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September 1999

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College’s Work on Teacher Supply,
Standards Continues

Members have responded with enthusiasm to the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession, which have already assumed a fundamental role in the preparation of new teachers in Ontario.

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By Donna Marie Kennedy

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 shouldn’t 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 College’s studies on the gap between supply and demand for teachers are borne out by the searches many district boards are still pursuing as classes begin.

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. That’s 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 Universities.

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 College’s 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 College’s new language proficiency policy that will require all new members to meet an acceptable level of fluency in either English or French.


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 College’s responsibility for accrediting faculties of education and our concerns about the number of graduates the faculties are currently able to provide for the province’s education system.

As I write this, the government’s 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.


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 College’s 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.