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The Importance of Teachers

It’s good to be back in Ontario. As a military family, we’ve moved many times across the country over the years. Last year, we settled down to stay in the Ottawa Valley in Eastern Ontario. Pembroke is where I grew up and I feel fortunate to be able to call the smallest city in Ontario my home. Both my children are enrolled in local schools with my teenage daughter attending the high school I went to 20 years ago.

Teachers are a HUGE part of a child’s development. For myself, I’ve had many teachers over the years that have helped shaped me into the person I am today. Mr. Vijay, my high school English teacher, once told me that I should consider studying English in school and that I had a real talent. Mrs. Higgins, my grade 7 teacher, was there to help me when I needed to talk about some of the issues I was having.

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The teacher who stands out to me the most is Mrs. Stoneman, my grade one teacher. She went above and beyond to help me, a shy little girl who had just transferred to a new school. She nurtured my love of reading by giving me books to bring home and letting me come in early to class so I could get comfortable. I’ll never forget her kindness. She made me want to learn as much as I could and do well. I believe her taking me under her wing boosted my confidence and motivated me to strive to do my best, always.

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I even saved a letter she wrote me.

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Today’s teachers are regulated and governed by the Ontario College of Teachers, the self-regulatory body that licenses teachers in Ontario. You can’t teach in Ontario public schools without their certification. They ensure that teachers have met the academic qualifications, have the required practical experience and adhere to high professional standards. The College is also responsible for accrediting more than 50 full and part-teacher education programs in 18 university of education faculties in Ontario!

Having the OCT designation means that teachers have met a high professional and ethical standard. You can trust that children are in the best hands to learn and grow.

The Ontario College of Teachers exists for the benefit of the kids and is, in fact, mandated by law through the Ontario College of Teachers Act. This piece of legislation allows them to self-regulate the teaching profession in Ontario and also holds them accountable to the public and ensures transparency.

Their website is full of helpful information if you want more in-depth information. I personally loved the Find A Teacher tool. It allows you to search and find teachers in Ontario public schools. You’ll be able to access a teacher’s qualifications, the date the teacher was certified, their status, and disciplinary history, if any.

Right away, I searched my daughter’s grade six teacher with her first and last name. I also looked up a few of Olivia’s high school teachers.
I was curious to see if my favourite teachers were still teaching. Most of them were retired, but there was a couple still active. It’s a handy tool so make sure to try it out!

As a mom, I glad that the Ontario College of Teachers is looking out for the best interests of my children. I want them to have the best education possible and grow into smart, well-rounded individuals. Parents play a big role, but so do teachers! It’s good to know that the Ontario College of Teachers is there for us.

To learn more, please visit Ontario College of Teachers and subscribe to their free newsletter, The Standard.

Who was your most memorable teacher and why?

Connect with Ontario College of Teachers on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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