What's in a name?

You meet someone. You are introduced or they introduce themselves to you. Often their name is the first thing you learn about them. First impressions begin to form and their name identifies them to you. This is the beginning of any or all future interactions. A name is immensely important both personally, professionally and within society.

We identify strongly to names and school support and operational staff is the name we are identified with. Previously, education institutions have given us other names such as, education assistants, school officers, teacher’s aides, aides, ancillary staff, school service officers, non teaching staff and the list goes on. Does our current name sum us up? Does it reflect the jobs we do? Does it grab attention to our para professional status?

Recently, when I heard the name education support personnel I was stopped in my tracks. I felt that this sums us up! To quote Shakespeare, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Surely, we can smell sweeter!

Should we change our name? Is it within our power to do so if we want to? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I know it may be a conversation we need to have and to have a say in. Worth considering! If you have any thoughts please let me know via newsmonth@ieu.asn.au.

Carolyn Collins
Vice President Support Staff