It’s an honour to present the President’s report for the Ontario History and Social Sciences Teachers’ Association (OHASSTA-AESHO) for the year 2023. This year has been marked by resilience, adaptability, and a continued dedication to our mission of fostering excellence in history and social sciences education.
OHASSTA-AESHO has continued its advocacy efforts to promote the importance of history and social sciences education. Collaborations with educational organizations, government bodies, and community partners have allowed us to advocate effectively for the inclusion and support of our disciplines in curricula and policies. We’ve actively participated in consultations and discussions, advocating for resources, professional development, and recognition for our growing members.
Throughout the year, OHASSTA-AESHO has strived to provide high-quality professional development opportunities. We’ve organized webinars on a number of topics such as Social Action in Social Sciences, and tailored to address the evolving needs of educators in the realm of history and social sciences. Moving forward we will continue to address the needs of our members. Additionally, our website and resource repository have been updated with valuable materials and lesson plans, enhancing the teaching and learning experience. Over the course of the last year we have created a series of lessons exploring the relationship between Canada and Korea with a focus on the historical thinking concepts for grades 6 and 10. As well we have revised several of the lessons for Civics and wrote new lessons in consultation with Jodie Williams and Troy Maracle to support the new curriculum expectations focussed on Indigenous governance and self determination. These new and revised lessons have been recently posted on our website.
Our platforms such as the blog and resources on our website as well as MailChimp and Rapport have allowed our members to network, share best practices, and stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in history and social sciences education.
As we move forward, OHASSTA-AESHO will continue to prioritize our members’ needs, advocating for the recognition and support of history and social sciences education. We aim to further diversify our resources, expand partnerships, and explore innovative ways to support professional development. As well we are currently working on planning an institute in the form of a series of webinars focussing on engaging in complex conversation in our classrooms. Engaging with experts in the field and creating a community of learners will further help us support our members and this planning is a result of listening to educator’s voice their concerns and express a growing need.
I would like to take this moment to express my gratitude to the members, Jim Pedrech, Alexis Walker and Kelly Main, whom are leaving the executive. I want to thank them for all of the invaluable contributions they have made as members of OHASSTA-AESHO. I also want to recognize and congratulate Yves Durocher on being President of OTF! We wish them well on their future endeavours.
As an organization we continue to grow and are grateful for the recent additions to our Executive committee. We have had the pleasure of welcoming five new members! Valérie Lanoue, Melissa Chan, Luis Filipe, Valérie Emond and Christina Iorio. We are excited to begin our work together.
In closing, I extend my deepest gratitude to the Executive Committee, who volunteer and gift their time, and to our members for their unwavering support and dedication. Together, we will continue to make a positive impact on history and social sciences education in Ontario.