Teachers in Ontario are part of a structure that includes a wide variety of different positions. What follows is a brief summary of some of the most common roles in Ontario’s school system.
Each individual school is run by a lead teacher, known as the principal. In addition to handling the school budget, principals are responsible for curriculum leadership, maintaining student records, disciplining students, assigning teachers to classes, making recommendations to the school board on the appointment, promotion, demotion and dismissal of teachers, and ensuring report cards are sent to parents.
Depending on the size of the school, one or more vice-principals may be assigned to assist the principal with his or her primary tasks. As such, the vice-principal’s duties correspond with the principal’s many tasks. Some small schools may not have a vice-principal at all.
Some school boards also have program support staff known as consultants, coordinators or facilitators. These are experienced teachers who are usually experts in one or more areas. They are hired by school boards to provide expertise with program delivery and to design learning resources and curriculum documents. They may also provide guidance to teachers regarding teaching strategies, the design of lessons and assessment practices.
Each school will also have a variety of non-teaching professionals, including one or more school secretaries, who help with the administration of the school, and school custodians or janitors, whose job it is to clean the school and ensure that hygienic conditions are maintained. Schools may also be supported by other professionals such as psychologists, speech-language pathologists, social workers and attendance counsellors, to name a few.
Supervisory officers act as a link between a school board and the Minister of Education. They are responsible to the Director of Education for ensuring that Ministry policies are carried out by school boards. Supervisory officers are also responsible for overseeing principals, teachers and other employees, as well as ensuring that schools are complying with the Education Act and Regulations. In large boards, there may be a number of supervisory officers, each responsible for a specific geographical or program delivery area, such as instruction, reporting and improving academic performance, human resources, building operation and maintenance, and student and community services.
Every school board has a Director of Education. This person serves as the chief executive officer or head of staff at the board. All employees of the school board ultimately report to the Director. The Director reports directly to the Board of Trustees.