CONTRACT AND POLICY
Members new to the profession may be eager to please and reluctant to “rock the boat”. However, you should know the process and your rights. Here are some things to watch for.
You fit the definition of “new teacher” (new to teaching in a permanent position in Ontario, either full time or part time, but NOT including long term occasional work).
You have attended orientation sessions at the board and school level which included either a presentation from your OSSTF leadership or information on your collective agreement and federation contact numbers.
You have been offered a choice of mentors or mentorship arrangements or at the very least a safe, non-judgmental exit procedure in case you are not happy with your mentorship arrangement.
It has been made clear to you that your mentor will not be involved in evaluating you in any way. A successful mentorship must be based on trust and confidentiality.
You (in consultation with your mentor) have filled out the NTIP Strategy Form, being sure to cover only one or two key areas to focus on this year. Samples of completed forms are available on the OSSTF web site. The strategies are yours, not dictated by the principal.
The contents of the NTIP Strategy Form should not be a topic of discussion at any meeting related to the performance appraisal.
Time release is provided for you for NTIP activities such as meetings with your mentor, planned visits to other classrooms, PD sessions for new teachers etc.
The principal or vice-principal has met with you in advance of a performance appraisal to explain the 8 competencies that may be evaluated, the rubric and ratings to be used, and what the evaluator will be looking for to measure each competency. You should take detailed notes of what the principal/vice principal said he/she would be looking for.
A firm date for the classroom observation was set in advance so that you could prepare.
Your summative report was based on the competencies and the classroom observation, not on impressions the principal may have gained on unannounced “walk through” visits to your classroom, or on vague or unsubstantiated complaints from students or parents that you have not been made aware of.
If your rating was “Development Needed” (or “Unsatisfactory” on a second evaluation), you clearly understand the reasons for the rating, the actions you need to take, and what time, assistance and resources will be provided to ensure your success. If you receive one of these ratings, call your OSSTF Bargaining Unit President.
Do not hesitate to ask your OSSTF branch president if you are concerned about any aspect of your performance appraisal or your induction program. Your federation is there to protect your rights and help you succeed.