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.