Confession time, I got a new phone. Well I don't need to confess that really. I did get it from Rogers and that's enough of an issue in itself but I don't need to confess that either. The confession is that I went back on a corporate plan via MEMBER PERKS from The Ontario College of Teachers. I feel guilty about it because it's from the College of Teachers. I feel even more guilty about it after reading the report from OTF (Ontario Teachers' Federation) to the OCT Governing Council on October 1st, 2014. You can read that report too in the latest edition of Update http://www.osstf.on.ca/en-CA/publications/update/2014-2015/42-03
OCT was created by Marvelous Mike Harris to address their perceived need for recertification of teachers. The recertification requirement went away but the College didn't. Teachers need a licence to teach in Ontario and the College helps with that. They establish standards of practice and issue advisories from time to time. They have accredited AQ and ABQ courses to ensure quality. The College has a duty to serve and protect the public interest. All of those seem to be appropriate things for a professional college to do. They have gone beyond that though and are really marketing themselves. They produce an ad filled glossy magazine where amid other articles they do 'professional makeovers'. They offer hotel discounts. They offer restaurant discounts. You can get a cheap mattress. I'm not really sure how any of this makes me a better teacher. The most common search on the OCT website is discounts. The thought is that offering these perks may help to maintain teachers who aren't keeping their certificates active. I think maybe they should stick to what they are legislated to do.
I do feel very odd ordering a phone from the same organization that publishes Blue Pages. I feel worse now that I am better informed. I also feel bad about giving Rogers more business. I was going to write a blog just about the evils of the College of Teachers but went for the full disclosure option. Please don't hold it against me. The cheap person inside me won out this time.
The view from my desk, as Teacher Bargaining Unit President for D17 Simcoe