Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Sometimes the line between professional behavior and that of casual acquaintance becomes blurred.  We have all been in a position where we spoke without thinking things through and then having a nagging feeling but not being able to put our finger on why or what.
Pretty much like social media and warning kids what they post on various walls, “ once it’s out there – it’s out there”.  Speaking to your students and recounting personal stories is inappropriate. Examples of various stories have recently been brought to our attention which is why we thought a short article on professionalism in this area was warranted.   A story about your child who is going through a difficult time and requires therapy for substance abuse is not an appropriate topic to raise in a classroom of students.   You are the Teacher and Adult.  If this topic is to be raised in the class you are teaching, then surely there is a lesson plan that was left for you to follow.  Do not make it Personal. 
Another situation brought to our attention was; Occasional Teachers asking students to vouch for them by writing referrals for them.  Again, this is inappropriate and should not be considered.  What potential employer would contact a minor reference to discuss your teaching abilities?  Don’t believe serious employers won’t contact your references.   
Several techniques can be applied if you’re unsure of what you’re asking or doing is appropriate or not.
1.        Ask someone whose professional opinion you respect.  A “what would you do…..” discussion is very beneficial.
2.       Take a step back and think it through.  If a student asks something and you’re not sure about granting his/her request – take a minute and reflect on it.  A situation arose whereby a student had requested to view some videos on Youtube that turned out to be inappropriate.  Who gets in trouble?  You do. 
In situations such as these, sometimes thinking the following helps; imagine that your Principal or a parent is standing in your classroom, would your response be any different?     
Personal presentation is also very important.  You will be treated more respectfully from students and co-workers alike if you take your personal appearance seriously.  A new wardrobe is not the recommendation here, yoga/sweat pants are inappropriate attire for an interview/meeting or job if you aren’t supplying for a physical education class. 
Arrive on-time.  A few minutes early will give you the extra time to familiarize yourself for the job at hand and will make a good impression.
Children are very impressionable.  All kids need professional educators who will do just that. Put their education first as best as you can.      

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

LTO Interviews; BMO Event; Paid PD Days

We've been receiving some telephone calls and emails pertaining to the following:

Next round of interviews that the Board will be holding for LTOs.  In February, the Board will be sending communication via 1st Class ASKING if anyone is interested in an LTO.  Once responses from members are collected, then those interested will be contacted with interview dates. Since there are still members on the LTO List who have not been placed in long-term assignments, the Board has no plans to open the list in the interim.

February 25, PD Event at the BMO Centre.  This PD Event is being presented by your ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local - for you by your Union and not by the Board.  This is an "after-school" opportunity, from 4:30 - 7:30 PM, for your professional benefit with well-recommended free resources for those who participate.  There is no pay if you attend.

Registration for this event is completed on-line via the ETFO-Local website;  You must first have an activated account to register. Space is limited and filling up.  Registration will close on February 20th, noon.

For assistance activating your etfotvot account, contact Debbie at 519-641-3936 for assistance.

Paid PD Days in June.  Information regarding these days will be forthcoming from the Board when they have worked out the details.  This year there will be no mandatory online modules or paid PD opportunities until June.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Snowdays and PD

If you were scheduled to be in an LTO the first 2 days of this year, you will be paid for those days.  Daily OTs who were booked to work those days are hired to replace absent permanent teachers and since school was closed there were no teachers to replace so you will not be paid.

Reminder:  Registration is still open for the February 25th , PD Event at the BMO Centre.
Sessions to register for are:
I.   PHYSICAL EDUCATION - Beyond Dodgeball
II.  TEACH NUTRITION - Power to Play (Primary)
III. TEACH NUTRITION - Power to Explore (Junior)

Full Dinner will be served - no cost for TVOT members.
Space is limited- don't wait until the last minute, avoid disappointment.
Register by going to
Click on and then Register for Feb 25th, 2014 PD Event.
Don't hesitate to contact the Local Office should you require any assistance.

For those of you looking for other PD opportunities, the Ontario Teachers' Federation is pleased to continue supporting teacher learning through OTF Connects.  Developed by teachers for teachers, this professional webinar program provides you with easy-to-access PD right at your home computer.

Facilitated by experienced teachers.  OTF Connects webinars provide impactful and effective opportunities to learn, create and collaborate with other teachers across the province.  Teachers leave each session with immediately useful ideas for their classroom.

All OTF members are invited to come and and experience this connected learning environment.  We know you will find a source of inspiration for your students and yourself with OTF Connects!

How to access OTF Connects?
Visit, go to Learning, click on OTF Connects.
Live webinars:  Register online through OTF Connects.  A wide variety of session topics are available in the 2013-14 calendar, including 21st century learning, critical thinking, financial literacy and violence prevention.

Archived webinars:  A complete list of archived sessions and numerous related resource links can all be found under Resources at OTF Connects.  New Recordings from all 2013 - 14 webinars will be posted within days of the live session.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Update; ETFO Awards Deadline; Local $25 Book Rebates

Happy New Year to all and welcome back!  Nothing like beginning the school year off with not just one, but two snow days!  Now back to what we're here to do.

We have received several queries as to whether or not LTOs are paid for the snow days.  Yes, those in LTO's will be paid according to their FTE as if Monday and Tuesday were days of work.

On another note, elementary Occasional Teachers are eligible to apply for the ETFO Awards offered annually by Provincial ETFO. The February 3rd award deadline is fast approaching. This group of awards recognizes activities and programs at the local level, distinguished academic achievements, long service and outstanding contributions to education and this Federation by its members and others.

For a summary of these awards, please visit the following link: or contact Lorna Larmour at or 1-888-838-3836 ext. 2212.

Finally, a reminder that the Local is again offering $25 Book Rebates for members to purchase a book related to their professional learning needs.  Look on this website for the form, follow the directions and ensure that your application reaches us by the end of May, 2014.