From left: Frank McIntyre (author of Transition
to Teaching), Registrar Doug Wilson and Chair Marilyn Laframboise
field questions from the press.
"First and foremost,
what we've learned is this: beginning teachers are passionate about wanting
to improve the lives of their students through quality learning,"
said Wilson. "But for all their energy and optimism, they say they
don't get the support they need to properly launch their teaching careers."
The College's Transition to Teaching study of first-and second-year teachers
The College is tracking
teacher education graduates over five years to discover how many are hired,
in what positions, who leaves and why, and whether their experience at the
faculties of education prepared them well.
- more than half
of new teachers are hired after school starts in September
- one in five are
asked to teach subjects they haven't been trained to teach
- almost one in
five is at risk of leaving teaching early in their career.
Surveys were mailed to 6,223 first- and second-year teachers as part of
the study, funded in part by the Ministry of Education. Precisely 27.5 per
cent responded, making the results accurate within 3.5 percentage points,
19 times out of 20. Almost all included comments about their experiences.
The study is also aimed at identifying what support new teachers need and
how school boards can retain them.
The study found that new teachers are frequently hired late, shifted around
and given the toughest assignments, often with little or no support. These
teachers find the hiring process bewildering and chaotic. They often don't
know if, when or how school boards will do their hiring for the year.
Even though they rated the support from their colleagues highly, novice
teachers said they wanted more help, advice and time from experienced teachers.
They want to learn how to evaluate students' work, to manage classrooms
and plan lessons more effectively and to communicate better with parents.
"The first couple of years are critical in the lives of teachers,"
Wilson said. "At a time when they are sorting out what the job is and
how best to do it, they are often given the toughest assignments. Worse,
their qualifications don't always match the teaching assignments they are
"Not only does this frustrate our goals as a College - to ensure that
there is a qualified, certified teacher in every Ontario classroom - it
undermines new teachers and shortchanges students."
that high stress and uncertainty about job futures are factors that put
one in five new teachers at risk of leaving the profession.
"The risk of discouraging teachers in their beginning years is real
and the loss of new teachers is a loss to everyone," said Wilson.
Ontario will have to hire between 9,000 and 10,000 teachers a year for the
next seven years just to replace those who retire or leave the profession.
"We need to capture the wisdom of experienced teachers before they
retire," Wilson said. "We have to make it ea-sier for new teachers
to do the jobs they are hired for. And we have to help these idealistic
newcomers to Ontario's schoolsbecome better teachers faster."
"Those who make the decision to teach do so from their hearts,"
said Marilyn Laframboise.
"This highly educated group of people, many of whom have more than
one degree, are very capable of finding employment in many other sectors.
But they choose teaching. They choose it because they can make a difference
in the lives of others. It's a life-affirming call to duty that brings the
finest people to the profession and they deserve our support."
Click here for a copy of the Ontario
College of Teachers' Transition to Teaching study.
Relations Officer Kathy Anstett
(in red), chats with a parent at Lester B. Pearson Collegiate's
Career Fair. College staff will provide information regarding the
teaching profession to thousands of students by attending nearly
20 career fairs throughout the province this year.
changes College legislation
College of Teachers saw its structure and mandate change dramatically
when amendments to the Teaching Profession Act were introduced on May
12, 2003. Changes to the act include the introduction of a system for
handling complaints against members of the profession.
The legislation also directly affects the structure of the college's governing
council. Previously made up of 20 members, including 15 teachers and five
publicly appointed members, the new board will have 12 members drawn from
the public and the education community alongside eight teachers.
The BC government appointed a 20-member transitional council at the end
of May, which held its first meeting on June 3, 2003. These members are
expected to remain in these positions for at least one year before any
elections are held.
In early July, the British Columbia Teachers' Federation filed a constitutional
challenge to Bill 51 (the amendment to the Teaching Profession Act) on
the grounds that it violates teachers' right to freedom of association,
freedom of expression, and liberty and security of the person.
Executive Director, Judith M. Hoppin (rear left) and Associate
Dean, Robert A. Wiggins (rear right) were among a delegation from
the School of Education at Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan).
The group visited the College to discuss registration requirements
for Ontario teachers with College staff.
region plans all-sports high school
The York Region District
School Board hopes to parlay plans for a sports-focused secondary school
in Markham into a national sports training facility suitable for Olympic-calibre
athletes and coaches.
The board has purchased a 31-acre site, now home to a golf course, and
is seeking provincial and federal support to build facilities for swimming,
track and field, combative arts (wrestling, judo, karate/tae kwon do),
table tennis and badminton.
Early cost estimates peg the project at $70 million. The board has committed
the land and $30 million towards the school, which it expects to open
"We can make it work for our students and have a real impact on the
sports culture in this country," says board chair Bill Crothers,
Canada's 800-metre silver-medallist at the 1964 Olympics.
Not a single track
and field facility in the Greater Toronto Area meets current international
requirements for training, says Crothers. Of two Olympic-sized pools in
the GTA serving numerous competitive swim clubs, only one qualifies to
host an international championship.
Projected to accommodate 1,300 Grade 7 to 12 students, the school will
serve the community, high performance athletes in sports that are a focus
at the school, student athletes from outside the board as well as young
people interested in coaching, officiating and sports administration.
The goal is to develop healthy, active students who will be attracted
to careers involving health care, coaching, teaching and sports-related
The board envisions a facility that would be open 18 hours a day, 255
days a year. Crothers foresees a testing and research centre as well as
offices for coaches. Drawing on a wide range of sports associations, the
board hopes to facilitate instruction and optimize the use of the facilities
by the greater sports community, including disabled athletes. Crothers
wants the board to partner with Canadian Sport Centre - Ontario to become
part of the national sports strategy.
York Region teachers would be assigned to the school for a fixed number
of years and then rotate back into the system. The school would also become
a centre for professional development for coaching and physical education
training. High performance clinics and training camps would attract national
and international level coaches and athletes.
"So many athletes are put into positions of having to choose between
academics and athletics," says Crothers. "We need a demonstration
that the two can and should go hand-in-hand."
The York Region board already has program-focused schools in the arts,
business and technological education. Why not one for student athletes?
Advisory board members on the project include: Bruce Kidd, dean of Physical
and Health Education at the University of Toronto; Colin Hood, executive
director of the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA);
Karen Pitrie, co-ordinator of the Toronto 2008 Olympic bid committee;
Andy Higgins, director of the National Coaching Institute - Ontario; and
Robert Betthauer, president of Canadian Sport Centre - Ontario.
from the Ontario Catholic Principals' Council participate in the
College's ongoing stakeholder consultations. Left to right, are:
Nelly Kelders, then-President of OCPC, with
the College's Deputy Registrar Brian McGowan and Registrar Doug
as well as OCPC's then President-elect
Terri MacDonald and Executive Director Lou Rocha.
Private schools must
now let parents know which of their instructors belong to the Ontario
College of Teachers and the status of each teacher's Certificate of Qualification.
The new requirement was part of provincial government changes to legislation
in May affecting equity in education tax credits. It was introduced as
a measure to "enhance student safety in independent schools,"
the government says.
To qualify for the tax credit program, private schools must now assess
student progress in reading, writing and mathematics and tell parents
how their children's progress in core subjects is monitored and assessed
and where they can find information about consumer protection from the
Ministry of Consumer and Business Services.
Doug Wilson speaks to audience members at the Employer Conference
in Sudbury. Full day conferences for board representatives and other
employers of teachers were held during May and June in Toronto,
Sudbury and Thunder Bay.
light for a Québec college of teachers
After years of discussion
and debate, the Quebec Minister of Education, Pierre Reid, has given the
go-ahead for the creation of a college of teachers. The government announced
its intention during the Committee on Education debates on Wednesday,
The proposal came as a surprise since l'Office des professions du Québec
the government organization that oversees regulating bodies for
professions in the province had advised against the measure last
February. Reid has indicated, however, that the office will now work in
collaboration with the Ministry of Education to draft the bill. A parliamentary
committee is scheduled to convene in the spring of 2004.
According to Reid, the teaching profession needs stronger guidelines to
ensure the protection of public interests in education. He states that
his party "came forward with the idea of setting up a professional
body of teachers in Québec and Quebeckers have asked us to do just
Registrar Brian McGowan (rear right) in Thunder Bay in June to consult
with school board representatives (clockwise from front right) Carol-Lynne
Oldale of the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board and Sherri
Pharand and Marie Clarke of Lakehead District School Board.