When my children were babies, I felt sure that I could never let them out of my sight. As they grew into toddlers, I became anxious about sending them to school. For a time I gave serious consideration to homeschooling them. At first I couldn’t understand why I was so hesitant to send them to school. It was irrational.
I realized, after a time I was allowing myself to be influenced by the media. Let’s be honest, teachers sometimes get a bad rap. So when I sat back and reflected about my own experience through public school, I concluded how silly I was being. I had a 100% positive experience with my teachers growing up and there was no reason to expect that my children wouldn’t have the same. I decided then that it was up to me to get to know the system, the teachers and the school my girls attended.
For the first few years of their school experience I volunteered in the classroom, attended every field trip and participated on the parent council. As they grew and work began to eat up more and more of my time I had to pull back. This is the reality for most parents. We have jobs, home and extra-curriculars that gobble up our time. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to know the people who our children will likely spend as much time with as us over a year.
And it’s not just you who longs for a connection. The teachers want you to know them. At the end of the day both parties are equally invested in your child’s future so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep the lines of communications open. That’s why the Ontario College of Teachers is making it easy.
Did you know that every teacher working in public elementary and secondary schools must be a licensed member of the College?
The College regulates and governs the teaching profession in the public interest. This includes establishing standards of practice and conduct, accrediting teacher education programs, investigating complaints of misconduct or incompetence, and providing professional learning opportunities.
The College is made up of members – our children’s teachers – a group of skilled, responsible and deeply caring people who are setting those standards for great teaching. Every. Single. Day.
Here are five ways you can get to know your child’s teacher better:
- Attend your Teacher Night – Each September you will receive a notice of a Meet The Teacher night. While time is limited for in depth discussion about your child, this is a great ice breaker. Make the time to go and you’ll be on the same page as your child and their teacher when it comes to homework expectations and curriculum for the year.
- Find your children’s teachers using “Find A Teacher” on the Ontario College of Teachers website. Simply enter in your child’s teacher’s first initial and last name into the public register. After you do so you’ll be able to see if their teacher is in good standing, and check out their qualifications and credentials.
- Sign up for The Standard, the College’s free newsletter . Get the latest news and trends about education, and tap into fun educational resources and content. Being informed is in everyone’s best interest.
- Learn more about the professional and ethical standards that guide your child’s teacher daily. These include things like respect, trust, and a commitment to students and student learning, that directly affect your child.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher with matters of concern via the student agenda that every pupil in Ontario receives.
The Ontario College of Teachers wants to make parents aware that it exists for the benefit of their children, by ensuring that teachers receive the right tools to help their children achieve great things. We don’t all have time to volunteer in the class room or attend every field trip, but getting to know your child’s teacher is easier than you may think.
Follow Candace Derickx at LifeInPleasantville.com