Access to quality professional development can sometimes be a challenge for regional and rural preschools, so Griffith East Preschool Director Suzy Tucker was thrilled when her preschool was granted a NSW Government Professional Development Grant to attend the Early Years Conference and Expo in Sydney last month.
In previous years Suzy has made sure all the staff have had an opportunity to attend this particular conference, but this year it was Suzy’s turn and she attended the Expo with three colleagues.
“It was a great opportunity for us to meet up with other early childhood professionals from different parts of NSW and Sydney,” she said.
“The expo was generalised in its theme, we attended events and stalls on lots of different topics.
“I think it is so important for teachers and educators to have opportunities like this as regularly as possible. It builds on their professional confidence. Everyone needs the opportunity to take stock and think about their work once in a while, and it certainly develops and strengthens our approach to children and families.”
Suzy is a long time IEU member, 30 years in fact, and is a great believer in anything that reinforces the status and professionalism of early childhood teachers.
She has attended an IEU Early Childhood Conference in the past and joined the livestreamed event last year with colleagues.
“It’s great the IEU acknowledges the need for livestreaming and online PD like that provided free to early childhood teachers by TLN, to provide for preschools and centres that are in remote and regional locations.
“I am a wholehearted supporter of the Union’s Teachers are Teachers campaign, trying to get early childhood teachers up on the same platform as any other teacher.
“I’m following the IEU’s equal pay case with interest.
“I always encourage new teachers to join because it’s part of being a professional teacher to join a professional association like the IEU, which does provide publications and training. It’s no different from doctors joining the AMA.”
Suzy joined the IEU back in 1986, when she began teaching, and she has been in the Griffith area throughout her career.
In that time, she has seen many changes, with her preschool growing to cater for 60 children per day and having 145 families attending this year.