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.
Last fall, the College visited six Ontario communities to promote discussion of its latest professional advisory, Responding to the Bullying of Students (approved by Council in June). Those in attendance included representatives from local school boards, parent involvement committees, federations and associations, faculties of education, the Ministry of Education, student trustees, police services, and experts from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Canadian Safe School Network.
The College launched its professional advisory on October 5 at its headquarters in Toronto. Panellists — including (from left to right) moderator and College Deputy Registrar Joe Jamieson, OCT, Bill Byrd, president of the Canadian Safe School Network, Noni Classen, director of education for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, Ted Libera, the central co-ordinating principal of Caring and Safe Schools for the Toronto DSB, and Toronto Police Service Constable Megan McGarry — discussed bullying as a societal issue and the sector-wide approach required to deal with it effectively.
Education stakeholders gathered with College staff, police and child protection services in Ottawa on October 6 to promote understanding of the characteristics of bullying. The voices of student trustees were important as the panel explored how to help teachers and administrators identify the signs of bullying and intervene early to minimize and reduce occurrences.
The College was in Thunder Bay on October 26, recommending that teachers review protocol, intervene early, support students, promote disclosure and provide guidance in response to bullying. Recent research shows that 78 per cent of people have witnessed bullying, but fewer than half of those have intervened.
Statistics indicate that 58 per cent of students are victims of bullying and 30 per cent of students bully others. Educator awareness and reflection are key when it comes to bullying prevention. These and other key messages were the focus of a discussion with members of the North Bay community on October 24.
Responding to the Bullying of Students reinforces the College’s professional and ethical standards of care, respect, integrity and trust. This was at the heart of a discussion between education stakeholders and members of the community on October 30 in Peterborough.
On November 1, the information sessions concluded in Windsor, where parent, school board and police services representatives, along with child safety experts, came together to confer with the College about its professional advice on bullying.
Photos: (Ottawa) Matthew Liteplo; Ontario College of Teachers