Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)

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The FAN - Issue no. 4/Fall 2020

The FAN - Issue no. 4/Fall 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

IN THIS NEWSLETTER

1.WELCOME BACK VIRTUALLY - A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

2. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM 2020)

3. PRESIDENT'S REPORT

4. EXECUTIVE UPDATE

5. HEALTH & SAFETY

6. FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

7. INSPIRATION - FACULTY NEWS

8. CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - THE FAN IS EVOLVING

9. CONTACT

1. WELCOME BACK, VIRTUALLY!

WELCOME BACK, AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING! - Jeannie Niokos

Dear Faculty, 

On January 25, 2020, may have been business as usual for most of us, but it wasn't for one family. A man returning from Wuhan, China became unwell; he called 911 and was taken to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. He was then placed in isolation, and two days later, his illness was confirmed. 

New Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, became a term that the entire world would quickly come to know, fear, and attempt to understand. Everything changed. We started practicing social distancing, standing two meters apart, confined to small social bubbles, wearing masks, online shopping, and curb-side pick-up.   As if that was not enough, we still had students to teach, and we did.

As educators,  we rose to the occasion and adapted to a new form of virtual education. The learning curve was challenging, even daunting at times. What is a Zoom? Do I need a mic? Headphones? What's an ethernet cable? These were the topics of discussion amongst many music teachers and educators on all social media platforms. It was exhausting trying to keep up. 

Now, eight months later, with perseverance and resilience, we have learned to adjust to a new normal and have been very excited to reconnect with our students. Our students missed us and we missed them. This fall we get to go back and do what we do best.  Enriching the lives of students with the most powerful artistic platform. Music.

The Faculty Association wishes you all a wonderful start to the new academic year and a Happy Thanksgiving. It is a time to be thankful and to remember that despite all the challenges that this pandemic has placed throughout the world, we still get to go to work. 

We are here for you and hope to continue serving you to the best of our abilities. We hope you enjoy the fourth edition of The FAN.

Jeannie Niokos Communications Officer

2. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM 2020)

AGM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23RD 11 A.M. (via ZOOM)

At this time, you should have received an information email that outlines all that you will need for our upcoming general meeting and elections on Friday, October, 23 at 11:00 a.m.

The information package included: 

      PDF's of the constitution and the motions for change. 

      The proposed budget from our treasurer.

      Link to our Nomination form that you can fill out in advance.

      ZOOM Link to the training session on October 19th. (teaching us how to vote virtually)

      ZOOM Link to the AGM Meeting on October 23rd. 

MARK YOU CALENDARS:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19th 11:00 a.m.- Training session with Juliet Tapia (OSSTF)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23rd 11:00 a.m. - AGM Meeting / Elections

 

NOMINATIONS:

Please be reminded that before you nominate anyone, you must have their consent.

You will have to click the box "Yes" which is under each position available for nomination.

The following positions are all open for nominations:

      President

      Vice-President

      Secretary

      Treasurer

      Communications Officer

      Three Faculty Executive member positions

3. PRESIDENT'S REPORT

PRESIDENT'S REPORT - Stanley Rosenzweig

Greetings and welcome to an unprecedented teaching year in the history of the RCM! Thank you all for your dedication, and on behalf of the Executive, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! With the school now partially re-opened, it is extremely important that we have input and share ideas and feedback with the RCM to enable us to work in a safe and healthy environment.

Safety is of the utmost concern for both faculty and students. In this regard I have been keeping in close communication with Nancy Vincent and Jeremy Trupp to sustain open dialogue together with Kerri Ferguson (OSSTF) and myself. If you have concerns or questions for the RCM regarding safety, please email them to me. 

This week marks the year anniversary since launching The FAN, and who knew that it would serve as such a critical platform for keeping in contact at this challenging time - my thanks to Jeannie, Jamie and Olivia for pulling together this Thanksgiving issue, and on behalf of your Executive, we look forward to seeing you at the upcoming AGM on October 23rd and keeping in touch heading into the Fall!

Once again, best wishes for a safe and happy long weekend and for the upcoming academic year.

Stanley

4. EXECUTIVE UPDATE

EXECUTIVE UPDATE

Over the summer, your Executive has made a smooth transition to regular meetings via zoom to address concerns regarding Covid-19 and prepare for our first Zoom AGM in October.

In addition to unprecedented meetings and communication through July and August, the Executive has hosted monthly Faculty General Meetings via Zoom (FGMZ) as a platform for members to stay in contact, address Covid-19 related concerns and share resources. In lieu of the Blue Binder, copies of the Minutes from recent meetings are available upon request. For copies of recent Minutes, please contact Jamie Thompson, Secretary

Thank you for all of your dedication and support! Please feel free to contact your Executive at any time with any questions, concerns or just to say hello!

Your Faculty Executive: 

President: Stanley Rosenzweig

Vice-President: Raffi Altounian

Secretary: Jamie Thompson

Treasurer / Health & Safety: Lala Loon

Communications / Anti-Harassment Officer: Jeannie Niokos

Olivia Esther: Faculty Executive

Dimitra Marangozis: Faculty Executive

5. HEALTH AND SAFETY

HEALTH & SAFTEY - Coping with Stress

Here is a great self-assessment and coping strategy tool from CAMH, related to Mental Health.  It was on ETFO’s website for teacher’s going back into the classroom.

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen in Canada and around the world, many are grappling to adjust to new norms for return to work and day-to-day life. At the same time, communities are coping with tremendous loss, grief, and trauma, while facing an uncertain future. Click here to explore our section on grief, loss and healing.

It’s normal to feel concerned about what’s next and it’s important to continue using  the strategies and tools you’ve relied on to support yourself and your family in this challenging time.

For additional information and resources, please check the OSSTF website here or feel free to reach out to members of your Executive at any time.

 

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

The Royal Conservatory of Music currently employs 201 diverse, vibrant teachers and musicians, and we believe this should be celebrated! The Faculty Spotlight has been created to honour achievements, acknowledge contributions, and learn from the experiences of the current or recently retired teachers representing the The Royal Conservatory School, The Taylor Academy and the Glenn Gould School.

The following faculty members have recently retired from the RCM Faculty:

      Alan Cullen

      Brahm Goldhammer

      David Richter

      Rachel Andrist

On behalf of the Faculty Executive Association we thank them for their many years of dedication and commitment to the school. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours!

7. INSPIRATION / FACULTY NEWS

CHAMBER MUSIC IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Celebrating the music of Patricia Morehead 

Saturday, August 29th 2020

by Jamie Thompson / RCM Flute Faculty

Late last summer, I received an unexpected and wonderful invitation to perform in Koerner Hall as part of a special event showcasing the music of Patricia Morehead on the occasion of the composer's 80th birthday. The concert - presented to a near-empty Koerner Hall and shared via livestream - was a great success, and featured a wonderful range of Morehead's chamber works for oboe, flute, voice, piano and harpsichord. 

[ Archived livestream available here ]

ABOUT THE SHOW:

Social distancing and safety protocol were strictly observed during the entirety of the event. Backstage, the mood was one of excitement but also rather subdued as we each found ourselves coming out of "covid-hibernation" to hit the stage! With approximately 19 people in the audience, there was a smattering of applause between pieces which was most welcome to simulate a 'regular' performance vibe for the otherwise livestreamed event!

Big thanks to the Koerner Hall crew who were as thrilled as the musicians to make a return to Koerner, and offered superb support throughout the day of the show! Chamber Music in a Time of COVID-19 was extraordinary in so many ways, and marked the first return to the hall since Covid-19 darkened the venue back in the spring. Limited use of Koerner Hall this season includes livestream shows and chamber music presented by Opera Atelier, New Music Concerts, amongst other carefully curated events. 

It was so exciting to be part of this extraordinary event, and I hope you have a chance to watch the livestream. The first of two pieces that I performed, The Edible Flute for flute and piano was inspired by Canadian author Margaret Atwood's novel, The Edible Woman.

Here is a direct link for The Edible Flute; the second piece I presented - Design Two for solo flute - is just after the one hour mark of the 75-minute performance. It was such a special opportunity to perform in Koerner Hall - big congrats once again to Pat Morehead, and I hope you enjoy livestream of the event!

LINKS:

Chamber Music in the Time of COVID-19 / entire performance, click here

Chamber Music in the Time of COVID-19 / printable programme, click here

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

For more information on Koerner Hall's 2020-21 season, click here

New Music Concerts - Virtually Yours

For more information, please visit Pat's website: Patricia Morehead

8. THE FAN IS EVOLVING - CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - The FAN is evolving. 

This year we are piloting a new platform where we invite our faculty at large to post an article in the newsletter. 

We have implemented a three step process: 

1.     Submit a topic in 50 words or less and send it to Jeannie Niokos.  To be clear, you do not have to have the article completed we just need the topic.

2.     Submissions will be reviewed by the communications committee in a timely manner.

3.     You will be given the green light to write your article and you will receive a $50 honorarium upon completion.

Topic ideas can include:

      Pedagogy & Best Practices

      Mental Health

      Music Technology

      Student Engagement

      Community

      Social Justice

      Reviews

      Career Development

      Other

9. CONTACT US

THANK YOU FOR READING!

We hope that you enjoyed The FAN Fall 2020 edition and welcome your ideas and feedback at any time!

Your Faculty Association Executive

Please send all communications to - jeannieniokos@outlook.com