Professionally Speaking welcomes letters and articles on topics of interest to teachers. We reserve the right to edit letters for length. To be considered for publication, all letters must be signed and provide the writer’s daytime phone number. Letters should be addressed to: The Editor, Professionally Speaking, 121 Bloor Street East, 6th Floor, Toronto ON M4W 3M5; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 2002 was another great issue. But it failed to mention that the Hon. James K. Bartleman is a member of the Mnjikaning First Nation. See his web site at www.lt.gov.on.ca.
The College must realize that teachers are not annoyed by the fact that they must take professional learning courses. Teachers are, however, irked that the provincial government (rather than the College of Teachers) has decided what our professional development will necessarily be.
The College was established as a body independent from the Ontario government; however, the College has yet to show mature independence in using its regulatory powers.
The College should determine our professional standards, not the provincial government.
Out of Touch
I must take exception to the tone and content of the Registrars Report in the June issue of Professionally Speaking. I am quite offended that Joe Atkinson is trying to lay the blame for rising costs and boycotts at the feet of the protesting teachers.
Many teachers have long felt the College does not represent their interests any more than the present government does. You have failed me by not standing up more forcefully to the government. If tying professional development to recertification is not what you recommended, then your fight needs to be more demonstrative than the meek compliance you have shown thus far.
The fact that Mr. Atkinson finds it difficult to understand why the College is being targeted shows just how out of touch the College is with the issue. School boards, faculties of education and private enterprises cannot expect the continued support of teachers while they lend credence to an objectionable process that burdens those very teachers. I am puzzled that Mr. Atkinson does not see this link.
If you are right about one thing, Mr. Atkinson, it is in stating that we are all individually able to make informed, educated, and professional judgements about how we will approach our professional learning within the context of this legislation. My judgement tells me that if I agree to something I am opposed to in principle, I then lose the very essence of those principles I uphold. I am not willing to do so, not even under threat of future job loss. I will continue to pursue my own professional development as I see fit in the next five years.
If I am to be truly considered professional, I do not expect to be threatened in order to behave professionally. If the College of Teachers will not respect my professionalism with a joint response, than I fail to see how Mr. Atkinson can claim surprise at my actions towards the College.
No Teacher Support
You just dont get it, Joe. We dont want to work with the Ontario College of Teachers.
The government ignored most of the Colleges recommendations regarding ongoing professional development of teachers. You would have every right to expect that your recommendations would be received favourably. Instead, they dumped on you, and you took it, and rather than resign on principle, you remained as the governments apologists. Just dont expect teachers to support you.
Correction on Courses
In the June 2002 issue, we mentioned that 28 online courses had been developed by the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board. The board developed these courses in partnership with the Eastern Ontario Staff Development Network and Nectar Foundation. It should also be noted that these courses were funded through the Ministry of Educations Innovation Fund Grant.
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