After 31 years in teaching and a long history of involvement in the IEU, Michelle Renshaw experienced her first IEU Council in March.
“I found it inspirational. John Quessy’s speech was powerful. I teach English and I could use that speech as a model for the students.”
The St Scholastica’s College Glebe teacher has spent time as a Rep in both country and city schools.
She was thrilled to be able to catch up with colleagues she hadn’t seen in years at the Council meeting.
“I’m in a large Catholic independent school so it was really interesting to hear stories from other systems and see how they are doing things.
“I became a Rep initially because I was in a small school and wanted to get in touch with the bigger picture.
“Council gave me a lot of ideas of things to look at in my own school, particularly things like our email policy.
“It highlighted to me how important it is for all staff to be united. If you have staff answering student emails on the weekend it causes problems for everyone.
“We’re also getting new buildings at school, and there’s was a lot of discussion from Wollongong and Parramatta Reps about the issues they have had with flexible learning spaces and voice and listening.
“These are things we need to look at with the development of our school.”
Now an ‘assistant Rep’, Michelle has drawn back on her leadership roles, having fulfilled positions as principal and assistant principal in the past.
She loves being back in the classroom.
“Number one, there is leadership in the classroom, and number two, it’s important there are experienced teachers teaching children.
“Council gave me the time and space to think about things and it bought home to me the importance of solidarity. Since attending I’ve signed up a new member, simply by talking about the Union.
“Just saying it is all you have to do.”