World Teachers' Day - Ontario teachers are building for the future

TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - Ontario teachers are preparing for wide-ranging changes to teacher qualifications that will help prepare them for the classrooms of tomorrow.

As UNESCO calls on the world's governments today - World Teachers' Day - to build the future by investing in teachers now, the Ontario profession is working out the details with the Ontario government of a groundbreaking update of teacher certification in the province.

"Our 2006 study, Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow, identified many changes we needed to make to the way we prepare teachers for the classroom and for professional certification," says Ontario College of Teachers Chair Liz Papadopoulos, OCT.

"Next month, our College Council will be considering a reframed Teachers' Qualifications Regulation that will streamline certification and remove barriers for teachers from elsewhere in Canada and around the world. This regulation hasn't seen major change since 1975, long before our College was created.

"But the best indicator of teachers' commitment to building for the future is that the College awarded more than 38,000 additional qualifications in 2008 alone. These are courses that teachers take after certification so that they can improve their practice, teach new subjects or take on new responsibilities.

"Our unique system of ongoing professional learning provides more than 340 different courses and programs offered to Ontario certified teachers by faculties of education, school boards, teacher unions, principals' organizations and subject associations.

"Teachers all across the province are working together to give these courses a major overhaul. Over the last two years, we've developed or revised 89 courses on a wide range of subjects like special education, computer technology and teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. We're creating a whole series on tech ed with up to 50 new courses. The program for prospective principals has been revised from beginning to end.

"On this World Teachers' Day, parents and students across Ontario should be pleased to know that Ontario certified teachers are indeed building the future - ensuring that our system of ongoing professional learning is up to date and taking tens of thousands of courses every year."

To learn more about the ongoing professional learning of Ontario certified teachers, visit www.oct.ca (greater than) Additional Qualifications.

The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher education programs affecting its 220,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is the largest self-regulatory body in Canada.

Licensed members of the College are permitted to use the professional designation Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT).

SOURCE Ontario College of Teachers

For further information: For further information: or to interview Liz Papadopolous: Philip Carter, (416) 961-8800, ext. 619; Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 619

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