I’d argue that much of my success in life thus far is due to being a by-product of Ontario’s diverse schooling system. While I’d attend 6 different schools before spending some time in the world of post-secondary, the culture and curriculum surrounding an education where everyone’s vying for top spot laid the groundwork for the way I see the world today.
But 50 years from now when I’m old and grey (if I’m lucky enough to still have hair…), reminiscing on the life I’ve had and the milestones in it, I doubt it’s the culture and curriculum I’ll remember. I won’t remember the marks I got on projects nor the hours I put into my work to keep up. I won’t remember who I worked with in group assignments or the various feedback comments left on my report cards.
What I will remember, though, are the teachers and how important some of them were in shaping me into who I am today.
Getting Schooled on School
Parents are more involved in their children’s lives than ever — though the Palmer heir is only just going into daycare, we scrutinized our options before taking the plunge. What’s the centre’s reputation? Will he have enough skills for when he goes to school? Do they have similar principles and ideals as we do at home? Can we afford it if one of us goes to part-time work? What snacks does he get?
…and so on.
I’ve been told by many a parent — the bigger the kid, the bigger the problems, and school’s no exception. As the world continually changes around us and the skill sets children need to succeed evolve, we continually entrust them to the care of teachers to equip them for their futures ahead.
But how do we know we’re making the right choice? Standardized testing and reputation are good starts, but interactions between teachers and students go beyond those, needing even more information to make the best decisions possible for our children’s needs.
And that’s where the Ontario College of Teachers comes in!
You Down with OCTs? (Yeah, You Know Me!)
The Internet’s rife with information, and the College isn’t shy about giving you enough to feel confident about who you’re sending your children to for their education! The College regulates Ontario’s teaching profession, and some of the tools and services they offer on their Ontario Certified Teachers include:
- The Find a Teacher public register provides Ontario teachers’ degrees, qualifications, and any additional qualifications they’ve gotten to specialize in their classrooms — all teachers/educators working in publicly funded schools (primary and secondary) must be members of the College (other teachers may also be members, but this isn’t mandatory)
- Worried you won’t see eye-to-eye with what’s going on in the classroom? Good thing the College publishes their professional standards so you can read up on the guidelines driving teacher behaviour in the classroom!
- If things aren’t to your liking, the College wants you to know you have a voice, sharing their mandate for complaints and discipline should the need ever arise
- The College is dedicated to making the public more aware of everything they have to offer, encouraging people to read up on their public awareness initiative, or subscribe to their free newsletter, The Standard!
Let the College’s Doctrine for Transparency Help Your Parenting
The school system’s not a simple place for children nor the adults that care for them. You leave your child at school all day in the company of other kids, life lessons and all manner of things that shape them a day at a time.
But in the midst of all this, the College wants to reassure you, inspiring trust in the teachers you charge with your children’s care, knowing they have the tools to do their best, and that you have the tools you need to know they’re committed to doing it!
For now, though, I’ll enjoy these early, simpler days where my son’s world is pushing chairs, having snacks and testing his lung capacity, me knowing that one day he’ll be in a school I can trust to continue the quest for his education at the times where I cannot.
Thanks for reading!
Make sure to get educated,
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post, but strongly believe that knowledge is power. Raising kids isn’t easy, and you need to arm yourself with as much as you can to make solid choices for their future — I hope this post opened your eyes to some options in Ontario that can help!