Shortcomings, shortages and successes
I noted that, among the smiling faces of Brock's graduating class in the June issue, there was not a single apparently black, brown or aboriginal face. No one seemed to have a disability either.
Where is the much-vaunted increasing diversity among teachers that is supposed to reflect the growing diversity among Ontario students, now that "the teacher shortage is over"? Are visible minorities, aboriginals and the disabled still on the outside looking in, hoping for full-time jobs as boards are curtailing their hiring?
Ken Stone is an FSL teacher in the Grand
Erie DSB and chair of the Community Coalition
against Racism in
As a teacher for many years in Scarborough for TDSB, I was very disappointed to see the June cover. Although the graduates were fresh faced, interesting and intelligent looking, where was the diversity? Of 21 graduates only one was non-white. Furthermore, there were twice as many women as men. We need men in this profession!
Two years ago I taught geometry to a Grade 12 class at RH King Academy. They came from all cultures and were wonderful, intelligent, fabulous students. None of the girls and only four of the boys were white. I'm glad they did not see this magazine; they might take a message that they need not apply to teachers' college
Sharyn Devine taught science and mathematics and served as a vice-principal. Since retirement, she has been an occasional teacher for the Toronto DSB.
Please keep in mind that the teacher shortage will only truly be over if new teachers actually stay. If they find teaching overwhelmingly difficult – without sufficient mentoring and support to help them through the first years – they will leave, creating another shortage.
I commend the College for lobbying the Ministry of Education to implement a mentoring program and am hopeful that this will come about shortly because it is necessary.
Andrew Shaw was program leader for English, Literacy and Languages at Wallaceburg District SS in the Lambton-Kent DSB. He will teach English at Northern Collegiate in Sarnia this fall.
Exploring a World Wide Web of Possibilities (June 2005) was one of the most well researched and informative articles I have read in Professionally Speaking. The World Wide Web could revolutionize teaching if all of its potential was harnessed.
Michael Reist is head of English at Robert F. Hall Catholic SS in the Dufferin-Peel Catholic DSB.
I am a 2005 graduate from Daemen College in Buffalo. I did my MSc in Childhood Education and completed requirements to teach in both Ontario and New York State.
I wrote three required New York State Teacher Certification Examinations. The tests measure knowledge and skills in liberal arts and sciences, in teaching theory and practice, and in the content area of one’s field of certification. New York’s three tests are much more in-depth and complex than the Ontario Teacher Qualifying Test. New York candidates intending to teach in Ontario are also required to complete 15 consecutive, full-time weeks of classroom teaching in an Ontario school board – more in-depth and engaging teaching time than is required for candidates from Ontario faculties.
Teachers who are certified to teach in Ontario through these border colleges should have these tests and teaching experiences recognized as their Ontario qualifying assessment.
Jennifer Hall is looking for a primary/junior contract position in southeastern Ontario for the coming year.
I couldn’t agree with Barry Weisleder more (Letters, June 2005). Retired teachers are preferred to new teachers entering the profession by the only route possible these days – occasional teaching. So, if the supply teacher route is not a training ground for new teachers, as another letter writer states, then how do new teachers enter the profession?
For several years I have been supplying – using vacation days from my full-time job – in the hope of securing a permanent teaching position. In addition to not having much teaching experience I am now facing age discrimination and have decided it’s hopeless and given up. Thank goodness I have a career to fall back on.
Sharon Anderson teaches business studies for the Peel DSB in Mississauga.