Introducing the newly created CTF Services to the profession
Services to the Profession is a whole new CTF department. As the name implies, this department serves the teaching profession while subscribing to broad guiding principles such as access to quality public education for all and social justice.
The Services to the Profession team members have the privilege to work not only with CTF Member organizations and partner organizations overseas, but also, through these organizations, with teachers from all over Canada and several developing countries. Whether it is through international development projects or our own programs such as Imagineaction, our ultimate objective is the same: to have a positive and lasting impact on students, their learning and their environment, as well as on teachers and communities. Our programs and services focus on leadership development at the teaching, administrative, and community level.
Brigitte Bergeron began her position as the Director of the newly created Services to the Profession on April 1st, 2015.
Brigitte Bergeron, a teacher and bilingual senior manager in the field of education, has a solid expertise in special education and in the development of professional development programs for teachers. The native of Jonquière, Québec holds a Master in Education Degree from the University of Toronto and prior to joining CTF, coordinated the Official Languages unit at the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. In addition, her communications skills and experience in managing multidisciplinary programs will serve the Federation well.
Imagineaction is celebrating its fifth anniversary as the CTF social justice program with over 2,000 registered teachers, 413 school and community projects which have directly engaged 150,000 students everywhere in this country. Imagineaction is unlike any other current education program for the classroom because it focuses on the following:
TEACHER PROFESSIONALISM • teacher learning and teaching • school-community cooperative and collaborative process • mutual respect of expertise • inspiration and passion for teaching.
PEDAGOGY • inquiry and project-based • critical thinking and reflection • mutual learning, understanding and respect • authentic and relevant • enhancement of empathy • nurturing character education • responsible citizenship • inspiration and passion for society.
VALUES • the value of relationships • the value of community engagement • the value of health and wellness • the value of leadership • the value of environmental sustainability • the value of eliminating poverty • all with a view to vibrant, equitable communities for all.
This fall, Imagineaction will offer classroom teachers across the country an exclusive online program that will facilitate the education of human rights. For the first time in Canada, an online pedagogical resource will enable students to learn about Canadian defenders for human rights on current political and social issues. But more importantly, it will also enable students to self-identify locally as defenders for human rights. SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER CANADA, look for it in September 2015!
Being a part of Services to the Profession is a natural development for the International Program, and marks an exciting new chapter in its 50+ year history. This new team generates extended opportunities to link professional partnerships shared with overseas partners with the professional services provided to Member organizations across Canada.
Challenges faced by Canadian teachers are similar to those faced by teachers the world over. As a global profession, we seek to ensure that quality education is made accessible to every child. Therefore, teachers not only work constantly to enhance learning for children, but also consult with parents and inform the public so that publicly funded public education remains strong and healthy. Overseas, the CTF International program, with its partners, works to bring Professional Development (PD) to teachers while mobilizing parents and communities to support the local school and advocate for better learning conditions for their children.
CTF International Program contains three Program Areas:
Teachers’ action for Teaching (TAT) focuses on PD in various forms, including in-service courses and workshops, mentoring of teachers, planning for whole school change and school improvement, partnering with parents and the community, and others;
Teachers Action for Gender Equity (TAGE) focuses on strengthening the role of women teachers in their organizations and in the profession, developing gender friendly school environments, improving girls’ access to and completion of school, addressing school based gender violence, and sensitizing parents and the community to the importance of girl’s schooling;
Teachers’ Action for Teacher Organizations (TATO) focuses on strengthening national teacher organizations (NTO) as they provide services to members and advocate as the voice for teachers in their country. This is done through leadership training, institutional support, and through mentoring and working with teacher organizations on the ground.
In all cases, our work is done to meet needs and reach goals that partner organizations have identified as part of their work going forward. Therefore any technical assistance provided through CTF missions to partner countries is done to advance these goals. Such missions include planning sessions, implementing pilot projects, mobilizing communities, and mentoring teachers and union leaders.
Project Overseas (PO) is an essential and central part of the International Program, integrated into long-term partner projects. While it primarily addresses Teachers’ Action for Teaching, PO also contributes to TAGE and TATO goals as well. In July 2015, 57 Canadians from 15 CTF Member organizations will work on 13 projects in 11 countries in Africa and the Caribbean.
Projects in both the International Program and professional services for Canadian teachers can enhance one another in a variety of ways. Already ideas are emerging that connect the insights that Canadian teachers invariably gain from PO with practical project opportunities available through Imagineaction.
There is also much within the Speak Truth to Power project that can link Canadian teachers and students, with their counterparts overseas. Identifying defenders of human rights, a key part of Speak Truth to Power, is an activity that naturally brings connections, both local and global. Other links are also emerging within CTF’s Services to the Profession team. When teachers in Canada identify child poverty as one of the two most pressing national challenges they face, we see our struggles at home mirror those elsewhere. School–based gender violence is a major challenge facing teachers in every country and setting. And the list goes on.
As a profession, we are faced with numerous challenges and opportunities. This newly formed CTF team is designed to bring services to CTF Member organizations and teachers around the world that will assist the profession as it moves forward.
From left to right: Salwa Maadarani, Executive Assistant; Alex Davidson, Program Officer; Brigitte Bergeron, Director; and Pauline Théoret, Program Officer.