Connecting…Occasionally – May 22, 2015

nathan-coreEveryday seems to bring new challenges, we can only hope to prioritize and work diligently through the  issues. Remember the grade 3 student who looks up at you in shock at the shear size of the EQAO test. (Maybe not this year) – Take it one step at a time.

Right now it feels like I am staring at my own EQAO test. On the desk are Provincial Negotiations, Work-to-Rule Strike Action, LTO list grievance, Local Negotiations, Local AGM, end of year events, report cards, Contract and LTO staffing and the list goes on! That being said the end is in sight!

I want to recognize the challenges that this Strike action has on Daily Occasional Teachers. Many OTs have seen a drop in pre-arranged assignments. June has traditionally been one of our busiest months I expect there to be work available but the process may change. We might see an increase in assignments appearing the night before or morning of. We will need to be proactive in picking up assignments as well as calling into the fail-to-fill line to acquire work.

Last night’s AGM was a major success. I would like to congratulate Josh Heisler and Angelo Volpini who will be joining the executive for the 2015-2016 school year. I would like to also thank Elizabeth Cassidy, Meredith Bee and Theresa Vang for their past work. There are many people who make this event happen and I am very appreciative of all the support!

For those of you who missed this event, I encourage you to come out next year and be sure to attend our Fall General Meeting in October.

Committee reports (and sign-up!) are now live on the website

The Executive will review the committee applications and approvals will be made in June. You will also be able to review the reports of the Executive

OT Tip: Prep Time & the Daily OT

Prep time and the Daily OT

This is a topic that arises from time to time and I felt the need to re-visit it.

A teacher’s prep time is for them to use as seen fit. When a daily OT takes over the classroom for the day they have the right to a self-directed prep time. However, the plans may suggest that the OT make photocopies for the next period, gather resources for the next math lesson, take some time to assess the previous science lesson, deal with a class management issue, write observational notes, mark on a rubric, etc. All those things that a teacher would use a prep time for. As you know the OT may be able to cover some of those items during their prep, but things can arise and they might not get to them.

However, it would be inappropriate to instruct an OT to go assist in another classroom, I fail to see how that would be considered prep work and it erodes not just our own collective agreement, but the Waterloo Teacher Locals’ as well.

If any teacher chooses to use a prep time to assist in another classroom they may do so.

I feel that some suggestion is okay because the OT might not know what needs prepared depending on the plans that are left.

Connecting Occasionally – April 24, 2015

Hello Members,

It has been a very busy couple of weeks and I belive it may be forshadowing the months to come. It is more important than every that members stay up to date on the provincial issues. If you haven’t already, please visit for up to date information and keep an eye open for “ETFO Bargaining Bulletins.” The Ontario public school boards are demanding that we give up many rights that we have bargained for over the years. We have a responsibility to be aware of the issues so that we can defend our collective agreement.

Locally, we will soon begin bargaining directly with the WRDSB and attempt to make gains as outlined in the preliminary submission. Our collective bargaining team will keep the members updated as this process moves forward.

Thank you to the PL committee, executive members, and everyone who attended the “Carousel of Workshops” on April 17th. It was a major success and feedback from the workshops has been well received. I look forward to next year’s event.

The local has put out a call for executive nominations as well as delegates to the provincial annual meeting in August. Please consider both of these opportunities. Don’t hesitate to inquire if you have questions about the roles or the process.

Nathan Core

April 17th PD Day / Carousel of Workshops

Quick reminder that this Friday is a professional development day. The afternoon is designated for ETFO. Your PL committee has worked hard creating a “Carousel of Workshops” 

If you are in an LTO, you can request from your admin to attend the workshop for the entire day. Most likely you will have system training demands.

If you can only attend the afternoon, please simply register for one session and e-mail the organizer Marsha Cober The PL committee has extended the registration till Wednesday.

For those LTOs who do not wish to attend the Carousel, you may self direct your professional development for the afternoon.

Workshop: Student Mental Health – Thursday, April 9, 2015

This workshop is designed to provide teachers with information and knowledge about student mental health and strategies to use with student experiencing mental health difficulties. This workshop will include the free resource entitled “Supporting Minds”

  • When: Thursday April 9, 2015
  • Time:   4:30pm to 7:00pm
  • Where:  OT Office – 130 Highland Road East Kitchener.

Extra parking is available behind the building or across the “kitty corner”

A dinner will be provided.  Dependent care subsidy available upon request.

For registration, please go to


-Equity and Social Justice Committee