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Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
Etobicoke, says: “better teachers equate to better
schools and educational outcomes.”
What OECTA offers teachers via profes-
sional development is very different from what
school boards provide. Claire Laughlin, Provincial
Coordinator of OECTA Additional Qualification
(AQ) courses, says the boards’ professional devel-
opment is done on a large scale. OECTA offers AQ
courses that can be broken down into modules to
meet teachers’ needs. It’s all rooted in the philoso-
phy of “for teachers, by teachers. The department
gets OECTA teachers to create the workshops and
then deliver them to other teachers.
“We use the moniker ‘Just in time and just
right’ for what we can deliver,” says Laughlin.
“We are always asking ourselves the question,
‘What do teachers need to know now?’”
For example, in 2010 when full-day
Kindergarten was introduced, no whole-scale
development was offered to teachers. OECTA
brought together its members who were going
to teach full-day Kindergarten and prepared
them for what was to come.
“As a professional association, we can antici-
pate and respond to teachers’ needs, because
they are our only stakeholder,” says Laughlin.
“Our teachers are our number one priority.”
“I did benefit,” says Dave Levac, MPP for
Brant, who was a teacher in the Catholic system
and a very involved member of OECTA from 1977
for 1997. He says he benefitted from OECTA’s
professional development, as well as group
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