The cover story in the September 1997 issue of the College
magazine was an article about how job prospects were much brighter for new teachers. When
the magazine came out, some educators scoffed at the idea that jobs for teachers would
soon be plentiful.
This notion shouldnt have been news to anyone in education, because it was easy
to see that many of our colleagues were approaching retirement. But so much has changed in
the last two years. Now, the Colleges studies on the gap between supply and demand
for teachers are borne out by the searches many district boards are still pursuing as
The College was pleased that the government announced an additional 500 spaces in
education faculties at Ontario universities this fall. However, this is well short of the
2,000 we had requested. We will continue to monitor demand and supply and will follow up
with the new ministers.
While principals and boards may find it tough to fill key teaching posts in Ontario,
our colleagues in the U.S. face an enormous problem. American school boards will have to
hire more than two million teachers in the next decade, some 300,000 in California alone.
Thats 200,000 new teachers a year and U.S. colleges graduate fewer than
110,000 teachers annually.
The College now deals with two ministries. As you know, Janet Ecker is the new Minister
of Education, while Diane Cunningham has been appointed Minister of Training, Colleges and
Margaret Wilson and I have had the opportunity to meet with Ms. Ecker and the new
Deputy Minister of Education, Suzanne Herbert. The Registrar and I briefed the new
minister on the Colleges regulatory responsibilities, as well as a number of new
initiatives under way here. The Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession was
discussed at length, as was the Colleges new language proficiency policy that will
require all new members to meet an acceptable level of fluency in either English or
We will be meeting with Ms. Cunningham and her deputy, Robert Christie, shortly. The
issues we are most interested in speaking to them about are, of course, the Colleges
responsibility for accrediting faculties of education and our concerns about the number of
graduates the faculties are currently able to provide for the provinces education
As I write this, the governments plans on the re-certification proposal announced
by Premier Harris are still unclear. My commitment to you to communicate any new
developments on this issue remains a priority.
Work continues at the College on the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.
Feedback from members across the province to the document that was approved in principle
by the College Council late last year has been enthusiastic
and very helpful. The Standards of Practice and Education Committee and Council will
take the comments from members and the public into consideration when we review the
standards later this year.
Faculties of education across the province are already incorporating the Standards of
Practice for the Teaching Profession into their curriculum, so new teachers will have a
clear understanding of what their professional colleagues expect of them.
A GREAT LOSS
On a personal note, the College suffered a great loss when Janice Thomson succumbed to
cancer on May 21. Janice was the manager of the Colleges Accreditation Unit. I had
come to know Janice well through my work as a member of the Accreditation Committee. Her
energy and commitment to education were a real inspiration. I speak for all members of
Council when I say that the College and the profession will dearly miss her.