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:


Anti-Bullying Resources

Thank you for your timely article on bullying. It provided a good overview of the issues. I was however disappointed that you did not mention the Canadian Safe School Network (CSSN).

CSSN partners with organizations such as the Toronto Raptors and Argonauts to promote
anti-bullying, organizes safe-school conferences and has teacher-friendly resources and assessment tools. Their interactive CD-ROM features video segments depicting six bullying scenarios as well as a variety of positive interventions

Teachers can contact CSSN by phone at 905-848-0440 or by e-mail at Their web site is

Kendra Grant is a consultant and part-time teacher librarian at Springfield Public School in Mississauga.

Remarkable & Fit

I enjoyed the Remarkable Teacher feature as always. I particularly appreciated the photo of Louise Pitre's teacher Cheryl David.

I also enjoyed the article "Health for Life." I wish more schools would adopt these types of programs. I do some supply work and find it discouraging when in primary or junior phys ed classes, most students can't even do four sit-ups! The majority of children today do not have the fitness levels that were promoted in the 70s and 80s through the Canada Fitness Testing Program.

As I see it, until daily physical education is mandated from JK to Grade 12, fitness levels for our young citizens are not going to improve. I hope "Healthy Kids" will inspire teachers and administrators to start taking the fitness and health of our young people seriously!

Mark Summerfield is a retired physical education teacher from the Thames Valley Board.

Recruitment & Teacher Ed

There is no doubt that the demand for new teachers will continue in the next seven years. However, I was surprised to learn that the College has found it necessary to "step up its efforts to entice new members to join the profession." (June 2003)

In discussions with a wide variety of university students over the past 10 years, I have heard many stories of disappointment from those who could not gain admittance to an Ontario faculty of education because programs were full. While I recognize that as a profession we strive to attract the brightest and best, many determined students find it necessary - rather than, as you state, choose - to attend teacher education programs in US border colleges. For many others, cost makes this option prohibitive.

A second article in the same issue, "Laurentian's Abuzz with New Teacher-Education Program," supports my contention: "Students are calling from all over the province to ask how to get into the teacher education program."

There are more than enough students eager to become teachers.

Recruitment videos, career fairs and vibrant posters may indeed get even more students thinking about becoming a teacher in Ontario, but where will they get their training?

Shirley Miller, a former elementary teacher in the Toronto District School Board, was involved in the concurrent education program at York University.

Technically Qualified

In the September 2002 issue, the article on teaching in trades and technology struck me as odd given my experience.

I am a willing teacher in a high-demand area – cosmetology. Finding a job was easy, but finding the proper teacher training has proved most challenging!

I became a teacher three years ago, after practising hairdressing for over 10 years. I have a liberal arts degree and qualifications in primary and junior education and was to pursue an AQ in personal services.

For three years I tried to obtain qualifications at the University of Western Ontario, but the course was cancelled due to lack of enrolment. (I obtained qualifications in Intermediate History instead.)

Then Queen's offered a Personal Services AQ and it was cancelled due to lack of enrolment. (I did an AQ in senior social science instead.) This year, I tried at Brock and found the course cancelled due to lack of enrolment! (I was accepted to a Masters program.)

Perhaps a solution to the shortage of qualified tech teachers would be to ensure the delivery – not just the offering – of tech AQ courses.

Kathleen Sharman teaches cosmetology in the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Home | Masthead | Archives

From the Chair  |   Registrar's Report  |   Remarkable Teachers  |   Blue Pages
News  |   Reviews  |   Calendar  |   Netwatch  |   FAQ  |   Letters to the Editor

Ontario College of Teachers
121 Bloor Street East, 6th Floor Toronto  ON M4W 3M5
Phone: 416-961-8800 Toll-free: 1-888-534-2222 Fax: 416-961-8822