The accreditation process used to evaluate three faculties of education this past year
is a good example. The development of the process itself, the training of the panels and
the writing of reports was an invaluable professional activity. This process will begin
again as the College refines the procedures and prepares to begin the accreditation
process for four more university programs.
I was privileged to be able to work with colleagues at the College and with a team of
educators in the evaluation of the education program at Nipissing. Our panel interviewed a
wide range of professionals, including faculty members of the university, associate
teachers, board officials, federation representatives and, of course, teacher candidates
and new graduates.
Each group and individual brought an important perspective to teacher education. On
reflection, it is clear that all of these individuals are committed to our profession and
to collective and individual improvement.
JUST ONE EXAMPLE
This is just one example of the many professional activities that teachers are involved
in on a regular basis besides the course work that we do to upgrade our skills. Teachers
are heavily involved in their profession through a multitude of organizations and
committees subject councils, educational associations, federations, board
committees, university committees and, of course, the College of Teachers.
The input provided to all levels of the educational system by practising teachers
through these organizations is invaluable. It is an important part of our professional
lives and a collegial activity that too often goes unrecognized.
I hope that in the coming years we will be able to involve more members of the College
in committee work and that teachers continue to volunteer their time to all of the
important teacher organizations in the province of Ontario.
The first annual meeting of the College was held on the last Saturday in May to allow
as many teachers as possible to attend. The day was unseasonably hot in more ways than
one, but the turnout that filled our Council chamber to capacity was very encouraging.
The meeting began with a short presentation on the activities of the College and each
of the standing committees, followed by a question and answer period of approximately an
hour and a half.
The questions were pointed and important ones. For the most part, I believe College
members who had questions felt their concerns were answered and that the College
leadership is sensitive to members input. There was some criticism about the length
of the question period and that issue will be addressed next year. The questions and
answers from that session have been posted on the College web
site and we will print some of them in Frequently Asked Questions in
this and future issues of Professionally Speaking.
After the meeting, I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss issues informally with many
members of the College. Since then, I have received some correspondence from College
members who attended the meeting and provided constructive suggestions and comments. I do
appreciate the time that those individuals took to raise their concerns and we will
discuss the issues that they raised.
Many colleagues will be retiring this year with the 85 factor. They have served the
profession well and we thank them. Their expertise and knowledge will be missed in many of
our schools across the province.
To those entering the profession welcome. We are facing some of the most
dramatic changes in education that the province has ever seen. The implementation of these
changes will be a heavy responsibility in the coming months and years.