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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 15 March 2020 Professionally Speaking Retiring Soon? Stay connected with your profession. PROTECT AND PRESERVE YOUR PROFESSIONAL STATUS AS AN ONTARIO CERTIFIED TEACHER. Maintain your membership in good standing to: • participate in surveys and focus groups; • participate in pre-service program accreditations and Additional Qualifi cation course development; • return to a teaching assignment; • receive monthly updates via Your College and You; • learn about legal and regulatory matters affecting the profession; • continue your access to the Margaret Wilson professional library; • continue to receive Professionally Speaking; • nominate, run and vote in Council elections;* and • continue to use the OCT professional designation and more. * You must be a member in good standing and work a minimum of 10 days in the year prior to an election to participate. Plan to retire and never teach again? A quick note lets us know to change your offi cial status on the public register to "Retired." Or complete and submit the "Notice of Retirement" form at oct.ca to avoid the "Suspended — Non-payment of fees" status and enjoy life as an acknowledged — retired — teacher. Keep your membership alive. Share your experience. Visit the Members' area (oct.ca/members) to fi nd out how. "The contents of the letter do not align with the Education Act, which states, 'Every board shall promote a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils, including pupils of any race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.'" Pam Strong, OCT, is an Equity and Inclusive Education resource teacher with the Peel District School Board. "The front matter of all Ontario curricula also requires us to ensure that all our students see themselves reflected in their classroom learn- ing, and that respect and tolerance for diversity be an integral part of classroom teaching." Oliver Vidal, OCT, teaches French and Spanish at Oakville Trafalgar High School with the Halton District School Board. "A teacher can demonstrate integrity with the following message: 'Whether my beliefs do or do not support LGBTQ+ rights has nothing to do with my respon- sibility to my students. I am not betraying my faith by showing my students that they all deser ve safety and respect.'" Kyle J. McGiverin, OCT is a Grade 7 Core French teacher at Thomas Street Middle School with the Peel District School Board.

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