Ever heard of OTF? Ever wondered what it was?
Ontario Teachers' Federation does all sorts of things for you. If you have 2 minutes, I think this video could answer many of your questions.
December 6th marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. As a woman attending university at that time, it hit me really hard. How could someone kill 14 people, just because they were women. I thought I lived in a safe place. I was always very careful. The thought of an attack like that while I attended school was very unnerving. I lived in Canada and Canada was a safe place. I’d love to tell my 15 year old daughter that 25 years later, we have eradicated that kind of behavior but it’s simply not the case. I fear for her (and all other females) now more than ever. OSSTF is marking that anniversary through their Shine the Light campaign. November is Women Abuse Prevention Month so OSSTF is encouraging members to wear purple and to think about (and talk about) women abuse. We need to remember Geneviève Bergeron Hélène Colgan Nathalie Croteau Barbara Daigneault Anne-Marie Edward Maud Haviernick Maryse Laganière Maryse Leclair Anne-Marie Lemay Sonia Pelletier Michèle Richard Annie St-Arneault Annie Turcotte Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz. We need to talk to our sons and daughters and we need change. District 17 TBU is encouraging members to set up a memorial in your jobsite. Your Branch President will be receiving a poster to use as a backdrop and each member will receive a button. We hope you will wear that button for the week of December 1st-5th and then again on the actual anniversary, December 6th. Wear the button, talk about it, stop the violence.
All I ask is a little bit more. Whatever you are buying this holiday season, put a little bit more in your cart. Just a little bit. That little bit can mean a lot to someone who has nothing. I am suggesting you fill a shoebox (or a nicer looking box even) with some simple things that would mean a whole lot. Shampoo, deodorant, soap, fuzzy socks, a scarf, some chocolate, a pack of gum, a magazine, gloves, something sparkly. For a woman seeking refuge at a shelter, the little things mean a lot. If she has children with her, she's probably giving all she's got to keep them comfortable. How about we give something to make HER comfortable. The Front Room Gallery on Dunlop Street in Barrie is collecting boxes and will make sure they get delivered. You don't have to take your box there though, there are shelters all over Simcoe County and (unfortunately) they aren't lacking clients. It doesn't have to be a lot. A little bit here and a little bit there will add up to something that will lift someone's spirits. Thank YOU!
I borrow that title from an ETFO colleague but the sentiment is my own. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of the Education Quality and Accountability Office, EQAO. These tests are by no means standardized and a colossal waste of money. It takes over $38 million per year to administer and the bill is well over $420 million for the past 11 years. When we hear there's not enough money for education and teachers and parents are funding the system, it makes me wonder why that money couldn't be better allocated. EQAO scores are routinely used by real estate agents to sell houses. No acknowledgement is given to socio economic factors. The EQAO cloud looms all year long for those students who are affected. That leads to a reduced emphasis on history, geography, phys-ed, the arts, technology. Other provinces are doing away with their standardized testing. Why do we still have it here in Ontario. If you would like to share your own opinion of these 'not so' standardized tests, please complete this survey. We can only hope that someone will listen and changes will be made and we can go back to trusting our teachers and their professional judgement.
Complete the survey here or by clicking on the green tshirt image. You can leave any additional thoughts in the comment section of this blog and the conversation can continue there.
OTF (Ontario Teachers' Federation) should not be confused with OCT (Ontario College of Teachers). OTF is the umbrella organization for all teachers working in publicly funded schools in Ontario. They provide many services to members such as lobbying on our behalf, providing meaningful professional development and managing our pension. They have created some short but very informative videos to explain their mandate and several other important groups in education in Ontario. The videos are all found on the main page of this website, near the bottom. They are also attached to this post. Feel free to watch them and then share them as well. They are short and sweet and to the point. Anything that helps you to become a better informed member is a good thing, in my humble opinion. Happy viewing!
Public education in Ontario:
The view from my desk, as Teacher Bargaining Unit President for D17 Simcoe