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Yellowknife teacher picked for national post

Christine Grimard
Northern News Services
Published Friday, October 5, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Amanda Mallon was elected vice-president of the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF) over the summer.

As one of the four vice-presidents, Mallon, who is also president of the NWT Teacher's Association (NWTTA), has been put in charge of the committee on human rights and diversity.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Amanda Mallon: Vice president of the Canadian Teacher's Federation.

With 75 to 80 per cent of teachers being women, part of Mallon's job will be identifying how to attract more men to the profession.

"There are fewer and fewer men in education, particularly in primary grades... especially younger boys have no male role models," she said.

In addition to looking at men in the classroom, Mallon will supervise eight people on her committee. Together, they will address general diversity issues in a workforce that Emily Noble, president of the CTF, said doesn't reflect the Canadian population.

"Teachers are still fairly homogeneous and white, whether they're male or female," said Noble.

She noted that Mallon has had a strong presence in the national association in bringing attention to diversity.

"She's been a strong voice to say we need Inuit voices, Metis voices," said Noble, adding that Mallon has been pushing these issues on the aboriginal committee.

Mallon will look not only at increasing diversity, but also at protecting minorities. With bullying in the classroom a big issue that the federation deals with, Noble said minorities are the most susceptible to bullying.

Across the country, schools have also been dealing with cyber-bullying, where insults and threats against teachers or students are posted on the Internet. Part of Mallon's job will be looking at trying to prevent this bullying.

Her position will require her to visit Ottawa at least eight times this year, and attend other meetings and conferences. All trips are funded by the CTF.

Mallon was elected vice-president along with Jimmy Jacquard, president of the Nunavut Teacher's Association. Noble said it's a rare opportunity to have such a strong representation from the North.