The teacher shortage is a national crisis requiring urgent action. One of the reasons underpinning the shortage, apart from the obvious issues of uncompetitive salaries and unmanageable workloads, is lack of professional respect for teachers.

The University of Sydney’s Associate Professor Nicole Mockler conducted a large-scale analysis of media coverage of teachers and her findings prove disrespectful commentary is indeed rife (Trial by media).

Turning the tide of this negative narrative is important if we are to attract more high-quality graduates to the profession.

In 2021, Acting Education Minister Stuart Robert proclaimed some teachers “can’t read and write” – a typical example of the unhelpful commentary that demoralises teachers and discourages young people from considering the profession.

Union advocacy is one of the best ways to raise teacher professionalism and counter this negative culture. This edition of IE emphasises the professional nature of the work of teachers and support staff. In ‘For the love of teaching’ the passion teachers and support staff have for teaching and learning shines through.

The IEU aims constantly to raise the status of the profession through its publications, professional development and advocacy.

Hopefully the new Federal Government will respond to pressure from education unions and lend its voice to a campaign to restore the high regard in which teachers should be held.

To this end, IEUA Assistant Federal Secretary Brad Hayes outlines how the IEU plans to set the agenda for a better future for teachers and support staff (The agenda for education and the teaching profession).

To kick off this issue we meet historian Professor Clare Wright, who personifies the passion many teachers have for their chosen field of study (Professor Clare Wright).

Read about the dedicated work of support staff such as veteran teacher aide Joy Aquilina (Reflecting on five decades) and counsellors Rita Maher and Jeanne Appleton (School Counsellors).

Elsewhere we look at a school promoting an Indigenous perspective on history (New view of First Nations heroes), hear why renowned economist and Nobel laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz loves unions (Professor Joseph Stiglitz), and find out about professional supervision for principals (If it’s not Super, it’s not Supervision).

We hope you enjoy this issue. Contact us with your feedback via email: ie@ieu.asn.au

Mark Northam