parenting

Does Your Child’s Teacher Make the Grade?

I am the daughter of a teacher. My memories of marking papers and playing games at the back of my mother’s grade two classroom are strong. Many August days at end of the summer, I worked with my Mom, steadying the ladder as she lovingly decorated her classroom. Teaching is a calling I respect. A teacher’s job can be hard, rewarding and trying all at once.

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However, as the parent of two girls in the school system and I am very often frustrated with education. Funding decisions, allocation of resources, and even teachers in my kid’s lives sometimes don’t meet my expectations. Over the years I have had legitimate occasions to disagree with my daughter’s teachers, question IEPs and challenge some decisions. As a parent, I have felt, at times discounted, ignored, annoyed, frustrated and angry. Occasionally I have felt valued as a team member, but not nearly as often as I would like.
From the time my kids were in senior kindergarten I took a strong interest in school events. For many years I sat on the Parent Teacher Association at my children’s school. I also volunteered at the school board and sat on the SEAC – special education advisory committee. When work here at my business, Thrifty Mom Media, became all encompassing I recently stopped volunteering.
ontario_teachers
One year, the Parent Teacher Association at my daughter’s school nominated one of our strongest teachers for a Premier’s Award. The annual awards recognize Ontario teachers who go above and beyond. When I was writing the recommendation, I interviewed the principal of the school and the other teachers, but I needed more information on this particular teacher’s education and history.
That was when I found this: http://www.oct.ca/Home/FindATeacher/
The Ontario College of Teachers web site is a great resource for the public. OCT web site has a public registry anyone can use to check teaching qualifications and history with the college.  Plug in the teacher’s name and see when and where they went to school and any special qualifications they have to teach. Check the professional standards and aspirations of teachers here: http://www.oct.ca/public/professional-standards
Did you know that the Ontario Teacher’s College also has a mandate to investigate any complaints against members? http://www.oct.ca/public/complaints-and-discipline/submit-a-complaint
One year, I checked out a teacher rumored to have a criminal complaint against him. That summer I heard he was scheduled to teach my daughter’s grade and I wanted to know the truth about any allegations. In fact the record did show some sort of disciplinary action had occurred. It didn’t state specifics, but it helped me to advocate for my child. I didn’t want her in that class and I didn’t want to take a chance on a year of her education being jeopardized. This situation concerned me even though I have faith in most Ontario teachers.

Sign Up For The Newsletter

The Ontario College of Teachers has several free educational tools and initiatives many parents don’t know about. Find out more about how qualified Ontario teachers are to serve our children’s needs and shape their education. https://www.oct.ca/public/public-awareness-initiative/There is also a quarterly newsletter you can subscribe to. It’s called TheStandard and it’s free.
Many resources exist for parents, and they help grow my confidence when I send my child off to school each day. You might not be able to control everything about the learning environment and the socialization that takes place at school, but you can take an active approach to staying involved. The OCT web site helps you to know how qualified your child’s teachers are. That’s valuable to me, as a parent and a taxpayer.

Follow Ontario Teachers on Social Media

The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates Ontario teachers. You can follow them on twitter and Facebook. https://www.twitter.com/OCT_OEEO/and https://www.facebook.com/OntarioTeachers/
This post was sponsored by the Ontario College of Teachers. I was compensated as a result. My opinion is my own.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

8 Comments

  • Christine McN

    Thanks for sharing! Great that there is a mandate to investigate any complaints against members. As a whole, I have faith in our teachers and education system. I realize there can be a handful of less than satisfactory employees, but we have been so fortunate to have had amazing teachers for Little One.

  • The Modern Mom

    Great article! My little one is just finishing up kindergarten and these last two years are all I know of the teachers in Ontario and if this teacher is any indication then I would say top notch! But for the future it is good to know that there is a mandate to look into any complaints.

  • Suzanne

    Wow, I had no idea you could check out teachers in this fashion! What a great idea! I too have great faith in the teachers my children see each day, but it is nice to know that we have a resource like this if it is needed. Thanks for sharing this Paula!

  • Jennifer Van Huss

    Great post!! My son’s teacher sure didn’t make the grade this year! She was awful! Many parents raved about her when she first began 20 years ago, but since then she has gone downhill. My son like to challenge people. He would rush through his work to get to the fun stuff. Both the teacher and I knew this. I confronted the teacher to ask why he wasn’t being made to redo it. She said she tried once and he still turned in the same work so she gave up. What? You gave up? Too much work? PLEASE!

  • The Mom Jen

    Great article, there are so many teachers out there that keep continuing on despite complaints and it’s just not right. I’m a former teacher and if I ever felt I wasn’t doing my best I’d want to know!