 over 2012.
For 2013, the College operating budget was set at $36,711,000. The College recorded an operating deficit of one per cent of revenue or $353,000 for 2013. The volume of investigations and hearings cases continued to increase and, as a result, the department’s expenses were about $1 million more, or 25 per cent higher, than in 2012.