Upper Canada Occasional Teachers

sylvia@uppercanadaot.com
613-291-3147

YOUR LOCAL TEAM

Sylvia van Campen
How / why did you become involved in your Local?

I was raised in a social justice minded family, full of educators, and understanding the labour movement was a part of my upbringing.  I believe strongly in the value of public education and wanted to make a difference by advocating for both students and teachers.  I first became officially involved with ETFO in my local at my previous school board, after attending a local meeting and becoming engaged in the discussion. It was a time of political challenge and cuts to publicly funded education. I was "tapped on the shoulder" to be a part of things; I joined the executive and began to learn. 

What are your educational interests?

I am passionate about learning (at all ages) and I see education as an "equalizer"; one of the most significant influences in a society. My background is in science, and I am a "question asker" as I look to understand the world around me. Because of this, my educational interests include professional  learning for teachers, special education; creating a life long love of learning in students and engaging students through inquiry;  social justice and equity, and political action to advocate for public education and student learning conditions (which are, of course, our working conditions). 

Your favourite education related quote.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. -- Nelson Mandela

President
Bobbie Wylie
How / why did you become involved in your Local? 

A friendly fellow occasional teacher (and current executive member) approached me in the hall one day after school. She was kind enough to tell me about our Local. I had been feeling a bit lost and uncertain as a new hire and she reached out at exactly the right moment. She told me about an upcoming General Meeting and the rest is history. 

What are your educational interests?


-special education
-child and youth mental health
-education law
-issues surrounding youth-at-risk
-leadership development
-design / development of teaching resources

Your favourite education related quote. 


"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think." -- Albert Einstein

Vice President
Judy Haddad
How / why did you become involved in your Local?

As with many adventures, it all began with a tap on the shoulder during my very first years of teaching. I did not hesitate because it was my ignorance of the workings of the teaching profession and the lack of knowledge of our collective agreement that caused some anguish during those first few years. I wanted to be fully aware of the laws governing our working conditions and how I could have an impact on my teaching life. Many years later, I am still learning.

What are your educational interests?


The field of education can consume every minute of your day, if you let it. The trick is to focus on the moment with an eye to the bigger picture.

Your favourite education related quote. 


There is no "try" there is only "do."
Treasurer
Shane Schwendemann
​​How / why did you become involved in your Local?

I got involved because of the injustice I felt that our employer was creating for our more experienced, career OTs. Then, shortly after I got involved, I started to see the injustice our government was creating within our entire profession. I wanted to make a difference and be on the side that helps to make positive changes for our members.

What are your educational interests?


My interests within our profession has always been that a teacher is a teacher. I look forward to the day when there will be parity between “contract” teachers and “occasional” teachers. Aside from that, my reason for staying in this profession is to help children learn and be a part of their educational journey.

Your favourite education related quote. 


"The expert at anything was once a beginner." -- Helen Hayes
Member-at-large
Paula Carmichael
How / why did you become involved in your Local?

Honestly, I became involved with the Local through a tap on the shoulder!  If someone hadn’t asked me to attend a meeting, I would have missed out on so many amazing opportunities. I’m so thankful that I said yes!  It is fundamentally important to know all that you can about your profession and working conditions because our working conditions are our students' learning conditions.  When we are involved we can and do, make a difference!

What are your educational interests?


Professionalism is inherent in our role!  I feel very strongly that together we can work to shift away from the stereotyped image of the "supply" or occasional teacher. This is something that I am very passionate about.  Additionally, I actively promote inclusion in our learning communities and I have a keen interest in special education, agriculture, and the effects of socio-economics on learning. I am also an advocate for ongoing professional learning so we can continue to thrive in theory and practice, as we strive to stay abreast of current issues and trends in education.

Your favourite education related quote.
 

 “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi  
Professional Learning Chair
Catherine Robbens
How / why did you become involved in your Local? 

I started attending AGM meetings a couple of years back. I was curious as to what the executive actually did. I had been approached about joining a committee, but the time never seemed right. Last spring, I was nominated for the position of member-at-large by a former member of the executive and I accepted. I felt that maybe my experiences in education could now help others.

What are your educational interests?


-kindergarten as a strong start
-working with students with LDs
-learning about technology use within the school board
-teachers as learners

Your favourite education related quote.
 


"We do students no justice by removing all the thorns from the rose of education." While we need to help students learn, we don't help them if we give them all the answers.
Member-at-large
Jennie Brundige
How / why did you become involved in your Local?

This is my second year as part of the UCOTL local. I am Co-chair of member engagement and I am on other committees. When I started with UCOTL, I did not know much about what ETFO did for me. I started participating in local ETFO events and attended a few meetings. I began to realize the importance the Local had and I decided I wanted to be part of the voice for our members.

What are your educational interests?


I graduated from Nipissing University with my B.Ed. in 2012 and started my teaching career in 2013. I enjoy being an OT, meeting new people and students along with the different creative teaching opportunities each day brings.

Your favourite education related quote. 


I really like the quote by W.B. Yeats -- "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." As educators our job isn’t to just to plug kids full of information but inspire them to want to learn more.
Member-at-large
Leeann Blondin
How / why did you become involved in your Local?

I started becoming involved by attending social gatherings that the Local was hosting. My curiosity about our union led me to attend a few programs such as Visions, Union School, Mobilizing for Justice and Women in Action, which helped me to further my leadership skills, and get more involved within my community. I was elected to the Local’s executive for the last 2 years as I wanted to be a voice for our members and bring learning opportunities / social events to the east part of our board.

What are your educational interests?


-advocating for special need students
-teaching FSL
-violence in the schools
-bridging the gap between teachers and OT’s

Your favourite education related quote. 


“So often you find that the students you’re trying to inspire are the ones that end up inspiring you.” -- Sean Junkins
Member-at-large
Kyle McCulloch

How / why did you become involved in your Local?

I actually went to the AGM without any intention of actually getting involved. Talked to a few people at the meet and greet before the actual meeting and ended up getting nomination papers signed. Then I made a speech about not being a “union person” and somehow got elected. Since then I have seen the work these folks do and can say I am now a “union person”.

What are your educational interests?


-holistic education
-outdoor education
-special education


Your favourite education related quote. 


"Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling." -- Bill Belichik 


Member-at-large