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.
“Ontario’s teachers are professionals who are committed and active in their continued learning and their development in the service of Ontario’s students,” said Michael Salvatori, OCT, College CEO and Registrar, during his address at the Annual Meeting of Members, held on June 2 in Toronto.
This year’s meeting was the first to offer live streaming of the event for those members unable to attend in person.
A look back at 2015 reveals significant initiatives that illustrate the College’s continued support of teachers as lifelong learners.
At the meeting, Salvatori spoke about the important role the College played in the development of the Enhanced Teacher Education Program, which fundamentally changes the way new teachers are prepared for today’s classroom.
The Registrar also outlined the College’s professional advice offered about members’ duty to report when they suspect a child may be the victim of abuse or neglect. “We issued this professional advice as part of our mandate, and in response to member requests and a recommendation from the provincial coroner,” said Salvatori.
His report also touched on the College’s ongoing public awareness, enhancements to the Additional Qualification courses, the College’s continued work on a multi-year plan to improve accessibility, the development of a new tablet application, and steps made to increase the College’s presence on social media to better communicate with members and the public.
Angela De Palma, OCT, Chair of Council, took to the podium as well, reporting on many of the Council’s 2015 activities. Among the news items was last year’s Council election, which brought seven new members to the table, and the subsequent creation of a Council member mentorship program.
“We introduced an optional mentorship program to pair new Council members with those who have experience in the role,” said De Palma.
Designed to have mentors and mentees seated together at Council meetings, the program promotes a professional relationship that is mutually beneficial.
De Palma also updated the audience on the development of the Governance Committee, established to provide guidance on issues of governance and risk management.
Keynote speaker for the event, Ontario Ombudsman J. Paul Dubé, outlined how his office operates and explained his organization’s new mandate to investigate complaints about school boards. He also shared the ways in which the Ombudsman’s office and the College can complement and help each other.
“Our organizations have always shared common goals,” said Dubé. “We both have a duty to serve in the public interest. We both promote the quality and accountability of public services.”
Salvatori concluded by looking to the future. “Our priorities are clear and we continue to make efforts to grow and to evolve,” he said. “Looking ahead, and with the elements in our strategic priorities, we will continue to facilitate the ongoing professional learning of members, broaden member engagement in the work of the College, enhance Council and committee effectiveness, and develop communications to inform the public, improve transparency and to work with other regulators to strengthen public appreciation of the value of self-regulation in our society.”