Getting involved in your ETFO

Since this space is dedicated to encouraging new teachers it seems like a great time to share some of the important benefits that you can gain from getting involved early on in your careers in education. 

So here is a little list and some handy links for you to click on to get you started;

  1. Your voice matters and as such you should feel represented and included. Joining a committee and following your ETFO local news is a great way to connect and find opportunities to learn how things work as well as find ways to support and serve in your region. A quick glimpse through some of the provincial locals shows committees for social justice, political action, and new teachers. Make sure you also attend your annual general meetings too. Your votes matter too.  
  2. Find a mentor. This does not have to be someone in your building. Technology and social media have created excellent mentorship channels for new members. ETFO Provincial has a link and as mentioned above, local chapters have New Teacher Committees. New teachers might also want to check out The Mentoree website
  3. Don’t go it alone. Although many of us graduate from teacher’s college feeling we have to have it all together, the truth is that no one comes out fully prepared. Once you graduate, and enter the classroom as a teacher or occasional teacher, the real learning begins. ETFO offers the Survive and Thrive conference to new teachers within their first 5 years of their careers. Some school boards also offer summer sessions for teachers who are switching grades or taking on new roles. YRDSB has hosted its Great Beginning Conference for years and it allows attendees to meet others and gain valuable and practical resources from experienced fellow educators. 
  4. Remember you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. When you are new to teaching or even looking to update your own lessons, ETFO has curated an excellent set of resources for its members. Start with Teaching and Learning and click on a sub-topic and scroll down. ETFO members has many phenomenal resources for educators by educators. Check out:
    ETFO Action on Anti-Black Racism 
    Building a Just Society 2SLGBTQ+  
    Adressing Anti-Asian Racism resource booklet
    There are way more to share, but I will let you enjoy discovering them at your own pace. 
  5. Take ETFO AQ and other courses. They are incredibly relevant and well taught by fellow member educators. They are also affordably priced and designed to fit your schedule. 
  6. Get on social media and find other like minded folx in education. #onted is a great place to start.
  7. Subscribe to the Heart and Art of Teaching and Learning blog. 

Most importantly, don’t forget that we are a family of committed, creative, and caring professionals who share a common goal to maintain the best public education system in the world. If you would like to connect please drop a line in the comments section. Welcome to ETFO. 

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Updated: May 31, 2021 — 4:50 pm

The Author

Will Gourley

P/J lead learner and SERT at Adrienne Clarkson PS in the YRDSB. Focused on disruptive, and divergent modern learning. Member of the global TED-Ed(Club) movement, 1 of 110 TED Ed Innovative Educators, and Global Math Project Ambassador. Twitter @willgourley Proudly blogging here and at https://escheweducationalist.wordpress.com/

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