Wednesday, March 30, 2016

NEW Google Drive Workshop PD Opportunities in St. Thomas for ETFO-TVOT Members

We are pleased to provide our members with Beginner and Advanced PD workshops in
Google Drive/ Classroom as requested.

Google Drive / Classroom - Beginner's Workshop  April 7th, 2016 from 4:30 - 7:30 PM
Come join us for an introductory session on how Google Drive and Classroom can be used in both Daily Occasional Teaching and and Long Term Occasional Assignments.  Learn how to create, edit and share docs with everyone involved.
Workshop assumes a basic knowledge of computers: turning on, using Web browser, accessing e-mails, etc.

Google Drive / Classroom - (More) Advanced Workshop  April 21st, 2016 from 4:30 - 7:30 PM
This is the follow-up session to the Beginner's Workshop, or a stand-alone session if you already have a moderate comfort level when using Google Drive and Classroom.  This session will showcase many of the powerful options that you have at your fingertips and will provide resources that will maximize your Google experience.

Both Workshops will take place at John Wise P.S. , 100 Parkside Drive in St. Thomas, N5R 3T9
Presenters for both Workshops:  Cari Patterson and Carolyn Cowie
A light meal will be provided with both sessions.

Registration will be available at please check later today/tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

TVOT Social Justice Night: Thursday, March 31st, 2016 - Lamplighter Inn; NEW Paid PD Opportunities

Join us after school on March 31st from 4:30 - 7:30 PM at the Lamplighter Inn for an informative workshop and dinner.  Choose one of the following workshops being offered:

Workshop #1:   LGBTQ Inclusive School Place Starts Here    
While many ETFO members strive to make schools safe for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) students, it is equally important to ensure that workplaces are safe for Federation members. This workshop introduces ETFO's new "Inclusive School Place Starts Here" video and accompanying resource guide with professional development learning modules to assist us in challenging homophobia, heterosexism, transphobia and addressing issues of discrimination, harassment and stigmatization. Presenter:  Alan Heatherington
Workshop #2:  Math as a Vehicle for Social Justice and Equity in the 21st Century
Equity and mathematics? Integrating the values of citizenship and character building into our lessons can be a challenge, even for the seasoned educator! Join us for a night of mathematics and learn how you can use math concepts to develop a dialogue of social justice in your long-term and daily occasional assignments! Presenter:  Vera Teschow
Workshop #3: Deconstructing Stereotypes of Aboriginal People
As a school board serving three First Nations communities, it is important for TVDSB Occasional Teachers to have the knowledge needed to confront negative attitudes toward First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples and to honour their rich histories, languages and cultures. This engaging workshop from ETFO Provincial will explore issues related to Aboriginal people, the influence and impacts of media and the role they can play in deconstructing stereotypes. Presenter:  Sheila Maracle
Register at

New: Opportunities for Paid Professional Development in Partnership with TVDSB
As a result of the recently negotiated Central Agreement, the Board has set aside April 15th as an additional PD Day in Thames Valley. 
Your OT Local has negotiated to offer several workshops at the BMO Centre that day and the Board will pay our members who attend a half-day of salary per session for those who participate. (NB. the Math workshop is a full-day session and participants will be paid to attend the full day.) OTs must still reserve .5 of a day for paid online mandatory training, with modules to be posted by the Board after April first.
Registration will be made available on the TVDSB Employee Portal and the courses will be:
- Power 2B Me (intermediate nutrition) with a capacity for 35 participants in the morning
- Power to Explore (junior level cross-curricular health) with capacity for 35 participants in the afternoon who did not attend the morning session of Power 2B Me
- Making Math Happen! Practical Strategies and Activities for Daily OTs with a capacity of 30; this is a full day workshop
- Welcoming Refugee Children and Their Families into our Schools with a maximum capacity of 60; this session will be offered in the morning and for other registrants, in the afternoon
For a full explanation of these sessions, please check the TVDSB Employee Portal.  We will also offer more details in next week's Blog.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Teachers' Pension video series for those planning to retire; PD at OTF; OCT Fees

Video Series for members considering Retirement:

OTF Learning Opportunities:
Aside from the modules selected by TVDSB to be eligible for paid professional development, the Ontario Teachers' Federation offers a wealth of training opportunities, resources and support to members.  To find out more please visit -
Professional Learning Button

Ontario College of Teachers' Fees:
Just a reminder that Occasional Teachers who were in a TVDSB long-term assignment on the first teaching day of January 2016 will note on their pay stub for that period, that the Board deducted $150 to cover OCT fees for this year.  All other OTs must pay their fees by April 15, 2016 in order to remain on the OT Roster.  online payment can be made by credit card at and please note that there is an penalty of $130 for late payments.

We look forward to hosting over 100 members at our PD Event at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn this afternoon.
Stay tuned for our next PD Opportunity on March 31, 2016.
Please be advised that your Local ETFO-TVOT office will be closed during March Break.
Should you require immediate URGENT attention, please contact Provincial ETFO at 1-888-838-3836/
Wishing everyone a restful and safe March Break!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wonderful PD and Comments

Thank you to those members who braved the stormy weather one week ago to attend Creating Caring Classrooms :  An Arts and Literacy Approach to Address Bullying, presented by Dr. Larry Swartz at the Stoneridge Inn.

The roaring fireplace and delicious dinner awaiting those in attendance made up for the outside wind, rain & snow squalls.  Dr. Larry Swartz, presented an "amazing" workshop confirmed by participant feedback.

We wanted to share the following comments from our office:

Work has indeed picked up these last few weeks and the Board is again beginning to experience unfilled daily jobs.  Remember that you can accept a job that has already begun and you will be paid for the full assignment as posted.  Just notify the school that you have picked up the call, are on your way and that you will arrive shortly.

Please spread the word that it is to an OTs advantage to teach more than 10 days each school year. As Occasional Teachers, we all contribute to the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and every year in which an OT teaches more than 10 days count towards the retirement factor of 85 that you need to retire with an unreduced pension. Just so you know, the 85 factor is determined by adding your age plus the number of pensionable years you have taught. For example someone who is 55 would have had to teach for 30 years to retire at full pension. It might not be an important consideration as you start your career but losing these years of service could have costly ramifications when it comes time to think about your retirement options.

Mandatory online training modules (for a half-day of pay) to be posted after April 1st. This will count as time worked for all purposes including the required 5 full days of elementary teaching needed to remain on the Roster.

Space is filling quickly for our upcoming PD Event on March 9th at the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road South, in London from 4:30 PM - 7:30 PM.
Register at for ONE workshop only please.