Educators are such a hard working and dedicated lot. We spend time preparing for work and often seek opportunities to improve our learning and thinking outside of the school day. In my work as a local executive member, I am commonly asked to recommend some great professional learning that is both practical and reflective. If this is what you are looking for, then look no further than ETFO professional learning programs.

ETFO offers a variety of Additional Qualifications (AQ) courses online and even a few onsite. Throughout the year you will find that there are many opportunities to enroll in each session and the courses are taught by teachers for teachers. I have taken many AQ courses with ETFO and have always been impressed by the instructors’ knowledge and dedication to enriching the program experience. In fact, when I took Inclusive Classrooms online our instructor also had drop in Zoom meetings scheduled for us to connect with one another virtually and to help build the learning community. The instructors always connected theoretical course content to the practicality of the classroom. I had the opportunity to engage with teachers across the province and share ideas, strategies, and learning together.

If you aren’t looking for the time commitment of an Additional Qualification course, keep your eyes peeled for Professional Learning and Events run at ETFO’s Provincial Office. You will find a number of different events open for registration through the portal from single day conferences to multi-session programs. These wonderful learning spaces provide opportunities to meet in person with other like-minded individuals to learn and discuss important issues happening in education. There are specific programs for women, Indigenous Peoples, anti-Black racism, and so much more that are intentional about amplifying voices and providing safe spaces. The annual …And Still We Rise conference is a fabulous women’s conference connecting women across the province in a variety of workshops with inspirational guest speakers and opportunities to reflect and empower one another.

At times, there may be limited enrollment for provincial events, so connecting with your ETFO Local can also give you access to many opportunities right in your own geographical area. Your ETFO Local can offer a wide variety of PL workshops to service the members’ interests. Some of those workshops are provided by ETFO Provincial to locals, including Women in Action, Presenters on the Road, Summer Academy and more. In our own local, we have had local members sharing resources or engaging in conversations with members. At times, we have even had guest speakers from the community speaking to the membership about health, politics, or other pertinent topics. Getting involved and being connected with your local’s activities will give you the opportunity to lend your voice to your local team.

If you are looking to really get involved with your local executive, try volunteering for a committee, such as Professional Learning, Equity, or Status of Women. While you will be likely helping out with some events, you will also have the opportunity to attend learning sessions and have conversations together. When I first started with my ETFO Local, I was a volunteer for the PL committee. Each session was amazing, but the experience of learning how to provide an inclusive environment and the considerations that go into running an event was also invaluable. On that committee, we really got a chance to hear the topics members wanted to learn more about and it really helped me to frame some of my thinking about what was important to teachers. I learned so much from how municipal politics could directly affect education to hands-on activities to use when teaching dramatic arts. A lot of learning can come from being part of a local executive team, just from being present and involved.

As you move through this year of education and whatever it may bring, I hope that you consider participating in some of the great learning ETFO has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.