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GREAT TEACHING 15 June 2020 Professionally Speaking PHOTO: K ATHRYN GARVAN A t Connaught Public School in Collingwood, Ont., Ann Boucher once had a student named Pareen. School wasn't fun for her. Pareen, the only student there with brown skin, had been bullied the previous two years. Every day, she'd come home crying. Now, in Boucher's Grade 4 class, Pareen found an ally. Boucher showed kindness and compassion. She sought ways to compliment Pareen, and encouraged her to try out for basketball, which Boucher coached. Pareen excelled. "She was a special girl," says Boucher. "I tried to make her feel good about herself and increase her confi dence." This isn't a story about Boucher. It's about Pareen Gill, OCT. That little girl decided on her career right then, in 1991 in Grade 4. "That's why I wanted to be a teacher, to help other children the way Mrs. Boucher helped me," says Gill. "Empathy, caring and respect are values I have today because of Mrs. Boucher, who demonstrated these as a teacher. I knew one day when I was a teacher, I'd do everything to bring those traits to my students." She has. In 2019, Gill earned a Certifi cate of Achievement from the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence. The award summary states that for her, character "matters as much as academics." Gill, who teaches Grade 3/4 at Nottawa Elementary School in Collingwood, is in her 13th year of teaching. She started her career at Connaught, where Boucher was her colleague for six years. Looking back, Gill doesn't remember much of the curricu- lum from when she was in Grade 4. But she vividly recalls Character Driven BY STUART FOXMAN In everything she teaches, Pareen Gill, OCT, looks for ways to nurture the whole child. Pareen Gill, OCT, fosters an inclusive and caring environment for her Grade 3/4 class at Nottawa Elementary School in Collingwood, Ont. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 12 Professionally Speaking September 2020 In the spirit of open conversation and to support an array of perspectives, Professionally Speaking welcomes letters to the editor. The opinions expressed in letters are solely those of the authors and should not be interpreted as the view of the College. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters should be sent to ps@oct.ca, be in response to content in the magazine, and include the writer's phone number and registration number. Tell us what you think! CHAIR'S ADDRESS Chair Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT, will report on Council's activities from last year. DEPUTY REGISTRAR'S ADDRESS Deputy Registrar Chantal Bélisle, OCT, will refl ect on College initiatives from 2019. COMMITTEE REPORTS Hear from the chairs of the Discipline, Governance and Standards of Practice and Education committees. 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting of Members Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | 5:30–6:30 p.m. ENGAGE WITH US Have questions? Send them in advance at pollev.com/octoeeo. LIVE-STREAMING We're live-streaming the meeting. Visit oct-oeeo.ca/amm2020 and click on "play." Please ensure your computer or device has the minimum requirements to live-stream. Register at oct-oeeo.ca/register What a joy to start my day reading this article. Great Teaching, June 2020 issue of Professionally Speaking. This teacher (and her teacher before her) exemplify everything that a good teacher should be. How sad that so many teachers do not understand that establishing an environment of true mutual respect and caring is the corner- stone of successful teaching and learning. This teacher recognizes that she is not only an educator, but a parent, mentor, guide, social worker and, above all, a role model to her students. This is not only an article about excellence in teaching, but also a guide to good parenting and to all in any leadership position. Everyone, regardless of age, wants to be seen, acknowledged and appreciated with kindness. Retired but still invested in learning, Judith (Judy) Gould, OCT, was an environmental education teacher, Grades 4–8, with the Durham District School Board.

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