CCRTC Update # 2



Recently we experienced how very quickly the world around us changed within a matter of months, weeks, and days:

January 23 – State-imposed lockdown of the city of Wuhan in China, after a potentially deadly novel coronavirus had been identified. All flights, trains, and buses were cancelled, and highway entrances blocked in an unprecedented bid to contain the fast-spreading virus.

March 11 – Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization’s Director-General, declares that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, can be characterized as a pandemic.

March 13 – CCRTC faculty members wish each other a good break.

March 17 – FT faculty meets during the March Break.

March 23 – Premier Ford’s statement on a provincial state of emergency.

March 24 – FT Faculty meets and students collect their textbooks and belongings.

March 25 – The College is closed to all on-site activities until further notice.

March 30 – Teaching and learning at CCRTC continues, differently.

Yes, things change and yet they stay the same: Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers College (CCRTC), along with many elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities is ensuring that the learning process the students are seeking to pursue will continue, be it along a somewhat different path.

As of today, every faculty member is rolling out an adjusted course syllabus for each course. Alternate assignments, innovative ways of encouraging virtual group activities, online instruction, and so many more adjustments have become a new normal for the time being.

The CCRTC faculty has worked hard to ensure that the students will have the opportunity to complete the remainder of the semester successfully despite these very different conditions.

Who could have thought that some of the ideas that were suggested during a brainstorming session as part of a strategic planning discussion at the 2020 CCRTC Annual General Meeting would be explored so quickly? Who could have thought that implementing some of the possibilities technology offers would become a reality so soon?

As we enter into this uncharted territory we wish students and faculty a rich measure of God’s blessings so they may receive the wisdom, patience, and stamina required at this time.

Indeed, things change and yet they stay the same: We are thankful for the excellent cooperation we experience in dealing with the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) of the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities. With the Minister’s decision to refer CCRTC’s application for a full review, the first step of the process has been taken. Next, a review panel will conduct a (virtual) visit on April 23 and 24 in order to assess the College as an organization.  

Other things stay the same also: We are very thankful that most students were able to complete their respective practicum placements prior to the March Break. This time around students were placed in various schools in Ontario as well as Manitoba and British Columbia. We thank the schools for opening their doors, and in particular we express appreciation to the associate teachers for not only sharing their expertise but also their students.

Practice teaching is such a wonderful opportunity for teacher candidates to extend their learning, for this is where theory meets practice in a most natural way.

Being on placement is also an opportunity for CCRTC students to experience the very nature and purpose of Reformed Christian education.

During this time of many changes we pray that the work of teaching the next generation may continue to be blessed. Together may we become more acutely aware of the shared purpose of home, school, and the church in the education of God’s covenant children. Ultimately, its purpose does not change: Training these children for a life of thankful and obedient service to God and our neighbour.

As things around us change, we are so blessed that by God’s grace we may know that the covenant God we seek to serve does not change. “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

Christine van Halen-Faber, Principal