The Association helps members manage a range of career-related events and issues, including performance appraisals, general and career counselling, professional ethics, interpersonal disputes, and personal crises.
A variety of resources have been created to assist you in navigating some of the issues that you may encounter in your professional career.
If you’re experiencing difficulty in your professional life, or if personal problems are affecting your work, you can contact staff in the Counselling and Member Services department at the OECTA Provincial Office for advice or guidance. All calls are kept confidential.
Contact our Counselling and Member Services department or the daily duty officer for assistance, at 1-800-268-7230 or 416-925-2493.
Bullying in the Workplace
Bullying has been a hot topic in education in Ontario for a number of years. Amendments have been made to the Education Act, regulations introduced and prevention programs implemented – all to address the issue of bullying among students in our schools. As educators, we are continuously working on better ways to handle, educate and prevent bullying incidents from occurring. What is rarely addressed, however, is the issue of teachers as victims of bullying.
Collaborative Teacher Inquiry
Collaborative teacher inquiry is one of the latest professional practices that the Ministry is promoting to schools and boards. Initiatives implemented using this professional learning model involve teams of educators conducting “in-class investigations” of students’ work and teachers’ lessons. While these types of initiatives can help teachers to further their professional practice through a deeper understanding of the connection between student learning and classroom instruction, problems can arise.
Managing Conflict Situations with Parents
Teaching requires excellent interpersonal skills and we are called upon to use these skills frequently, especially when dealing with parents. Conflict inevitably arises in our daily lives and from time to time we may find ourselves in conflict with a parent. But conflict can be productive. Well-managed conflict can help to clarify issues, expectations and feelings.
As a teacher, managing the stress you experience, and the triggers that cause your stress, is critical to creating a healthy and productive work environment and maintaining your overall health and well being.
Reporting Abuse: Teachers and the Family and Child Services Act
The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) governs the protection of children in our society. It not only defines “abuse” and outlines procedures for dealing with abuse, it identifies the responsibilities of those (individuals and institutions) who might encounter abuse. The goal of the CFSA is to “promote the best interests, protection and well-being of children.”
Retiring This Year?
Planning to retire is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your career. To ensure that you understand the process, OECTA offers Retirement Planning and Pension Seminars to members across the province. If you haven’t been able to attend a seminar, here are some of the basic steps you need to undertake to get started on your transition to retirement.
Members must be aware that we are considered to be teachers 24/7. This statement refers to the level of scrutiny we can undergo – even in our private lives. Teachers are held to a high standard when it comes to behaviour both inside and outside the classroom.
Teachers Facing Investigations
The Counselling and Member Services Department provides legal advice and representation to members facing Children’s Aid Society (CAS), police and College of Teachers’ investigations. Annually, the department deals with an average of 120 to 150 cases.
Teachers are using various technologies in their classrooms and subsequently, are communicating with parents and students through a variety of digital mediums, both during and after the school day. These practices can have a negative impact on a teacher’s professional career if the necessary precautions are not taken.
Understanding Your Rights and Obligations in Child Custody Cases
Given that we spend so much time with our students, teachers are in a position to gain unique insight about a child’s attitude and behaviour. It is fairly common for teachers to be called upon to offer our observations, opinions, and written records, such as when two parents are in a dispute about child custody.
Violence in the Workplace - What happens when the victim is the teacher?
Over the past 15 years, there have been a number of legislative changes intended
to address violence in Ontario schools. Unfortunately, these changes have not
stopped incidences of violence. OECTA’s Counselling and Member Services
Department still receives calls from teachers who are victims of violence.
More often than not, the aggressor is a student. However, a teacher can also be
victimized by a colleague, administrator or parent.
What Happens to Strike Breakers
Violations of a work-to-rule, or crossing a picket line when there is a full withdrawal of services, is called strikebreaking. The Association's policies contained in the OECTA Handbook outline the definitions of strikebreakers and possible consequences therein.
What You Need to Know about Restraint Training Certification
Teachers with restraint-training certification are held to a higher standard of care than other teacher, and are therefore help to a higher standard of liability. The police courts, Ontario College of teachers treat teachers who are certified in restraining as having a greater duty of care and a greater responsibility. This increase in duty of care and crisis intervention may result in a trainer teacher being subject to more severe consequences than someone who is not trained.