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Letters to the Editor

Professionally Speaking welcomes letters and articles on topics of interest to teachers. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and to conform to our publication style. To be considered for publication, letters must provide the writer’s daytime phone number and registration number. Address letters to: The Editor, Professionally Speaking at or 101 Bloor St. W., Toronto, ON M5S 0A1.

Committed to Truth and Reconciliation

As I leaf through the September edition of Professionally Speaking, my attention is drawn to Pop Quiz with Mike Downey. My family has a very personal connection with the Chanie Wenjack story. My late husband (also a teacher) and I spent seven years in the ’70s and ’80s running the Henry Coaster Memorial School in Ogoki, Ont. Our children attended the classes with the local students, including Chanie’s nieces and nephews.

Eight years ago, my daughter, Deirdre, and I visited Ogoki. Our return trip was truly special. Deirdre, a journalist in Ireland, produced a radio documentary on this visit entitled, Ogoki: Call of the Wild. During our conversation with Pearl, Chanie’s sister, she recounted the effect her brother’s death had on her family.

We are delighted that Chanie’s story is now very much in the spotlight with the late Gord Downie’s Secret Path and the many WE Day events that recognize the tragedies of the residential schools.

I continue to read and appreciate the informative and engaging articles in Professionally Speaking.

Mary Mulrooney, OCT, is a retired elementary school teacher who now works as an occasional teacher with the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Not Just Students Being Bullied

Photo of the cover from 'Professionally Speaking' September 2017.

I read with interest the College’s professional advisory Responding to the Bullying of Students in the September issue. I believe that most readers would not realize that occasional teachers are also frequent victims of bullying. All too often it is not reported to the school administration because the substitute teacher fears being blamed for poor classroom management. Anyone who has attended an Ontario school in the last 60 years has witnessed, or even has joined in “having fun” at the expense of a substitute teacher. We now call this type of “fun” bullying.

The only way to reduce any form of bullying is to expose it, to focus specifically on it. If not, the bullying remains in a blind spot — ignored and even accepted. What better organization is there to focus on this type of bullying than our college of teachers?

Peterr Wilson, OCT, is an occasional teacher with the Toronto District School Board.