Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Important TVARRIS Informaiton; Winter AQ Course Registration, ECE Appreciation Day, Student Mental Health and more....

BIG TVARRIS CHANGE On Friday October 28, the TVARRIS system will be unavailable from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM while the system is upgraded. After the upgrade is completed, the URL and the Telephone number of the TVARRIS system will be changed to the following:
Telephone Number - 888-209-3162
Please change your bookmarks and contact information to reflect this change.

Registration for Winter AQ Courses opens Monday, October 31st, 2016 and runs until January 4th, 2017.  The Winter Session runs from January 11th to March 31st, 2017.  Courses do not run during March Break.  Subsidies are still available through OTF for math, technology and kindergarten courses. Members are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointment.

Today is Early Childhood Educators Appreciation Day.  The ETFO Thames Valley Occasional Teachers' Local reminds our members to take a moment to celebrate these crucial partners in education.

Student Mental Health Resource Development Focus Group
Provincial ETFO is seeking ten members from across member groups (Teachers, Occasional Teachers, Designated Early Childhood Educators) to participate in a year-long project focused on developing a student mental health resource. Please see the Events Management System for application details.  The application deadline is October 28 at 4 p.m.

The Visions Program 2017 is a leadership program for women in their first five years of ETFO membership.  The program highlights union renewal and will focus on building participants' knowledge of ETFO, the broader labour movement, and opportunities for activism.  Register online at beginning October 25th.

Fall General Meeting
Just a reminder to TVOT members that our Fall General Meeting will be held this Wednesday at the West Haven Golf Course off of Fanshawe Road.  Registration is still available at Come meet your peers and enjoy a lovely meal. We would love to meet you and hear of your concerns.

October 25th PD Event
Lastly, we would like to thank all of our members who attended the Local's first Professional Development Event for the 2016 - 2017 school year, held at the Four Points by Sheraton yesterday! The three sessions were well-attended and very beneficial. And of course, dinner was delicious!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Welcome to 2 new Executive Members, New Lending Library, Fall General Meeting Information, ETFO Online Webinar Series

We would like to announce and welcome our 2 new Executive Members at Large, Farida Makhani and Sharon Pinylo.  Thank you for getting involved and we look forward to your contributions.

We are also very happy to announce our new Lending Library at the ETFO-TVOT office, 521 Nottinghill Road, suite #8, in London.  We have over 150 quality volumes available for our members to take out. Titles and reservation steps can be found on the ETFO website:

Registration is open for our Fall General Meeting, taking place on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 from 4:30 - 7:30 PM at West Haven Golf and Country Club, 7038 Egremont Drive, London, Ontario N6H 5L2.

Enjoy a free and fabulous dinner and door prizes.
 - Assorted Rolls with Whipped Butter
 - Variety of 4 House made Salads
 - Roast Top Sirloin of Beef with Yorkshire Pudding
 - Chicken Supreme with a Chasseur Sauce
 - Eggplant Parmesan
 - Seasonal Vegetables
 - Oven Roasted Herb Potatoes
 - Selection of Desserts
 - Freshly Brewed Coffee & Selection of Gourmet Teas

Donations of children's items for Merrymount Children's Center accepted at this meeting and greatly needed and appreciated .

Register at:

ETFO Online Webinar Series - Connected Communities

Phase One of the 2016 - 2017 Connected Communities project features a schedule of 16 webinars, run by members for members, during the month of November, 2016.  These webinars, funded by the Ministry, have been designed to support teaching and learning in mathematics, kindergarten and technology.

Topics include:

 - An Overview of Google Apps for Education
 - Introduction to Makerspaces
 - Gamified Learning - Learning through Game Play
 - Inquiry-based Learning in Kindergarten:  How and Where to Get Started
 - Games Layer on the Classroom - Applying Game Mechanics to the Classroom
 - Math in the Makerspaces
 - Innovate with iPad: Using iPad in the Primary Classroom
 - Using Web 2.0 Tools to Engage Students
 - Getting Started with Games in the Classroom
 - Technology in Mathematics
 - Customizable, Assessment Driven Game Environments for Learning to Full Immersion
 - Observation and Documentation in Kindergarten:  Communicating and Sharing Learning with Students and Families
 - GAFE in Mathematics
 - Assessment with GAFE in the Classroom
 - Communication in Math
 - Walking the Line:  Math

Participants will have the option to participate in one or multiple webinars. Members have requested the above topics and will appreciate the support represented by this series of webinars. They will be held on a weekday evening from 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM.  Registrations will be processed on a first-come/first-served basis and will close one (1) week prior to each webinar.

To register please have your ETFO membership handy and visit the ETFO Events Management System at conferences and click on the Connected Communities 2016 tab.

For more information. contact Janet Millar Grant at the the ETFO provincial office,


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Four Points Event on Oct 25; Missed the ETFO Town Halls? Women's History Month video; Inspire to Learn

October 25th at the Four Points by Sheraton
Just a reminder of our upcoming three workshops being held on Tuesday, October 25th from 4:30 - 7:30 PM in London. As always, our evening begins with a lovely dinner (to allow members to arrive from across the valley). Spots are still available for 1) Classroom Management - A Practical Guide being presented by Cari Patterson, a fellow TVDSB Teacher; 2) DRiVE Inquiry Science presented by TVDSB's Ryan Jeffries; 3) JUMP Math - presented by Frances Agro who is employed by JUMP Math and is in charge of Teacher support.  More details and registration can be found at

Missed Your Telephone Town Hall Meeting? Listen in at ETFO's Events Portal
Earlier this week, ETFO held telephone town hall meetings to update members on Bill 115 remedy discussions with the government.
Missed your telephone hall meeting?  There's still a chance to listen in on the discussion.  An audio file of one of the town hall meetings has been placed in ETFO's member-only Events Portal, in the section called My Collective Bargaining.  The audio file will remain active for seven days until Friday, October 14 at 4:00 pm.
For information about how members can sign in to ETFO's Events Portal, go to

Women's History Month
Did you know that October is Women's History Month?
ETFO has produced a video on activism, women's struggle to obtain voting rights and equality over the last century. Go to to watch "A Women's (Political) Work is Never Done".

ETFO's New Website
"Playing to Learn: Engaging Junior/Intermediate Learners"
is anew comprehensive website to help Teachers bring play based learning to J/I students. Take the quiz then look over the curriculum linked lesson plans that can support you to increase the amount of play in your classroom.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Upcoming PD Opportunities for OTs and ETFO "Bill 115 Remedy" Town Hall Meeting

Our First PD event is quickly approaching.  You will have the opportunity to attend and participate in one of the following PD workshops on October 25th at the Four Points by Sheraton, 1150 Wellington Road South in London. This PD will run from 4:30 - 7:30 PM and dinner is included.

Topics include:

1) Classroom Management:  A Practical Guide 
Learn to develop effective classroom management strategies to use in your assignments.  Discover and learn to find resources that will help develop your own classroom management style.  Implement a "classroom economy" to engage even your most reluctant students and learn to fine tune it to your daily assignments.  Come with your questions as we will be discussing the "nitty-gritty" of practical classroom management.   Presenter:  Cari Patterson

2) DRiVe Inquiry Science:  Using Inquiry to Teach Science
Heard about "inquiry"? Curious about the DRiVe Inquiry Science framework for discovery-based learning? Learn more about DRiVe and how to structure your scince lessons to promote inquiry-based learning.  This workshop will answer your basic questions and give you a head-start to using collaborative inquiry with your students!  Presenter:  Ryan Jeffries

3) JUMP Math:  An Introduction for Using Jump Math in Your Classroom
You've probably seen JUMP Math workbooks in classrooms or resource rooms and have wondered how they are used.  Perhaps you are in an LTO and are wondering how to use JUMP Math for your struggling learners.  This workshop will give a gentle overview of the JUMP Math philosophy and resources.  JUMP Math is a numeracy program dedicated to encouraging an understanding and a love of math in students (and educators)! and assumes that all children can be led to think mathematically.
Presenter:  Frances Agro, Manager Outreach and Teacher Support, JUMP Math

Registration to open at the website in the next few days.

ETFO "Bill 115 Remedy" Town Hall Meeting 7:30 PM tonight:

Provincial ETFO will be holding a telephone town hall meeting tonight to provide members with information about ETFO's discussions with the government regarding a remedy to ETFO's successful Bill 115 challenge.  Look for an invitation by telephone tonight just a few minutes before 7:30 PM when our session is slated to begin.

Look for these paid PD Opportunities to be posted on the TVDSB Employee Portal for October 28, 2016

Your Occasional Teacher Local is pleased to co-host with the Board, the following options for paid Professional Development offered at the Stoneridge Inn in Lambeth on October 28th.  For further details and registration, please go to the Employee Portal > Conference Registration.

- Yes you can!! - Presented by Polly Stringle:  Half-day session being offered in the morning and again in the afternoon:  This Drawing Workshop for the J/I level will give Occasional Teachers the necessary strategies to help students become better artists, observers, and visual problem-solvers. Mini-lessons, valuable technical tips, and concrete ideas for longer finished artworks will be provided in this hands-on session.  Explicit links to the Math and Language curricula will be incorporated, providing OTs with rich, cross-curricular approaches to improve student learning.  Each participant will receive the resource, "Art for Kids: Drawing, The Only Drawing Book You'll Ever Need to Be the Artist You've Always Wanted to Be".
 - Maximum 25 per session (A mid-day snack will be provided by the Union).
- Soap Stone Carving - Presented by Robert Morgan: Half -day session being offered in the morning and again in the afternoon. Take part in the exciting art of soapstone carving with the Stoneman, Robert Morgan, a master carver and native Canadian.  The Stoneman will introduce OTs to the fundamentals of carving, the safe use of tools, the different uses of soapstone and the different art styles.  Participants will also learn to plan and bring hand eye coordination into action.  This course has been very successful with the J/I level and at the end participants will walk away with a completed carving.  - Maximum 25 per session (A mid-day snack will be provided by the Union.)
- Welcoming Refugee Children and Their Families into Our Schools presented by ETFO - Half day session being offered in the morning and again in the afternoon: This practical and interactive workshop will give information and strategies to support Occasional Teachers who will be welcoming refugees and newcomers into their school community.  You will have an opportunity to learn more about creating an environment for understanding, acceptance, and integration of these students, while forging important connections with families.  Topics that will be included are:  the acculturation process, second language acquisition, using first language as a resource, determining ESL/ELD programming needs and differentiated instruction will be covered.  Suggested resources to help with the inclusion and success of students will be shared.
 - Maximum 60 per session (A mid-day snack will be provided by the Union).
- Teaching Mathematics for Occasional Teachers  presented by ETFO : (full day)
A new full-day ETFO provincial workshop to increase member confidence in teaching mathematics; explore effective instructional and assessment mathematics strategies; assist in the development of predictable classroom and instructional routines; and provide hands-on materials and strategies; assist in the development of predictable classroom and instructional routines; and provide hands-on materials and strategies that can be used in mathematics lessons across all grade levels. Participants will engage in dynamic workshop training that will highlight classroom-proven strategies and practices in relation to their daily work.
- Maximum 30 (a light lunch and mid-day snacks will be provided to participants by the Union).