Meeting With The Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association
We were delighted to meet with Filomena Ferraro and Peter MacDonald from the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) earlier this month. Ms Ferraro and Mr MacDonald were kind enough to answer the questions we had about teaching in Ontario and how their work relates to some of the education policy questions we have confronted during our time at Queens Park.
Ms. Ferraro and Mr. MacDonald spoke to us about the importance of collecting data on racism and how this serves to inform training on equity and diversity. This led to a discussion on the decolonization of the curriculum, what that might look like, the challenges that would have to be addressed first. It wouldn't be the 2020/2021 cohort without mention of COVID-19, and Ms. Ferraro and Mr. MacDonald did an excellent job in describing some of the difficulties faced by students and teachers this year. A challenge faced by teachers and students that has been amplified this year is the diversity of learning needs in the classroom. More, students with mental health and special needs considerations, having had an exceptionally trying year.
We also spent some time looking at the past and looking to the future. The former when we discussed the pre-pandemic teachers' strikes, which seems like a lifetime ago now. The latter with questions about the future of online education and how classrooms can learn from this year. It was an interesting discussion and an excellent opportunity to meet with representatives of OECTA, who have been a longtime champion and supporter of OLIP.