You are my inspiration. One day, I will become a French teacher, too!
Those are the words I wrote in a card to my grade seven French teacher roughly 25 years ago. You see, I have had the great fortune of having had many excellent teachers who have left a positive impact on my life in more ways than one. Not only have they inspired me to pursue my passion as an educator but they have also served as a model of professionalism upon which I have based my current teaching practice. It wasn’t until I enrolled in a teacher education program that I learned about the Ontario College of Teachers, which serves to regulate teaching in Ontario by setting high professional and ethical standards of practice for the teaching profession.
Thanks to the commitment of the College and their involvement in approving teacher education programs, I learned explicitly the key elements that define our role as educators. While in teacher’s college, we were given a copy of the Ontario College of Teachers Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession, which I still have today. It highlights the following key elements:
- Commitment to Students and Student Learning
- Professional Knowledge
- Professional Practice
- Leadership in Learning Communities
- Ongoing Professional Learning
Looking back on those teachers who inspired me, it has become clear to me that they continually strived to set the standard for great teaching. Whether it was through ongoing professional learning opportunities or improving their practice, they knew their goal of becoming a great teacher didn’t stop with a Bachelor of Education degree.
Today, as a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, I share that same goal and am grateful that the College continues to support teaching excellence beyond the certification of qualified teaching professionals. Because those three letters next to my name, OCT, mean more than just possessing the required experience and academic credentials. It means belonging to an ever-growing group of dedicated professionals who also happen to be lifelong learners, whether that means pursuing Additional Qualifications or referencing timely articles and tools as published in Professionally Speaking, the magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers.
In fact, it was through their online Find an AQ Tool that I was able to find a provider through which I could pursue a Specialist in French as a Second Language this fall. And the magazine is always filled with handy articles, such as Sketch of a Three-Part Lesson, and features of inspirational stories including one that highlighted the many talents for my French teaching superhero Sylvia Duckworth. All of this is in addition to the College library of professional advisories as well as books, resources and guidelines for educators to use and reference.
As a parent, I find it particularly reassuring to know that my own children’s teachers are members of the Ontario College of Teachers and that I can easily verify that their current certificate is in good standing by searching the College’s public register with the Find A Teacher tool. I can also subscribe to The Standard, a free public newsletter geared specifically towards parents.
To learn more about how the Ontario College of Teachers is setting the standard for great teaching, visit oct.ca.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by the Ontario College of Teachers. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Follow Diana at TorontoTeacherMom.com.