Welcome Gen Z to the chalkface – and the union

Student teachers, prac teachers, pre service teachers, whatever the label, those university students doing practice teaching blocks in your school may well be grateful for some sense of normalcy, routine and face to face contact in a year when Australian universities have gone online.

IEU members appreciate the opportunity to nurture the next generation of teachers, and those who have the task of Supervising Teacher do what they can to ensure their new colleagues are set up to succeed and to avoid the pitfalls the beginning teacher faces. This often involves discussing the importance of joining their union.

The IEU has for years visited university Orientation Days, Ed-Expos and the occasional lecture hall to speak with education students about working in non-government schools and the importance of union membership.

As these events were postponed or cancelled, our opportunities for recruiting student members (who join the IEU for free) have been severely curtailed. In April 2019, for example, we signed up 159 student members. In April of this year without IEU officers visiting universities, only 20 education students joined us. That said, they must be enthusiastic members as they took the initiative to find and join their union.

Student members receive:

free union membership

confidential advice about contracts, conditions, enterprise agreements and salaries in different non-government schools and centres before they start work

free, NESA accredited professional development courses

access to our private Facebook pre service teachers group to connect and network with other teachers

confidential advice and assistance about working in the non government sector and early childhood centres.

IEU members appreciate the opportunity to nurture the next generation of teachers.

Ace the interview

The IEU will be running a 90 minute session for final year students called Ace the Interview. A panel of Principals and Deputy Principals who have strong interview experience will share their views and answer questions about interview skills, and offer some thoughts about what our student members might expect in their first year at the chalk face.

The session will be held on Zoom, on Thursday 17 September from 6pm to 7.30pm; registration is free for student members: ieu.asn.au/event-list

We encourage all our reps and members to invite prac teachers to join the IEU. If you would like hard copy membership forms, let your organiser know and we will post them out to your school. Other ways to join:

through our website: ieu.asn.au/join-page
call us: 8202 8900 (press 1).

Membership is free for students and there is no obligation for student members to become financial members. And after you have welcomed the student teacher to our profession and signed them up to the union, you might check whether it is necessary explaining the term chalk face.

David Towson
Organiser and Membership Coordinator