Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Another TVOT PD Opportunity - February 24th, 2016

Join us on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 from 4:30 - 7:30 PM at the Best Western Stoneridge Inn & Conference Centre (6675 Burtwistle Lane, London, Ontario    N6L 1H5) for one of the following workshops:

Workshop 1:  Creating Caring Classrooms:  An Arts and Literacy Approach to Address Bullying

In this interactive workshop, participants are invited to connect, react and respond to stories, information, and literature about issues and important events connected to the complex issue of bullying. Educators will be provided with resources and literacy and arts-based activities designed to help students work towards an understanding of building better relationships while examining their own beliefs and attitudes. Participants will receive a copy of The-Bully-Go-Round by Dr. Larry Swartz.

Presenter:  Dr. Larry Swartz
Larry Swartz has been an instructor in literacy as well as dramatic arts at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto for 18 years. He has been an educator for 4 decades and is well-known for his use of children's literature to help young people grow as readers, writers and citizens of the world.

 Workshop 2:  Achieving Balance at Work and in Life

The Challenge of trying to balance home and work life can often feel like a losing battle.  For many educators, it helps to know that they are not alone.
The primary goal of OTIP's Life Balance workshop is to assist you in re-evaluating your priorities. This workshop guides you through a series of exercises designed to assess how time is spent, determine changes that are needed to achieve and maintain balance, and set action plans to meet your personal goals. The result - a more balanced and meaningful life.

Presenter:  Robin MacDonald of the Ontario Teachers' Insurance Plan (OTIP)
Robin MacDonald is a Business Development Manager and OTIP has presented seminar and workshops to education employees for over 20 years.

Dinner will be served beforehand.

To Register, go to  Please select ONLY ONE workshop.

ETFO Advisory Regarding new OCT Surveys

Members of ETFO are advised not to participate in 2 surveys from the Ontario College of Teachers/OCT currently being conducted.

Members' Survey Regarding Coroner's Jury Recommendation on Attestation

The Ontario College of Teachers has sent emails to some members with the subject line "Members' Survey Regarding Coroner's Jury Recommendation on Attestation".  The College is requesting participation in a survey related to the Coroner's Jury recommendation that the OCT consider having its members attest annually that they have reviewed materials issued by the College relating to their duty to report abuse and/or neglect of children and youth to a children's aid society or child & family services agency pursuant to the Child and Family Services Act.
Please be advised that ETFO as well as OTF and the other affiliates have already been consulted by the College on this matter, and all are in agreement that it is not within the College's mandate to have members provide an annual attestation to the College in this regard.  As such, members of ETFO are advised not to participate in this College survey.

Professionally Speaking Reader Survey

The Ontario College of Teachers has circulated an intrusive marketing-type survey that asks personal questions which are well outside the role of the OCT (e.g., vacation habits, household income, number of cars, recreational activities).
Members of ETFO are advised not to participate in this College survey.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Designated Paid PD Days; Mandate Creep of the College of Teachers;

Designated Paid PD Opportunities
As you are aware, Thames Valley is the only Board in Canada where elementary OTs are eligible for 2 full days of paid professional develpoment, which amounts to an additional 2 days of employment since these count for all purposes as time worked (Pension, EI hours, seniority etc.). One half of these days is to be reserved for members to complete mandatory online training with these details to be published in April. Under the terms of our newly ratified Local Agreement, OTs are no longer restricted to using these opportunities on PA Days and now may use days they are not working to complete online modules, self-directed, job shadowing etc. Further information about the new parameters are available in the Employee Portal > Conference / Session Registration > Elementary Occasional Teacher PD 2015 - 2016. We encourage all members to take advantage of these opportunities to enhance their professional development.

Mandate Creep of the Ontario College of Teachers / OCT
OCT is the regulatory / disciplinary body of our profession. The College is not legislated beyond this and it certainly does not represent the interests of Teachers or OTs - this is the job of the federations which include ETFO and the Ontario Teachers' Federation. Because OCT is once again feigning the ability to speak for the profession, all Teacher affiliates are advising members not to participate in the two new OCT surveys: 1) Professionally Speaking Readers' Survey, an intrusive marketing campaign on behalf of its advertisers and 2) Members' Survey Regarding Coroner's Jury Recommendation on Attestation, as OCT attempts to have members annually check off that they have read posted OCT materials.  Further information about these matters can be found on the home page of

We look forward to seeing all registrants at the BMO Centre tomorrow afternoon for our Professional Development Event.  This event has filled up quickly and promises to be another beneficial event for our members.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New PD Day; Inclement Weather; Pay and Seniority for Partial Days; Report Cards and Professional Judgement

Newest PA Day:
TVDSB has just announced that the newly negotiated additional PD Day will take place on April 15, 2016.  LTOs will attend school and the morning will focus on Numeracy while the afternoon will be dedicated to Health and Safety.

Assignments and Inclement Weather:
Winter has finally taken hold of the region and with the onset of inclement weather comes the possibility of bus delays and school closures, though the Board has undertaken to keep sites open even if buses are cancelled this winter.
Please note that your OT Collective Agreement provides:
10.08: A Long-Term Occasional Teacher or Short-Term Occasional Teacher who is delayed by local weather conditions but arrives at school as soon as possible during the regular school hours of that day will not have a salary deduction made. "Local" means within the geographic area between the Occasional Teachers' home address and the school or worksite of said Occasional Teacher.
9.05: A Long-Term Occasional Teacher who is unavoidable absent due to a local act of nature over which no one has control may be granted up to 3 school days leave per school year with deduction of sick leave credit(s). Should the Long-Term Occasional Teacher be working less than a full day in the assignment, school day shall mean that Long-Term Occasional Teachers' work day on the day of the absence. A LTO may apply in writing to HR for an increase in the maximum allowable days under this section.
16.05: (a) The Board shall give a minimum of 2 hours notice of cancellation of any pre-arranged assignment. ... (b) In the event of inclement weather, Occasional Teachers will receive information on the status of school closures or delays in openings by the normal Board communication process.  Notice of closure due to inclement weather will be deemed to meet the minimum notice requirements of 16.05 (a)
The Local reminds Occasional Teachers that no job is worth risking your safety so please exercise caution when deciding what course of action to take on such days.

Pay and Seniority for Partial Days:
Many of the Teachers we replace have partial FTE or part-time contracts. Our Collective Agreement provides OTs will not be paid for anything less than a half day but after that the assignment will be pro-rated depending on how many minutes passed 150 (which defines .5 of a day), we teach.  This same fraction is added to your accumulated experience for the OT Roster which is why there are 2 decimal places on the rankings.

Report Cards and Professional Judgement:
ETFO Provincial has issued a Bulletin reminding LTOs and Teachers to use their professional judgement when completing report cards and the negotiated expectations in this process.  This is a provision negotiated at the Central Table and we refer you to the attached document for further details -

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The ETFO OT Website; PD Opportunities;

Welcome back and hope you enjoyed a pleasant Christmas break with family and friends. We wish you all the best of 2016 and would like to draw your attention to a few items:

ETFO's OT Website
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario has a website specifically to help Occasional Teachers Whatever your assignment or role as an occasional teacher, this site can support you with resources, tips and tools, and classroom experiences. From a quick work sheet to a long-term plan, you'll find it here.
Resources by Subject
Intermediate (82), Junior (124) and Primary (110) resources for French, Language Arts, Math, Phys Ed and Health, Science and Technology, Social Studies and the Arts.
Classroom supports
Includes Assessment and Evaluation (6), Bullying (13), Character Education (7), Classroom Management (10), Effective Use of Technology (15), ELL (11), Environmental Education (10), First Nations, Metis and Inuit Perspectives (4), Inclusive Schools (8), Instructional Strategies (22), Learning Bites (7), Mental Health (2), Planning (9) and Spec Ed (22).
The A to Z of Being an OT
Dealing with Allegations of Inappropriate Conduct (2), Employment Insurance (2), Coping with Stress (4), Getting the Job You Want (11), Being an ETFO Member (6), Advice from ETFO (15), Legal Issues (11), Professionalism (10), Duty to Report (1).

Upcoming PD Opportunity on January 21, 2016Join us on Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 4:30 - 7:30 PM at the BMO Centre for a light dinner followed by an evening workshop on one of the following topics:

Workshop 1   DPA (Daily Physical Activity) for the Occasional Teacher
Workshop 2   Intermediate Nutrition: Power 2BMe with Popular Program Kit
Workshop 3   Mindful Teacher, Mindful Classroom, Mindful Child

Go to for full descriptions of each workshop and to register.