Over 100 educators and school board administration from across Ontario came together at the Ontario Institute for Studies (OISE) in Education on April 25, 2018 for the 4th annual Ontario Educators’ Conference. Participants were given the tools to support LGBTQ2S+ students in their schools and will continue work towards becoming champions of equity and inclusion in their respective communities. Over a dozen workshops happened throughout the day, facilitated by educators, LGBTQ2S+ activists, and politicians. Workshops from the day addressed topics such as “Transforming Policy into Practice,” “Intentionally Imbedding Equity in the Classroom,” and “Active Listening in Schools.”
This event began in order to address a need for further professional development, following the passing of the Accepting School Act, Bill 13, in 2012. Growing from the initial event in 2013, the OEC conference is about sharing capacity and best practices, to ensure that systemic change in education, happens equally across Ontario and Canada. It is with great pride that the CCGSD hosts this annual event with the OISE to ensure that teachers are equipped to give their students guidance and education while also working to affect positive change in their boards. We believe that the influence of educators and school board staff can help students navigate their individual journeys of identity and expression and offer them protection from discrimination. It is the important work of our participants that can help students have a positive school experience and allow them to thrive as they reach adulthood.
This past year, we have also included an extra day to the conference that feature two breakout rooms that are tailored to educators from the catholic school boards and to LGBTQ2S+ identified educators. The CCGSD wants to make sure that all educators are given equal opportunity to learn from one-another and are offered a space to feel respected and heard. We are delighted at the turn out to both these events and are excited to continue to grow them more to better serve catholic and LGBTQ2S+ identified educators.
Thank you to all our presenters, participants, volunteers, and staff for your continued support!
For more information on the Ontario Eduators’ Conference, please visit ccgsd-ccdgs.org/oec or email Jeremy Piamonte at firstname.lastname@example.org.