Warm welcome extended to exchange teachers

In February, the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch welcomed 12 Canadian and US exchange teachers to NSW and the ACT. The official welcome reception was held at the Department of Education’s offices in Parramatta with the welcome and opening address given by Mark Scott, Secretary of the NSW Department of Education. His topic was ‘Current Directions in Education’.

While the visiting exchange teachers enjoyed networking with other exchange teachers placed in government schools and all adjusting to their ‘culture shock’, their spouses and children were given a cultural exchange experience themselves – a historical walking tour or Parramatta. The exchange teachers were also given some extra Australian cultural’ assistance by the Department of Environment, Parks and Wildlife.

The IEU Exchange Coordinator, Helen Gregory, briefed those exchangees teaching in Catholic, Catholic independent and independent schools on the differences between the government and the non government sector – many exchange teachers teaching in Catholic schools in NSW and ACT are from public schools in Canada and Colorado.

The exchange teachers were also briefed by Anne Comber, President of the NSW Exchange Teachers League, on utilising their exchange experiences. The league and its members have worked tirelessly for many years supporting newly arrived exchange teachers and their families, as well as those exchange teachers who have recently returned from a year away on exchange.

The day culminated with cake cutting (see Mark Northam pictured right) and a light supper celebrating 100 years of NSW Department of Education teacher exchanges. The program commenced in 1920 to promote international goodwill and an understanding of different cultures. This focus continues for the IEU, along with professional and personal development for participating teachers, and the educational enrichment with host schools and systems for the ultimate benefit of students in preparation for global citizenship.

The NSW ETL is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2020 and will be joining the DET celebrating 100 years of government exchanges. The IEU is celebrating 35 years of non government exchanges at a function on Saturday 21 March at the Mercure Sydney. Many past and present IEU exchange teachers will be in attendance.

Seeking expressions of interest for the following exchanges

Counsellor – Calgary, Alberta – Jody is a Counsellor in a Catholic school in Calgary. She is Catholic and has a lovely home available for the exchange. The incoming teacher must be Catholic and also have a teaching certificate. Jody also has a master’s degree in counselling.

Spanish – Calgary, Alberta – Rebecca teaches Grade 4 at a Spanish bilingual elementary school in Northwest Calgary. She teaches in Spanish half the time and the other half in English in a program that is unique to Alberta. Rebecca lives in downtown Calgary; living so close to the mountains she goes skiing and snowshoeing in Kananaskis Country and the Rocky Mountains including Banff and Canmore.

Spanish – Denver, Colorado – Dan is a high school Spanish teacher of Years 11 and 12. He teaches at a large suburban high school in metro Denver and lives close to the Rocky Mountains.

Teacher/librarian – Ketchikan, Alaska – Kerri teaches in Ketchikan, on the Inside Passage. Her home overlooks the Pacific Ocean where cruise liners dock. Kerri is a teacher librarian in a middle school and is certified for teacher librarian from Grade 1-12. She has also taught English Language Arts and Literature at high school level.

For more exchange information call Helen Gregory on 8202 8900 or 1800 467 943 or email helen@ieu.asn.au