Governing Ourselves

Governing Ourselves informs members of legal and regulatory matters affecting the profession. This section provides updates on licensing and qualification requirements, notification of Council resolutions and reports from various Council committees, including reports on accreditation and discipline matters.

Portrait of Ontario Teachers

2011 Annual report profiles Ontario teachers

History, special education, visual arts? What is the most popular Additional Qualification course your Ontario Certified Teacher colleagues signed up for in 2011?

Find out by visiting the College’s online annual report. It provides a wealth of information about teachers dating back to 1998 — key demographics, teacher qualifications, and where and how they are educated.

The annual report also provides our review of Council and College activities, committee reports for 2011 and resources.

Online activities

In the summer of 2011, the College offered advice to teachers with the Professional Advisory on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media.

The College recognizes that electronic communication and social media offer exciting new opportunities for reaching students.

The College’s advice to members of the profession is to use social media responsibly and effectively. Keep our profession’s ethical standards — care, trust, respect and integrity — in line of sight.

Given the explosion in the use of electronic communication and social media — and because the use of e-communication is a reality in Ontario schools — it was time for the College to launch its Facebook page, which we did last summer.

On our Facebook site, you can learn more about the College’s activities, participate in discussions and interact with us and our Facebook followers. Check us out!

Reviewing our practices

At the core of the College’s work is the protection of the public interest. At the heart of this interest is the welfare and the safety of Ontario students.

That’s why the College regularly asks independent experts to review key aspects of the College’s practices to ensure we continue to serve the public interest and inspire public confidence in the education system.

The College commissioned the Honourable Patrick J. LeSage CM, OONT, QC, during the summer of 2011 to conduct an independent review of our disciplinary processes and the publication of information relating to teacher misconduct. We made the report public in early June of this year and we welcome his recommendations to improve transparency and efficiency.

Is there any teaching work out there?

The College Transition to Teaching study presents an in-depth look at the early careers of new members.

The survey reveals that the job market is becoming increasingly tighter. More new teachers are unemployed in their first school year than ever before.

Many of those with jobs are underemployed and more are taking up alternate work, mainly as a stopgap measure while they stay committed to becoming established in their education careers.

The effects of the weakening employment market are also now being felt by many new French-language teachers.

The unemployment picture is most serious for new teachers who are also new Canadians. Most are unemployed in their first year following Ontario certification.

The good news is that despite the slow start to their careers, most of those who participated in the survey plan to stay in teaching and expect they will be continuing with their teaching careers five years from now.

Keeping teaching relevant for students

A growing number of Ontario teachers are committed to professional development to improve their practice and keep their teaching relevant and inspiring for students.

It’s not surprising therefore to see that teachers were front and centre in the many groundbreaking changes in the new Teachers’ Qualifications Regulation (TQR).

One highlight of the revision is the new three-course specialist Kindergarten program that the College approved in 2011.

The demand was high for this new course — teachers were clamouring for it because it provides them with the opportunity to gain the specialized knowledge they desire.

This course is part of 123 courses the College has developed or revised on a wide range of subjects over the last two years. We want to have courses that are pertinent and reflect what the teaching profession needs in the 21st century.

Financial highlights

The College budget was set at $33,784,000 with an anticipated deficit of $1,934,000. The final deficit was $359,000, reflecting savings in many areas of College operations.

The College is financed primarily by members’ fees. At the end of 2011, the College had 234,416 members in good standing, an increase of 5,074 over 2010. There has been some moderation in growth over the last couple of years as fewer certified teachers have gained employment in the profession.

Ontario College of Teachers for this year
ended December 31, 2011
(in thousands of dollars)

2011 2010
Annual membership fees 28,297 27,747
Other fees 2,671 2,879
Advertising 1,027 1,028
Amortization of deferred capital contribution 117 311
Special projects 64 171
Interest and other 348 226
32,524 32,362
Employee compensation 17,743 17,481
Council and committees 665 742
Services to members and applicants 2,935 3,063
Professional practice 600 509
Investigations and hearings 2,801 2,085
Operating support 5,920 6,834
Amortization 2,130 2,489
Council elections 89 --
32,883 33,203
Annual deficiency of revenue over expenses (359) (841)