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 is in the midst of a massive turnover in teaching professionals. Thousands retired over the last five years and thousands more have taken their place. Today, a third of Ontario's teachers have fewer than eight years' teaching experience.
Yet the profession has taken change in its stride and continues to do what it does best - inspire the young to learn.
That's a tribute to the professionalism of those who are leaving teaching and those who are entering the classrooms. Our Transition to Teaching study has been tracking the on-the-job experiences of new graduates since 2001, and they have told us that the early years as a new teacher are not easy.
To the credit of new teachers, the number who leave under these challenging circumstances is low - 12 out of 13 of teachers who graduated in 2001 are still members of the profession.
Entry to the profession assessment
Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy announced that the Ontario Teacher Qualifying Test would be discontinued and another assessment mechanism developed in its place.
The College conveyed to the Minister the implications for our members and for those students who had begun programs in Ontario faculties of education in September. College staff met with the Ministry on a number of occasions to ensure that the College's former members and new applicants would continue to have opportunities to meet all the legislative requirements for certification.
The College's activities are funded almost entirely by member fees. The budget for 2004 College activities was set in September 2003 at $31.377 million, based on an annual fee of $139.
College membership reached 194,012 as the profession continued to welcome new people to Ontario classrooms, adding 4,000 more members than had been forecast. This accounted for most of a $600,000 increase in revenue over budget.
At the end of 2004 the budget showed a surplus of $3.945 million. Most of the excess was committed to the Reserve for Fee Stabilization to support an annual membership fee of $104 from 2005 to 2007.
Applications for certification from internationally trained teachers have steadily increased in recent years - up 15 per cent in 2004 over the previous year. To support this trend, the College has expanded its outreach to ethnic community representatives, such as advocacy groups and consulates, to explain requirements for certification.
In 2004, the College agreed to provide space for the Teach in Ontario project, which the College shares with LASI World Skills, Skills for Change and the Ontario Teachers' Federation, to help internationally trained teachers become certified. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities awarded the four partners $1.7 million to undertake the project.
In response to Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy's discussion paper on College governance, Revitalizing the Ontario College of Teachers, Council established an ad hoc committee in March 2004 to report to the Minister on the College's view.
The committee invited submissions from education stakeholder, regulatory and community groups for regional sessions in Windsor, London, Toronto, Ottawa, Sudbury and Thunder Bay, and conducted a survey of the public and College members.
A report forwarded to the Minister by Council recommended increasing Council seats to 33 from 31, increasing the minimum number of French-speaking Council members to six (four elected and two appointed) and a conflict of interest policy that would make provincially elected leaders and employees of provincial stakeholder organizations ineligible to seek election or accept public appointments to the Council. ps
Consolidated Statement of Operations
Ontario College of Teachers
For the full annual report including the College's audited statements for 2004, visit www.oct.ca.