True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS

 
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
JUNE 2021
THE PUBLICATION
OF THE ONTARIO
COLLEGE OF
TEACHERS

                        T
                        True Grit
                        Three Olympic hopefuls bring
                        Thre
                        lessons of perseverance,
                        patience and
                                  a resilience into
                        their classrooms. p. 28

Lyndsay Tessier, OCT,
marathon runner
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
Learn. Lead. Inspire. Learn. Lead. Inspire. Learn.

Are you considering a graduate degree in
Education? Have you taken AQ courses with
us in the past?
Queen’s University Continuing Teacher Education and the Faculty of Education
has designed the Specialized Applied Graduate Experience (SAGE) program to
help you meet your goals for a graduate education on your own terms. The
course-based, fully online, SAGE program offers advanced standing into the
Graduate Diploma in Education and Professional Master of Education programs
upon completion of a Post-Graduate Certificate.

POST-GRADUATE CERTIFICATES
Comprised of five AQ courses, certificates are based on specific challenges that
teachers face in the classroom that will allow you to specialize in a particular
field such as:
  ▪ Special Education
  ▪ Teaching English Language Learners
  ▪ Teacher Leadership
  ▪ Technology in Teaching
  ▪ Reading & Literacy
  ▪ First Nations, Metis and Inuit Studies
  ▪ Teaching Mathematics
  ▪ Principal’s Qualification Program

Candidates that complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education will receive
advanced standing in two of the electives in the Graduate Diploma in Education
as part of the SAGE program.

GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN EDUCATION
After completion a Post-Graduate Certificate, candidates will complete our
Graduate Diploma in Education, where they will examine their professional
environment to understand it more deeply, to solve problems and to effect
change in a chosen area of concentration.

PROFESSIONAL MASTER OF EDUCATION
The last step in the SAGE program is the Professional Master of Education, which
will elevate the skills acquired in the Post-Graduate Certificate and the Graduate
Diploma in Education and apply them through a capstone project.

       For more information on the SAGE program, visit
       educ.queensu.ca/sage
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
.nspire. Learn. Lead. Inspire.
. Lead. Inspire.
               Our Online Continuing Teacher Education Courses
               ADDITIONAL BASIC QUALIFICATIONS                      THREE-PART ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
                ▪ Primary                                            ▪ Cooperative Education
                ▪ Junior                                             ▪ Environmental Education
                                                                     ▪ First Nations, Métis & Inuit Peoples
               ABQ INTERMEDIATE                                      ▪ French as a Second Language Part
                ▪ Business Studies                                   ▪ Guidance & Career Ed
                ▪ English                                            ▪ Health & Physical Ed (P/J)
                ▪ Family Studies                                     ▪ Inclusive Classrooms
                ▪ First Nations, Métis and Inuit Studies             ▪ Integration of Information & Computer Technology in
                ▪ French as a Second Language                          Instruction
                ▪ Geography                                          ▪ Kindergarten
                ▪ Health & Physical Education                        ▪ Mathematics, Primary & Junior
                ▪ History                                            ▪ Reading
                ▪ Mathematics                                        ▪ Religious Education in Catholic Schools
                ▪ Science - General                                  ▪ Special Education
                                                                     ▪ Teacher Leadership
               ABQ SENIOR                                            ▪ Teacher Librarian
                ▪ Biology                                            ▪ Teaching English Language Learners
                ▪ Chemistry
                ▪ English                                           ONE-SESSION QUALIFICATIONS
                ▪ Environmental Science                              ▪ Adult Education
                ▪ Geography                                          ▪ Classroom Management
                ▪ History                                            ▪ Orientation To Teaching In Ontario
                ▪ Law                                                ▪ Outdoor Experiential Education
                ▪ Mathematics                                        ▪ Safe & Accepting Schools
                ▪ Physics                                            ▪ Teaching Students with Behavioural Needs
                ▪ Social Sciences                                    ▪ Teaching Students with Communication Needs (Autism)
                ▪ Science - General                                  ▪ Teaching Students with Communication Needs
                ▪ Visual Arts                                          (Learning Disability)
                                                                     ▪ Student Assessment & Evaluation
               HONOUR SPECIALIST                                     ▪ Teaching & Learning Through e-Learning
                ▪ Biology                                            ▪ Teaching Combined Grades
                ▪ Business Studies                                   ▪ Teaching First Nations, Métis and Inuit Children
                ▪ Chemistry                                          ▪ Teaching LGBTQ Students
                ▪ Dramatic Arts                                      ▪ Teaching Students with Intellectual Needs (Mild
                ▪ English                                              Intellectual Disability)
                ▪ French as a Second Language                        ▪ Use and Knowledge of Assistive Technology
                ▪ Geography
                                                                    PRINCIPAL'S QUALIFICATION PROGRAM
                ▪ Health & Physical Education
                                                                     ▪ Principal's Qualifications
                ▪ History
                ▪ Mathematics                                       TECHNOLOGICAL EDUCATION
                ▪ Music                                              ▪ Communications Tech Grades 9/10 & 11/12
                ▪ Physics                                            ▪ Computer Tech Grades 9/10
                ▪ Science - General                                  ▪ Green Industries Grades 9/10
                ▪ Social Sciences                                    ▪ Tech Design Grades 9/10 & 11/12
                ▪ Technological Education
                ▪ Visual Arts                                             We now offer Educational Support Staff courses! Visit
                                                                          pros.educ.queensu.ca for more information.

                      Next Session: Summer 2021 | June 28 – August 13

                      For more details about CTE courses, visit
                      coursesforteachers.ca
                   facebook.com/QueensCTE         twitter.com/QueensCTE        instagram.com/QueensCTE
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
A Modernized College
     Recently passed legislation           applicants ways to highlight their
     replaces the College’s traditional    skills, training and willingness to
     Council election model with a new
     and progressive, competency-
                                           serve the public interest.
                                                                                 $1,333,300
     based selection process. The          The competency-based selection        Cost of the last four
     selection process will take into      process will help ensure Council,     elections combined
     consideration the knowledge, skills   committees and roster members
     and expertise of College members.     more accurately reflect the

                                                                                            2.9%
                                           diversity of Ontario.
     All College members will have an
     opportunity to participate in the     By comparison, the election                      Average
     governance of their profession.       process was costly and voter                     voter turnout
     Members will sit on a smaller         turnout was low. Only a small
     Council and different College         number of College members
     members will sit on statutory         participated in the regulation

                                                                                            $52
     and regulatory committees.            of your profession.

     The application process will          Visit oct.ca for                                 Average
     be quick and efficient, offering      more information.                                cost per vote

                                               LOOK FOR THESE STORIES AND
                                               MORE IN THE NEXT EDITION OF

                                               Professionally
                                               Speaking:
                                               • Outdoor and experiential learning
                                               • Tech tools for the classroom
                                               • Spotlight on professional learning
                                               • Olympic medallist Patrick Chan’s
                                                 remarkable teacher

2   Professionally Speaking June 2021
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
Contents
                                                                                                      Upfront

                                                                                                      From the Transition Supervisory Officer                      7
                                                                                                      Registrar’s Report                                           9
                                                                                                      Letters to the Editor                                       10

                                                                                                 24   Connections
                                                                                                      PS Poll; In Your Profession; In Your Classroom;             13
                                                                                                      Tools of the Trade

                                                                                                      Departments
                                                                                                      Great Teaching                                              20
                                                                                                      OCTs put into practice the advice from the College’s
                                                                                                      professional advisory Safety in Learning Environments.
                                                                                                      Remarkable Teacher                                          24
PHOTOS: (TOP) IAN WATSON/CBC; (MIDDLE) RAINA+WILSON; ILLUSTRATION: NATHAN HACKETT/ANNA GOODSON

                                                                                                      Actress Karen Robinson on the teacher whose
                                                                                                      kindness made all the difference.

                                                                                                      Features
                                                                                                      True Grit                                             28

                                                                                                 28   Three Olympic hopefuls bring lessons of perseverence,
                                                                                                      patience and resilience into their classrooms.
                                                                                                      Teaching Through a Pandemic                                 34
                                                                                                      What Ontario Certified Teachers have discovered
                                                                                                 34   about their students, themselves and teaching.

                                                                                                      Resources
                                                                                                      New at the Library                                          38
                                                                                                      Tech Class                                                  41

                                                                                                      Governing Ourselves
                                                                                                      College News; Roster Appointees;                            42
                                                                                                      Investigation Committee Case Study; Hearings

                                                                                                      Final Exam
                                                                                                      Olympian, broadcaster and author Perdita Felicien           52
                                                                                                      on finally achieving her childhood dream.

                                                                                                                              June 2021 Professionally Speaking   3
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
TRANSITION SUPERVISORY OFFICER Paul Boniferro
                                                                            REGISTRAR & CEO Dr. Derek Haime, OCT
                                                                            DEPUTY REGISTRAR Chantal Bélisle, OCT

            Set yourself                                                    DIRECTORS Linda Lacroix, OCT, Investigations and Hearings;
                                                                            Richard Lewko, Corporate and Council Services; Demetra Saldaris, OCT,

              apart!                                                        Standards of Practice and Accreditation; Linda Zaks-Walker, OCT,
                                                                            Membership Services
                                                                            PUBLISHER Richard Lewko
                                                                            EDITOR-IN-CHIEF William Powell
                                                                            MANAGING EDITOR Kristin Doucet
                                                                            SENIOR EDITOR Melissa Campeau
                                                                            COPY EDITOR Geri Savits-Fine
                                                                            FRENCH CONTENT EDITOR Véronique Ponce
                                                                            TRANSLATION Thomas Brouard; Geneviève Dubé; Pierre Ducharme;
                                                                            Luci English; Julie Fournel; Andrea Goren; Lucie Leblanc; Pamela Lipson;
                                                                            Prince Macauley; Eleanor Paul; Véronique Ponce; Karine Schweitzer
                                                                            CONTRIBUTORS Gabrielle Barkany, OCT; Richard Bercuson (Reviews);
                                                                            Paul Boniferro; Andrew Fifield; Dr. Derek Haime, OCT; Saran Ragunathan;
                                                                            David Tallo; Olivia Yu

                                 Professional Development for Educators     CIRCULATION Kerry Walford
                                      Additional QualificationCourses and   ART DIRECTION, DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Studio 141 Inc.
                                    International Baccalaureate Program     Dave Curcio (President and Creative Director); Hannah Browne (Art Director);
                                                                                                 IX
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                                                                            Studio 141 Inc. contributor: Trevor T. Stewart
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                                More than 80 AQ Courses to choose from

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4   Professionally Speaking June 2021
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
All Online. All On Your Time.
     Experience the Lakehead difference:
     • Innovative courses which are offered fully online, including our Principal’s
       Qualification Program and Supervisory Officer’s Qualification Program
     • Our courses focus on contemporary issues and trends in education
     • Flexible timings built for your schedule as an educator

                AQ | ABQ | HSQ | PQP | SOQP
 VISIT LakeheadU.ca/pde                         EMAIL AQ@LakeheadU.ca                           CALL (807) 343-8178
Half Page Ad - PS June 2020.indd 1                                                                                  2020-04-15 8:41 PM

        Advance Your Career
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        Additional                    International                Graduate
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        courses designed for          online, gain access          career while integrating
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        Expand your knowledge         Canada and more than         Master of Professional
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                                                                                              June 2021 Professionally Speaking     5
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
Special Discounts
     Online and Nearby

     Whether you’re shopping online,                                                             See what’s new at
     curbside or in-store, be sure to check                                                      MemberPerks today.
     your perks to save.
                                                                                                           ontarioteachers.venngo.com

                            EXPAND YOUR QUALIFICATIONS
                      OCT accredited • Ontario-based and online programs • Competitive Fees
    MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP                                         SCHEDULE A COURSES
    • Exceptional preparation for emerging leadership opportunities.                    ABQ — Primary, Junior and Intermediate divisions
    • M.S.Ed. is designed for candidates who aspire to lead educational programs        SCHEDULE C COURSES (one session courses)
      in both the private and/or public settings.                                       Adapting Curriculum for the Catholic School System
    • This 12 course program provides foundational content in subject specific areas,    Teaching in the Catholic System
      research skills, leadership and change theories all with a 300 hour internship.   Mathematics 7 and 8
    • Equivalency courses for completion of PQP Part 1 and Part 2.                      Student Assessment and Evaluation
                                                                                        Use and Knowledge of Assistive Technology
                                                                                        Teaching Students with Communication Needs/Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Also offering:
    BACHELOR DEGREE IN TEACHER EDUCATION IN ONTARIO                                     SCHEDULE D COURSES
                                                                                        PART ONE, PART TWO AND SPECIALIST:
    • Two year program offered in the GTA.
                                                                                        Teaching English Language Learners
                                                                                        French as a Second Language
    For more information, call 905.294.7260 or visit us online at                       Guidance and Career Education
    www.niagara.edu/ontario.                                                            Integration of Information and Computer Technology in Instruction
                                                                                        Teacher Librarian
                                                                                        Kindergarten
                                                                                        Mathematics Primary/Junior
                                                                                        Reading
                                                                                        Special Education

    FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AQ COURSES                                               PRINCIPAL’S QUALIFICATIONS COURSES:
    GO TO WWW.NIAGARA.EDU/AQ-COURSES                                                    PQP 1 and 2

                                905.294.7260 • www.niagara.edu/ontario

6   Professionally Speaking June 2021
True Grit JUNE 2021 THE PUBLICATION OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
FROM THE TRANSITION SUPERVISORY OFFICER

                         A New Era
                         Get involved in serving
                         the public interest.

                         BY PAUL BONIFERRO

                         Y
                                 ou will agree that COVID-19 has turned our world          Fitness to Practise, Investigation and Registration Appeals,
                                 upside down. We have been glued to the news and           and Standards of Practice and Education committees, as
                                 concerned for our loved ones as we adapt to the           well as to our adjudicative rosters.
                         changes the global pandemic has brought to our homes,               What’s changing and what it means for the profession:
                         schools, workplaces, and to learning itself.                      • a competency-based selection process for all Council,
                            What’s changing too is legislation that governs the way          committee and roster members;
                         we protect the public interest, the students’ interest, which     • committee membership distinct from Council
                         is the College’s main mandate.                                      membership; and
                            The College is in a period of transition that will result in   • the overall size and composition of Council will be
                         a new governance model by the end of this year. Once the            reduced with equal representation of College members
                         changes are complete, the College will be able to operate           and members of the public.
                         more nimbly, more efficiently and more effectively.                 The changes will increase student protection and
                            Most importantly, it will allow an even greater level of       improve how the teaching profession is governed in Ontario.
                         member and public engagement in the critical role we              They also support what’s happening around the world in
                         play in student well-being and safety.                            board governance.
                            Phase 1 of our recruitment process for the College’s             We are looking for people with sound judgment and
                         transitional rosters of panellists is complete. We were           the ability to listen well, to be objective and to make fair
                         pleased to see that hundreds of members of the profession         decisions for the good of the public. Is that you?
                         and the public applied to continue the work of the College.         I encourage you to get involved in serving the public
                            In this issue, you’ll meet the professionals who have been     interest and to help shape the future of student safety
PHOTO: MATTHEW PLEXMAN

                         appointed to adjudicate matters until a new Council,              and well-being. PS
                         committees and rosters are established.
                            Phase 2 of our recruitment process will be underway in
                         the fall. We invite you to keep an eye on notices about how to
                         apply. The College will welcome applications from members
                         of the College and the public to join our governing Council,
                         the Accreditation, Accreditation Appeals, Discipline,

                                                                                                                   June 2021 Professionally Speaking   7
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REGISTRAR’S REPORT

                                               The What
                                               and the Why
                                               The College’s role in protecting
                                               the public interest.

                                               BY DR. DEREK HAIME, OCT
                                               @DerekHaime

                                               T
                                                       he Ontario College of Teachers is Canada’s largest          required to report to the Registrar regarding offences,
                                                       self-regulatory body, yet many don’t fully understand       charges and bail conditions.
                                                       what the College does or why it exists.                  2) Funding for Therapy and Counselling Program: The
                                                 What the College does is license, govern and regulate              College has introduced a program to help defray the
                                               the teaching profession. It sets standards of practice and           costs of therapy and counselling borne by students
                                               ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings, and               who have made an allegation of sexual abuse, an act
                                               accredits teacher education programs affecting more than             of child pornography, or a prescribed sexual act,
                                               232,000 licensed educators in publicly funded schools and            against a member.
                                               institutions across Ontario.                                     3) Professional Boundaries advisory video (oct-oeeo.ca/
                                                 Why the College does this is to protect the public interest       ProfessionalBoundaries) and the launch of the online
                                               — a term that has been characterized in many ways. The              “tour”: Last year the College released its advisory on
                                               public interest we are charged with protecting is that of           professional boundaries. While the vast majority of
                                               continual improvement of student safety and well-being              College members maintain professional relationships
                                               through enhancing teacher professionalism. To this end,             with their students in and out of the classroom, even
PHOTO: KENORA CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

                                               the College has undertaken, and will continue to undertake,         one case of impropriety is one too many. Throughout
                                               a number of initiatives that will further protect Ontario           the pandemic, Ontario Certified Teachers have worked
                                               students. Here are a few:                                           tirelessly to help keep students safe. They should be
                                                1) Bill 229 student protections: With the proclamation of         proud of how well they serve the profession.
                                                   Bill 229, the Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19     The work highlighted above illustrates our ongoing commit-
                                                   Act, amendments were made to the Ontario College of         ment to student safety and well-being. We will build on that
                                                   Teachers Act (OCTA) that retroactively revoked a mem-       success by continually evolving our approach to keep in step
                                                   ber’s licence if the member was previously found guilty     with a changing society. PS
                                                   of an act of professional misconduct relating to sexual
                                                   abuse or child pornography. Further amendments to
                                                   the OCTA require the implementation of a sexual abuse
                                                   prevention program by the College, the development of
                                                   which is now well underway. College members are also

                                                                                                                                       June 2021 Professionally Speaking   9
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Tell us what                             In the spirit of open conversation and to support an array of perspectives, Professionally
                                         Speaking welcomes letters to the editor. The opinions expressed in letters are solely those

you think!
                                         of the authors and should not be interpreted as the view of the College. We reserve the right
                                         to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters should be sent to ps@oct.ca, be in response
                                         to content in the magazine, and include the writer’s phone number and registration number.

                                         Responding to bullying
                                         Thank you for publishing the article “Responding to Bullying” (March 2021). Real
                                         examples of how teachers create positive learning environments and empower
                                         their students to confront bullying behaviour serve as a great resource.
                                            The article points out the power of educators and schools in creating a just
                                         society by engaging students through purposeful learning opportunities. The
                                         author also talks about the importance of building healthy relationships within
                                         the class community, engaging students in creating the class norms, and
                                         providing tools for discussions without being disrespectful of others’ ideas.
                                            It was surprising to read that when peers intervene, bullying incidents stop
                                         within 10 seconds. I am sure readers would like to know more about these
                                         strategies to support peers and bystanders in stopping bullying incidents.
                                            Thank you for sharing this timely article with educators as they engage
                                         in online and in-school learning and strive to create healthy classroom com-
                                         munities during the pandemic.

                                         Gurmeet Gill, OCT, is the principal of Fernforest Public School in Brampton, Ont.

                                                                                     Write
                                                                                     to Us!
                                                                                     Professionally
                                                                                     Speaking welcomes
                                                                                     letters to the editor.
                                                                                     Please address your thoughts
                                                                                     about content in the magazine
                                                                                     to ps@oct.ca, and be sure to
                                                                                     include your phone number
                                                                                     and registration number.

                                                                                     We look forward to
                                                                                     hearing from you!

10   Professionally Speaking June 2021
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The College is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the self-regulating
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 professional
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 body for Ontario
                                                                                                                                                          REGISTRAR’S REPORT
                                                                                                                                                                                    Warm welcome                                 teachers.
                                               Continued
                                               Excellence
                                               in Teaching
                                               The College places students’
                                                                                                                                                                                    College Registrar and CEO, Dr. Derek         Membership is
                                                                                                                                                                                    Haime, OCT, rightly describes himself
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 open to anyone
                                               well-being and interests first.

                                                                                                                                                                                    as a teacher, first and foremost.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 qualified to teach
                                               BY DR. DEREK HAIME, OCT
                                               @DerekHaime

                                                                                                                                                                                    A few years back, I learned — and
                                                                                                                                                                                    unlearned — plenty in a collaborative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 in the province
                                                                                                                                                                                    and transformative First Nations,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Métis and Inuit Studies AQ with Dr.          and required
                                                                                                                                                                                    Haime. “A rising tide lifts all boats,”      to maintain an
                                                                                                                                                                                    he writes in the Registrar’s Report in
                                               T                                                                                                                                                                                 Ontario teaching
                                                      he Ontario College of Teachers is rightfully trusted          I believe that education in Ontario, and around the world,
                                                      to regulate our esteemed profession to ensure              is refocusing. In their book The Devil Is in the Details: System
                                                      excellence in teaching by placing students’ well-          Solutions for Equity, Excellence, and Student Well-Being,
                                               being and interests first. I am honoured to begin this
                                               work as a servant leader. In harmony with the roles and
                                                                                                                 Michael Fullan and Mary Jean Gallagher argue that educa-
                                                                                                                 tion must be devoted to engaging the world to change the           the March 2021 issue of the magazine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 certificate.
                                               responsibilities I have been entrusted with as the College        world. “For us, education founded on equity, excellence and

                                                                                                                                                                                    Extending his metaphor, it is great to
                                               Registrar and CEO, I am a teacher first and foremost.             well-being is the way forward toward this end,” they write.
                                                  Our publicly funded education system is among the                 The College is well-positioned to meet this challenge of
                                               best in the world. This is supported by institutions like the     solidifying the promotion of equity, excellence and well-
                                               Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development            being in Ontario schools. The work has already begun

                                                                                                                                                                                    have him aboard.
PHOTO: KENORA CATHOLIC DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD

                                               (OECD), which measures school systems internationally             and will continue throughout my tenure. A rising tide lifts
                                               through initiatives such as the Programme for International       all boats, and I am proud of the College’s considerable
                                               Student Assessment (PISA).                                        contribution to that tide.
                                                  “[PISA’s] high performer Canada does even better on global        As your Registrar and CEO, I will ensure the College
                                               competence than what the high performance of its students         remains dedicated to the mission/mandate of regulating
                                               in reading, math and science predicts,” writes Andreas            our profession with honesty, transparency, accountability
                                               Schleicher, director for the OECD’s Directorate for Education     and sustainability. Student achievement and well-being
                                               and Skills in his blog post “Are students ready to thrive in an
                                               interconnected world?” (oct-oeeo.ca/oecdedutoday). The
                                               article examines results of the first 2018 PISA assessment of
                                                                                                                 is paramount to our work. I will always be your partner in
                                                                                                                 working toward that goal. PS                                       Brian Pastoor, OCT, teaches at TMS
                                                                                                                                                                                    (Upper School) in Richmond Hill, Ont.        The College is trusted
                                               global competence to survey students’ strength in reading,
                                               mathematics and science, and how that knowledge can be
                                               used to gain a better understanding of global perspectives.

                                                                                                                                        March 2021 Professionally Speaking      7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to regulate the teaching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 profession by setting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 standards of practice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 and accrediting teacher
                                                                                                                                                                                    Support in building                          education programs.
                                                                                                                                                                                    resilience
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The College also sets
                                                                                                                                                                                    I wanted to thank Stuart Foxman for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the requirements for
                                                                                                                                                                                    his articles: “Building Resilience” in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 entry into the profession,
                                                                                                                                                                                    the June 2020 issue and “Communi-
                                                                                                                                                                                    cating Online” in the December 2020          investigates complaints
                                                                                                                                                                                    issue. I find myself often reading his       involving members
                                                                                                                                                                                    articles with a highlighter. I liked the     and takes appropriate
                                                                                                                                                                                    emphasis on self-care and practical          disciplinary action.
                                                                                                                                                                                    ways to do that in “Building Resili-
                                                                                                                                                                                    ence.” I needed the reminder about
                                                                                                                                                                                    empathy as [it can be challenging]
                                                                                                                                                                                    with all the self-isolation. It’s good
                                                                                                                                                                                    to consider what others are going
                                                                                                                                                                                    through as well.
                                                                                                                                                                                       I appreciated the timely message
                                                                                                                                                                                    about maintaining professionalism
                                                                                                                                                                                    and the term “digital citizenship”
                                                                                                                                                                                    in “Communicating Online.” I will
                                                                                                                                                                                    definitely be adding that to my
                                                                                                                                                                                    vocabulary.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Hetti-Marie Manu is a Special
                                                                                                                                                                                    Education resource teacher at
                                                                                                                                                                                    Broadlands Public School with
                                                                                                                                                                                    the Toronto District School Board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               June 2021 Professionally Speaking   11
PROUD TO BE AN

Ontario
Certified
Teacher
Only qualified, certified teachers
who are members of the Ontario
College of Teachers can use the
professional designation OCT:
Ontario Certified Teacher.

You can promote your
designation by displaying
your Certificate of
Professional Designation
in your classroom and
using OCT after your name
in your correspondence
with parents.

OCT: The Mark
of Professionalism
in Teaching.
                                            Caroline Cantin, OCT

                                     To learn more, visit oct.ca
PS POLL
ILLUSTRATION: JEANNIE PHAN

                             Growth Chart
                             Here are the Top 10 steps taken by Ontario Certified Teachers
                             to continue professional learning, courtesy of our latest poll.

                             1.   Collaborate with teacher colleagues.   6.    etwork with mentors and
                                                                               N
                                                                               other leaders.
                             2.    earn from my students and reflect
                                  L
                                  on classroom experiences.               7.    ssume leadership roles within
                                                                               A
                                                                               my school or district.
                             3.    ake part in online courses (other
                                  T
                                  than Additional Qualifications).        8.   Coach or mentor a colleague.
                             4.    ake Additional Qualification
                                  T                                       9.    isten to podcasts about
                                                                               L
                                  courses.                                     the profession.
                             5.    ead professional journals
                                  R                                       10. T
                                                                               ake leadership roles in
                                  and publications.                           my community.

                                                                                          June 2021 Professionally Speaking   13
IN YOUR PROFESSION

                                         Pop Quiz
                                         with
                                         Lindsay
                                         Dobson
                                         BY LAURA BICKLE

                                         Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and
                                         adolescents are at high risk. What’s more, during the pandemic, there has been
                                         a significant increase in the number of people suffering and seeking support.
                                           “Research shows if we are trying to prevent eating disorders, we should use
                                         evidence-based programming with a focus on two things; risk factors and
                                         protective factors,” says Lindsay Dobson, prevention and outreach co-ordinator
                                         for Ottawa-based Hopewell Eating Disorder Support Centre (hopewell.ca).
                                         “We have to consider risk factors such as weight stigma and diet culture, body
                                         dissatisfaction, and media influence, as well as protective factors like body
                                         appreciation, media literacy, and effective coping and self-care practices.”
                                         That’s the philosophy behind the centre’s programs for students and teachers,
                                         now available online. We asked Dobson to share how educators can help.

                                         Why are programs such as                     Describe Hopewell’s programs.
                                         yours important?                             Our “Celebrate EveryBody” program
                                         Eating disorders are serious mental          is for students aged 12 and up. We
                                         illnesses that can affect anyone. They       cover navigating relationships, media
                                         are never a choice. They are caused by       literacy, mental health, self-esteem
                                         a variety of biological, psychological       and body image, self-care and coping.
                                         and socio-cultural issues. Eating               In our “Talking About Eating Disor-
                                         disorders are on the rise, especially now    ders” workshops for teachers, parents
     WORKING FROM                        during this pandemic, when youth are
                                         more isolated from their communities
                                                                                      and caregivers, we review types of
                                                                                      eating disorders, myths, prevention
        HOME OR                          and supports, and when there has been        principles and how to offer support.
      DRIVING LESS?                      an increase in media consumption,
                                         particularly on social media platforms.      How can teachers support students and
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                                                                                      families dealing with eating disorders?
                                         How can teachers ensure that they            Learn about warning signs and find out
 Call for a quote on car or home
                                         are reinforcing positive body image?         how to talk to someone who may be
  insurance from Economical              Often, people have biases around food,       struggling. The American organization
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    36 cash prizes of $5000!             cause them to unintentionally pass on        (NEDA) offers an Educator Toolkit,
                                         their beliefs, especially to children and    which includes policies for schools and
       Just for getting a quote,         adolescents. It’s important to do your       modified learning plans. And the
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       $5 Tim Hortons card!              ensure you convey a weight-inclusive and     Disorders Information Centre (NEDIC)
                                                                                                                                PHOTO: JESSIE BENHAIM

                                         accepting message. I also recommend          offers workshops for educators and
                                         learning about the effects of weight and     other resources. Most importantly,
                                         fat stigma, bullying and discrimination,     take the issue seriously and approach
     Email your quotation request to:    the principles of the Health at Every Size   it with empathy and compassion. If a
         SALES@CYINS.COM                 movement, neutral language regarding         student is reaching out to you, then
                                         food,and the effects of media messages.      they trust you and want your support.

14   Professionally Speaking June 2021
IN YOUR PROFESSION

By the Numbers:                                                                      TWEET SHEET
Read All About It                                                                    Follow what's trending in the
                                                                                     education Twitterverse.
How members made the most of resources                                               Follow us on Twitter @OCT_OEEO
from the Margaret Wilson Library in 2020.
BY STEVE BREARTON                                                                                 Canada’s History
                                                                                                  With a mission to make the
                                                                                                  discovery of our nation’s
                                                                                                  past relevant, engaging,
READING LIST                                                                                      empowering and accessible.

13,230                         Total number of print and electronic                                             16.7K
                                                                                     @CanadasHistory
                               resources in the Margaret Wilson Library                                         FOLLOWERS
                               collection in 2020.
                                                                                                In this activity, students
                                                                                                will compare the design and
                                                                                                content of newspapers in

                                      26%
                                                                                                the past to today. #histedu
                                                                                                #historicalthinking
                                                                                                oct-oeeo.ca/r7mt7y

                                      Percentage increase in the number
                                      of ebooks in circulation in 2020.                           Ontario Science
                                                                                                  Centre
                                                                                                  Where visitors of all ages
                                                                                                  can learn through play and
                                                                                                  discover ways to think like
                                                                                                  a scientist every day.
SEARCH AND DISCOVER
                                                                                                                30.7K
                                                                                     @OntScienceCtr
                                                                                                                FOLLOWERS

                                                                                                Learn about hyperbolic
                                                                                                #geometry by creating your

1,240,874
                                                                                                own coral-inspired structure!
                                           Member searches of library databases                 Cut out colourful heptagons,
                                           performed in 2020, including abstracts,              then use them to build a
                                           research reports and proceedings,                    hyperbolic model inspired
                                           academic periodicals, newswires,                     by the round shapes and
                                           newspapers, magazines and journals.                  curves found in nature.
                                                                                                oct-oeeo.ca/rabxw2

                                                                                                  Canadian Space
BOOK REPORT
                                                                                                  Agency
                                                                                                  The Canadian Space Agency

                             227
                                                                                                  co-ordinates all civil, space-
                                                                                                  related programs on behalf of
                                                                                                  the Government of Canada.
                             Books reviewed in Professionally Speaking
                             that are in the library collection, including           @csa_asc
                                                                                                                309.4K
                             in-demand titles such as We are all ... Treaty                                     FOLLOWERS
                             People by Maurice Switzer, The Graphic
                             Novel Classroom by Maureen Bakis, Raising                          Dextre is a great help on the
                             Boys in a New Kind of World by Michael                             International Space Station!
                             Reist, and World Peace and Other 4th-Grade                         Learn more about the space
                             Achievements by John Hunter.                                       robot’s essential work:
                                                                                                oct-oeeo.ca/c3q7wu … #ISS

Source: Ontario College of Teachers

                                                                                     June 2021 Professionally Speaking      15
IN YOUR CLASSROOM

                                                                   Professional
                                                                   Practice
                                                                   As someone whose second language is English and whose
                                                                   third language is French — and who teaches in a French-
                                                                   language school board — I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on
                                                                   how language is learned and how we expand our vocabularies.
                                                                     Last December, I created a personal dictionary and my
                                                                   students use it every day to jot down new words they heard
                                                                   at school or at home. Once they’d recorded them and
                                                                   understood their meanings, I encouraged them to make an
                                                                   effort to include those words in their everyday lives. I also
                                                                   encouraged my co-workers to use the personal dictionary
                                                                   approach in their classrooms, too. Consistency of the
                                                                   activity across many subjects makes it more likely that
                                                                   students will participate, stay interested and keep learning.
                                                                   As a language teacher, I think this is an effective way to
                                                                   encourage students to expand their vocabularies, and one
                                                                   they can continue using their whole lives.

                                                                   FRANCESCA MARTÍNEZ HERNANDO, OCT, TEACHES
                                                                   GRADES 7 AND 8 WITH CONSEIL DES ÉCOLES
                                                                   CATHOLIQUES DU CENTRE-EST.

                                                                      HAVE A CLASSROOM IDEA TO SHARE?
                                                                      Send it to us at ps@oct.ca and your advice could
                                                                      be published in an upcoming issue! Check out
                                                                      our Professional Practice Research archive at
                                                                      oct-oeeo.ca/research.

Virtual Art Classes
BY STEFAN DUBOWSKI

If you’re looking for remote-friendly art education options,         At the Art Gallery of Ontario’s site, teachers can have
the province’s biggest galleries have plenty to offer.             their classrooms attend free live conversations with art
   For starters, there’s Ottawa’s Musée des beaux-arts du          educators, running every Monday to Friday via Zoom.
Canada (National Gallery of Canada) (gallery.ca/learn/               Go to ago.ca and search for “virtual school programs”
for-teachers). The museum has curated a deep well of resour-       to see the full slate of classes. For example, Art and the
ces for teachers, spanning an array of activities and interests.   Senses (“… about how our brain processes the world
   Distance Learning programs let classrooms connect               around us,” the site explains) ties in with the kindergarten
                                                                                                                                    ILLUSTRATION: MARIAH LLANES

for grade-specific lessons. The live webinars encourage            program, as well as science, language, health and physical
students to discuss a range of artworks while exploring            education, and of course the arts. Indigenous Art and
curriculum-based themes.                                           Artists speaks to social studies, history, and First Nations,
   Click on “Resources for Teachers” and you’ll find a             Métis and Inuit Studies. The gallery offers three versions
growing list of on-demand videos on such topics as Lawren          of each conversation daily: one for students in JK to
S. Harris’s Snow II or a tour of the collection’s most famous      Grade 3, one for Grades 4 to 8, and another for Grades 9 to
works. There are also downloadable activity guides for             12. Most are in English but there are also French sessions
photography, crafts and colouring.                                 about once a month for each grade range.

16   Professionally Speaking June 2021
IN YOUR CLASSROOM

Apps Analysis
BY STEFAN DUBOWSKI

Cut the Rope 2                              WeatherCAN                                 Florence
Meet Om Nom, a character whose love of      Calling all weather watchers: This app’s   This interactive story has lots to say,
candy may match that of your students       like a sunny day in June. Developed by     yet few words. It’s a love tale focused
— and they even get to help him attain      the federal government’s Environment       on 25-year-old Florence Yeoh as she
those sweets. Players have to think and     and Climate Change Canada, it’s a rich     balances career, family and romance.
persevere as the candy is suspended by      repository of information on everything    The way it’s told is sophisticated,
ropes attached to pulleys, balloons and     climate including current local condi-     unfolding through music, images and
other contraptions. Cut the ropes, pop      tions and an hourly forecast. There’s      miniature games to move the narrative
the balloons and get the apparatus          a zoomable precipitation radar map.        along. It’s an excellent example of art and
pointed toward Om Nom’s mouth to            Open the inbox for messages on             technology working together. It’s also
score points. It’s all problem-solving,     weather-related facts, such as Fata        proof positive for high school students
part of the early elementary science        Morgana — a mirage that can make it        who may struggle to find the words, that
curriculum. Note the game is free or        look as if something is floating in the    they don’t necessarily have to rely on text
close to it, but ads for pricey “premium”   air. Recommended for Grade 7 geog-         to tell their own stories. The app is a good
bundles appear often, so parents and        raphy students to support their lessons    complement to storytelling in Grade 11
teachers should be nearby, just in case.    on weather.                                Presentation and Speaking Skills.

         DEVICE Apple, Android                       DEVICE Apple, Android                       DEVICE Apple, Android
         SOURCE Apple App Store                      SOURCE Apple App Store                      SOURCE Apple App Store
         (free), Google Play ($1.19)                 (free), Google Play (free)                  ($2.99), Google Play ($3.69)
         RATING 4+, Everyone                         RATING 4+, Everyone                         RATING 4+, Everyone

        2021 Virtual Annual
        Meeting of Members
         Wednesday, September 29, 2021 | 5–6:30 p.m.
         OUR PANEL OF REGULATORY EXPERTS WILL PROVIDE                              ENGAGE WITH US
         INSIGHT ON MODERNIZING GOVERNANCE AND ITS                                 Have questions?
         BENEFITS TO STUDENTS, EDUCATORS AND PARENTS.                              Send them in advance or
                                                                                   during the event via email
         • DAVID BROWN Executive Vice-President,
                                                                                   to outreach@oct.ca.
           Governance Solutions Inc.
         • CORRINE DE BRUIN Executive Director,                                    LIVE STREAMING
           College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia                  We’re live streaming the meeting.
         • ANDRÉ GARIÉPY Commissioner for Admission to Professions                 Visit oct-oeeo.ca/amm2021.
           Office of the Professions, Government of Quebec                         Please ensure your computer
         • DEANNA WILLIAMS President,                                              or device has the minimum
           Dundee Consulting                                                       requirements to livestream.

                                                                                           Register at
                                                                                           oct-oeeo.ca/register

                                                                                          June 2021 Professionally Speaking     17
You are
Entitled.
There are thousands of
titles at your fingertips,
available for free!

The Margaret Wilson Library is a
goldmine of free resources for College
members. And accessing them is EASY.

Simply go to oct.ca  Members, and
click the “Library” link on the right side
of the page. Log in using your College
credentials to browse our collections of
books, ebooks, databases, and more!

Library staff are happy to assist with
your research needs and questions.

Check out what other
OCTs are reading.
Happy browsing!
TOOLS OF THE TRADE

                                       Page Turners
                                       Whether your class is reading Shakespeare or Robert Munsch, resources
                                       abound for making your students’ experiences more accessible, exciting
                                       and engaging. Let them watch, listen and read their way through the
                                       year, and ignite a passion for words that will last them forever.

                                       BY CAELI MAZARA

                                       1) Shakespeare in Bits free demos, US$14.99                     5) LitCharts US$9.95/month or $59.40/year
                                       This multimedia experience brings Shakespeare into your         What’s an allegory? Or the first line of Bob Dylan’s
                                       classroom in a brand-new way, unwrapping challenging            “Blowin’ in the Wind?” This literary compendium of
                                       material and bringing the timeless plays to life with           guides, quotes and terms has a special teaching edition
                                       animation and analysis. Bonus: quizzes and lesson               for the classroom, a dedicated section for Shakespeare
                                       plans are available, too.                                       and another for poetry.
                                       GRADES 9–12 | VISIT siblive.shakespeareinbits.com               GRADES 8–12 | VISIT litcharts.com

                                       2) Bookshare US$24–$50/year                                     6) Novel Effect free
                                       This robust resource for students with reading differ-          Using voice-recognition tech, this app adds sound effects
                                       ences— including dyslexia and blindness — offers nearly         to your oral reading sessions. Imagine suspenseful music,
                                       one million online titles. Students can customize their         the sound of a glass breaking, or a sneeze at just the right
                                       reading with ebooks in audio, audio plus highlighted text,      moment, the next time your class reads together!
                                       braille, large print and other formats.                         GRADES K–3 | VISIT noveleffect.com
                                       GRADES K–12 | VISIT bookshare.org
                                                                                                       7) Google Books free
                                       3) Audible $14.95/month                                         Google Books is a specialized search engine — just for
                                       This massive listening library has special sections for such    books. Students can read the classics (anything no longer
ILLUSTRATION: BOMBOLAND/COLAGENE.COM

                                       groups as “Littlest Listeners,” “Elementary,” “Teens,” and      under copyright is available), create their own digital
                                       more. A membership opens a world of titles, including thou-     libraries, and add their own thoughts and reviews to the
                                       sands of podcasts, too, and nearly any book you can think of.   books they’ve read.
                                       GRADES K–12 | VISIT audible.ca                                  GRADES 5–12 | VISIT books.google.ca

                                       4) Bookly free for limited version, subscriptions available     8) Start with a Book free
                                       Students can track reading hours, make notes on their           Do your students love stories about dragons? Or sports? Or
                                       reading experience, view statistics, participate in seasonal    sea creatures? Or travel? Whatever you’re looking for, Start
                                       readathons, and more. For students who like setting goals and   with a Book finds titles to suit nearly anyone, and includes
                                       tracking progress, Bookly is a motivating reading assistant.    reading games, and tips for developing early literacy skills.
                                       GRADES 3–12 | VISIT getbookly.com                               GRADES K–6 | VISIT startwithabook.org

                                                                                                                               June 2021 Professionally Speaking   19
20   Professionally Speaking June 2021
GREAT TEACHING

Safety First
The College’s professional advisory Safety
in Learning Environments guides OCTs when
it comes to supporting students’ physical,
social and emotional well-being.

BY STUART FOXMAN

T
       he pole was 20 feet high. Even though her student was harnessed and
       seemed to have followed the instructions, Faiza Fahim, OCT, wanted to
       do one more check. Just to be safe.
  Fahim, an ESL teacher at Toronto’s Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute, had
taken students to an outdoor centre for some team building and fun. Staff there
had explained the rules and taken all precautions. For more peace of mind,
Fahim had brought along a former ESL student to help translate. She knows you
can never be too careful about student well-being.
  Now, before this one student was ready to climb the pole, Fahim asked if he was
nervous. No, he assured, he could handle this. Then he admitted something else:
what really made him nervous was presenting in class. New to Canada, the school
system, the language and his classmates, he worried about how he’d come across.
Whenever a presentation is coming, he told Fahim, he can’t sleep for days.
  The conversation reminded her that safety means different things at different
times. Sometimes fear and embarrassment can be as damaging in their own way as
an injury. Physical safety is paramount. But safety for students encompasses the
social and emotional as well. “Are students seen and heard? Is there an atmosphere
of trust? For me, safety is having an inclusive environment,” says Fahim.
  For teachers, it’s critical to identify an unsafe learning situation, respond when
you see one, and minimize risks in the first place. The College’s professional advisory
Safety in Learning Environments: A Shared Responsibility outlines the expectations.
  Questions of safety infuse conversations in education daily and touch every
setting. Think of just some of the threats: bullying in the schoolyard; broken
bones on the playground; food allergies in the cafeteria; fires in the science lab;
concussions on the sports field; accidents with equipment; intruders in the
school; mishaps on field trips; and unsupportive classrooms.
  There are more, and teachers are essential safeguards. “Recognizing student
vulnerability and acting to mitigate it is your professional responsibility,” states
the advisory.
  It helps to look at safety in the broadest sense. Take COVID, obviously a major
safety concern this past year — and not only in the most apparent ways.

                                                June 2021 Professionally Speaking   21
GREAT TEACHING

  Teachers have played a key role in         Finn. “That lowers the anxiety level for      “It’s all about prevention,” says
modelling best practices, ensuring           the students.” Does anxiety pose a         Andrea McCullagh, OCT, a Grade 1
students maintain masking and                safety risk? “Absolutely,” she says.       teacher at École élémentaire publique
keeping cohorts apart. Those are               Reducing that risk needn’t be            Cité Jeunesse in Trenton, Ont.
the basics, says Isabelle Boulerice-         complex. Consider the ESL student             Fire drills and lockdown drills are
Leblanc, OCT. She’s just as focused          who was apprehensive about a pres-         part of it, but so is everyday diligence.
on other COVID-related safety needs.         entation. To support students feeling      What could pose a danger? Scissors,
  “A lot of kids are struggling with         anxious, Fahim teaches students how        a folding step stool, the hot water tap
anxiety,” says Boulerice-Leblanc, a          to be good audience members: sup-          — just about anything depending on
resource teacher at École élémentaire        portive, attentive and aware of how        the circumstances, says McCullagh.
publique De la Riviere Castor in Embrun,     their behaviour can affect someone.        She scans her room through a child’s
Ont., 30 minutes southeast of Ottawa.          She also encourages strategies that      eyes and knows her students well
  Students hear about people dying,          can alleviate stress. If a student has     enough to glean who’s at higher risk.
know the virus is invisible, and have seen   trouble making eye contact, Fahim             That includes sensing tension in the
their routines upended. To Boulerice-        might suggest they give classmates         classroom, or when some students are
Leblanc, safety means helping students       pictures or props to look at during a      having a more challenging time. In those
cope and offering tips to relieve stress.    presentation. Just so all eyes aren’t      instances, she might have everyone take
  Another requirement is creating an         on them. And instead of having             a breathing or body movement break.
environment where students feel safe         presenters answer queries on the              “The atmosphere is a huge factor. If
to make mistakes. “We should have a          spot, nerve-wracking for some, Fahim       the children think of your classroom as
judgment-free zone,” she says.               asks the class to write down questions     a safe space, physically and emotion-
  Michelle Finn, OCT, agrees. She            or comments; then the presenter can        ally, you’ve succeeded as a teacher,”
teaches religion, humanities and             think them over and address them           says McCullagh.
social sciences at Bishop Reding             the next day.                                 It’s also vital to understand whom to
Catholic Secondary School in Milton,           “While we may not be able to alleviate   call if a student is injured, ill or endan-
Ont. After marking assignments and           stress altogether for students, we can     gered, says Boulerice-Leblanc. For
providing feedback, Finn gives her           give them strategies to make a learning    example, she knows of a six-year-old
                                                                                                                                      PHOTOS: iSTOCK

Grade 12 students the chance to              task more approachable,” says Fahim.       student who said they wanted to die. A
resubmit the work.                             Knowing health and safety proto-         social worker was contacted, the
  “It’s a growth mindset; you can make       cols is fundamental too, as is grasping    parents were notified, and the student
mistakes and learn from them,” says          the wide range of hazards.                 received professional help.

22   Professionally Speaking June 2021
GREAT TEACHING

   Other physical threats are easily         camping, a canoe trip, a mountain
defined. For instance, as a high school      expedition and multiple day trips.
science teacher Leila Knetsch, OCT,
knows the hazards of chemicals and
                                                Parents understandably focus on
                                             whether their children will be safe
                                                                                              Learn more
flammability. “I put lots of thought into    during the program. That’s where                 • Considerations for
setting up the lab,” says Knetsch, who       respect comes in, says Gaynik.                     Program Planning,
teaches Grades 9–12 at Albert Camp-             He trains his students to respect               Ministry of Education:
bell Collegiate Institute in Toronto.        the environment and understand                     oct-oeeo.ca/r556dg
   She runs through mandatory safety         the precautions to take. They learn
rules with her students at the beginning     to respect themselves and be honest              • Health and Safety: Scope and
of a class, and ensures they follow some     about their limitations. They also                 Sequence of Expectations,
preventative procedures; like keeping        respect their classmates and know                  Ministry of Education:
stoppers on test tubes, and turning          that everyone’s skill and confidence               oct-oeeo.ca/hhrqv4
Bunsen burners off between uses.             levels are different, and that they              • Caring and Safe Schools in
   Knetsch is also attuned to the relative   must all support each other.                       Ontario, Ministry of Education:
skills and knowledge of different grade         “Safety isn’t a one-dimensional                 oct-oeeo.ca/trzdg7
levels. She says accidents can happen        term,” says Gaynik.
when teachers overestimate the                  If something goes wrong, Gaynik               • Resources on Safe
abilities or the amount of common            does have first aid and wilderness first           and Accepting Schools,
sense students possess.                      responder credentials. To some extent,             Ministry of Education:
   Many substances in a lab can pose a       physical safety is about training and              oct-oeeo.ca/azp9wg
danger. The way students are grouped         a checklist. How to foster emotional
                                                                                              • Leading Safe and Accepting
can be a volatile mix too. In dividing her   safety? That doesn’t come with a
                                                                                                Schools, Institute for
class of 30 into groups, Finn tries for a    manual but is equally important.
                                                                                                Education Leadership:
healthy balance to create a safe space          “We have a health and safety commit-
                                                                                                oct-oeeo.ca/3z63dg
for sharing. She asks students to            tee walking around looking for physical
privately list three classmates they’d       hazards. We don’t have a committee               • Resources for educators,
want, and ensures one is grouped with        checking for socio-emotional hazards,              School Mental Health Ontario:
them. She also asks them who                 but to a be good teacher you have to               oct-oeeo.ca/5bdx4q
wouldn’t be a good fit.                      consider that,” says Finn.
   Finn assembles the groups like a             So what makes an all-around safe              • Health and Safety in Schools
jigsaw puzzle. That exercise is essen-       learning environment, anyway?                      Project, Council of Ontario
tial, she says. You want to avoid a             For Fahim, it’s one where the                   Directors of Education:
situation where a student might be           students feel comfortable to reach out             oct-oeeo.ca/pknrrm
shut down or teased by a classmate,          to the teacher for help and guidance.            • Safety training resources,
or where personality clashes could              Adds Knetsch, “It’s a place where               Science Teachers’ of Ontario
derail co-operation.                         students can be themselves, and form               Association:
   Knetsch, too, knows mental                healthy relationships.”                            oct-oeeo.ca/r2k6yt
well-being is a big aspect of safety.           Finn says no type of safety should
“That part is harder. You don’t always       be overlooked, be it the risk of broken          • Physical activity safety
know what students are thinking and          bones or emotional scarring.                       standards, Ophea (Ontario
feeling,” she says.                             Gaynik talks about creating an                  Physical and Health
   She is intentional about creating a       informal “safety contract.” “That’s                Education Association):
considerate and co-operative atmos-          where we have real experiences that                safety.ophea.net
phere. During group activities, she’ll       lend themselves to emotional and
set a timer so students can take turns       social safety, which allows students
talking. That eliminates certain             to be able to lean on each other for          place in the school and with peers.
students dominating the air space,           support and encouragement,” he says.          Still others can feel lost, and look to
and sends a message. “It allows for             All of the safety considerations matter.   their teacher for direction.
respect, and shows that everybody            When Gaynik is doing expeditions, there         Outdoors, Gaynik and his students
has something to say,” she says.             can be dangers from students stumbling        assess the risks. His advice there is
   Respect is a safety cornerstone           on hazardous terrain, being exposed to        applicable to any educational setting.
too for Mark Gaynik, OCT, an outdoor         the elements, or facing the unknown.          “Observe and assess your surroundings
educator at Nantyr Shores Secondary             That can happen inside a classroom         and the potential dangers. See what in
School in Innisfil, Ont. Gaynik runs the     too. Think of how students can stumble        the environment might make you safe or
Enviroventure program for Grades 11          in their progress. Or feel the proverbial     safer, and realize you have the support
and 12. The program includes winter          ground shifting as they try to find their     of leaders and classmates.” PS

                                                                                             June 2021 Professionally Speaking    23
24   Professionally Speaking June 2021
REMARKABLE TEACHER

Setting the Stage
Actress Karen Robinson reflects on the teacher
whose kindness made all the difference.

BY RICHARD OUZOUNIAN

I
   f you’re a fan of CBC-TV comedy, then you’re bound to be a fan of Karen
   Robinson. The award-winning performer spent six seasons on Schitt’s Creek
   as the sardonic town councillor Ronnie Lee, throwing shade wherever she
glanced. Now, she’s holding down the fort on Pretty Hard Cases as the
take-no-prisoners boss, Inspector Edwina Shanks.
   “It’s a gas of a show,” she says, with a trademark booming laugh. “Great cast.
Great scripts. All I have to do is show up and wear good suits.”
   Robinson is having her moment in the sun right now, the result of a lengthy and
successful career. She’s been hard at work for decades, collecting honours for
her theatre performances from coast-to-coast, as well as a Canadian Screen
Award in 2019 for her performance in the TV series Mary Kills People.
   The actress radiates confidence, but she’ll tell you it doesn’t come from her
long list of screen credits or the trophy shelf full of awards. Instead, Robinson
says her self-assurance can be traced back to the influence of Phyllis Jones, her
Grade 9 geography teacher who also taught her in Grades 10 and 11 preparing
her for her final CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) at Meadowbrook High
School in Kingston, Jamaica.
   “All it takes to change your life is to have someone look you in the eye, smile at
you and accept you for who you are,” says Robinson.
   It’s not that the actress was a shrinking violet as a student. Far from it. Robinson,
the youngest of four children, says she always knew she wanted to perform. She
laughs as she recalls her stage debut at a Christmas concert at the age of four
singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” “I was so short they had to put me
on a stool so people could see me.”
   Despite all the exterior bravado, though, by the time Robinson reached the age
of 13, she says she was going through teenage angst and didn’t know where she
fit in the world.
   “She was the kind of student you couldn’t ignore,” Jones recalls, “with a loud
voice and a big smile on her face. But I thought to myself, ‘Inside, she’s a lonely girl.’”
   Robinson describes herself back then as “a rabidly pubescent, strange young
child. It’s such a difficult time. You can’t control the rate at which your body is

                                                  June 2021 Professionally Speaking     25
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