Stay informed – how teachers are treated matters to you

New video – Teachers Matter on World Teachers’ Day

Great teachers balance many forces competing for their energy and attention, and they are the fundamental support structures of our educational system. They also provide knowledge and a strong, supportive learning environment.

In honour of World Teachers’ Day, OECTA presents Teachers Matter, a video that recognizes teachers’ hard work in helping students achieve great things, and illustrates just how important teachers are.

Share this video with family, friends and all the wonderful teachers in your life.

Happy World Teachers’ Day!

Ways for parents to communicate with teachers

It can be difficult for parents to be involved in their children’s day-to-day activity at school. The key is communicating with their teachers – when parents and teachers work together, students succeed!

Here are a few ways parents can stay in the loop with teachers:

Meet teachers in person as the school year begins

It’s important for parents to meet their child’s teacher early in the new school year and begin an initial dialogue for open communication throughout the year.  It’s also important for teachers to be able to connect with their students’ parents. As a parent you are encouraged to reach out to introduce yourself anytime.

In-class meetings and school events

Parent-teacher conferences throughout the school year are the best opportunities to get face-to-face feedback on a student’s progress. Also, many parents are able to volunteer their time to engage in classroom activities and school events, which can be an effective way to support their child’s learning and to feel more a part of the school community.

Class websites and newsletters

Class websites and newsletters are great forms of communication that keep parents updated about class activities, curriculum changes and upcoming events. Both platforms also provide opportunities for announcements and calls-to-action that get parents involved in school activities such as bake sales, sports teams, or parent-teacher associations. 

How does early childhood education and care benefit students?

The opportunities that early childhood education and care (ECEC) provide to children – building a foundation for learning, adjusting behaviours and social skills – come at a vital time in their development. In spite of some criticism and concerns about the Full-Day Early Learning-Kindergarten Program, there is a growing consensus that the program is preparing children socially and academically, leading to better outcomes in later years. However, to deliver the program most effectively it must be designed, funded and operated appropriately.

This means Kindergarten-Grade 1 combined classes should be eliminated. Classes that include children ranging in age from four- to seven years old make it difficult to address the large gaps in their social and cognitive development. 

It is also imperative that there be a certified teacher and an early childhood educator (ECE) in all Kindergarten classrooms at all times during the instructional period. Students benefit greatly when ECEs and teachers unite their experiences and efforts in the classroom.

Keep up the momentum!

We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with the government and school trustees that protects teachers’ working conditions and the quality of our publicly funded education system. But this is just the beginning! Many of the issues affecting our schools require ongoing attention. Whether on Facebook, Twitter or right here, OECTA will make sure we keep highlighting the areas that matter, promoting funding and policies that will help every student in every class. 

Please continue to show your support for teachers by visiting the Take Action page and sharing #TeachersMatter GIFs, videos, and images for Facebook and Twitter.  

We have a deal!

deal

OECTA is pleased to announce that on September 17, 2015, its members ratified the tentative agreement that was reached with the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Catholic School Trustee’s Association.

“We worked hard to address our members’ concerns and believe this agreement protects them, as well as the quality of education in our schools,” said OECTA President Ann Hawkins. “We’re now looking forward to a productive and enriching school year for both teachers and students.”

The ratification of the agreement means that teachers are prepared to commence negotiations between local OECTA bargaining units and Catholic District School Boards, subject to the government and Catholic Trustees also ratifying the tentative agreement.

“I want to thank the OECTA members who provided encouragement and support to our negotiating team during this long process,” said Hawkins. “I also want to thank the parents and members of the public who added their voices to our #TeachersMatter campaign.”

Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter on who benefits from this deal.

New video – What’s the formula for success?

Now that students are back to school, teachers are also back in the classroom doing what they do best – educating.

OECTA has released a new video that solves a very simple formula – great teachers plus great schools equals successful students.

View our short video here and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Ann Hawkins discusses “Ontario Education’s State of Play” on TVO’s The Agenda

OECTA President Ann Hawkins appeared on TVO’s The Agenda on September 9th where she represented teachers in a discussion about power and accountability in Ontario’s education system, the impact of negotiations with the province, and teachers’ right to strike.

Watch her in these three segments from the episode – “Ontario Education’s State of Play” – which are available to watch on TVO’s website:

Who Speaks for Education?

The Right to Strike

Education, Teachers and Bargaining

New video - How teachers spend their free time

The start of the school year is a great chance to celebrate teachers, and their dedication to the profession.

OECTA has released a new video that shows how even during their free time, teachers are still working for students.

View our short video here and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

OECTA President Ann Hawkins on TVO’s The Agenda

OECTA President Ann Hawkins will appear on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin tonight at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. The two panel discussions examine who is accountable for education in Ontario and whether teaching should be considered an essential service. Tune in to hear Ann stand up for teachers! 

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From left to right: Chloe Kemeni, President of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association; Janet Ecker, President and CEO of Toronto Financial Services Alliance; Doretta Wilson, Executive Director, society for Quality Education; Marit Stiles, TDSB Trustee, Ward 9 (Davenport); Ann Hawkins, President of OECTA

OECTA Responds to Supply Tax Benefit

After years of encouragement from OECTA, a federal party has pledged to introduce a Teacher and Early Childhood Educator School Supply Tax Benefit, to offset the annual expenditures experienced by so many members of the teaching profession.

“Many of our members spend hundreds of dollars of their own money each year on classroom supplies to compensate for cuts to school budgets,” says OECTA President Ann Hawkins.  “I’m pleased to see an acknowledgement that teachers often pay out of pocket to ensure that students have a positive classroom experience, and deserve a tax benefits in line with other professional expenditures. We all need to recognize that teachers matter, and how they’re treated matters too.”

A Supply Tax benefit has been a long-standing request of Canadian teachers and OECTA is pleased that the Liberal Party has committed to introducing this measure if elected.

While teachers should not be expected to pay out-of-pocket for classroom supplies, OECTA understands that this sacrifice is a reality for many of its members and should be addressed as a professional expense like any other.

“We call upon all the federal parties to match this commitment and ensure that our hardworking teachers receive the same tax entitlements as other professions,” said Hawkins.

The Liberals Tax Benefit would provide a cash benefit of up to $150 annually, on up to $1,000 in school supplies and educational materials.