Teaching and Learning is our business

It is time to give serious consideration to are vamped industrial model which provides time blocks for teachers to meet the demands being made of them.

IEU members of March Council and recent branch meetings have been refining work intensification issues to be components of a log of claims in both Catholic systemic and independent schools.

The focus in independent schools (as per the recently distributed NewsExtra) will centre on establishing consultative committees to distil specific school based issues requiring resolution and certainty for members.

In both school sectors, the priorities (after salary increases) hinge on protecting teaching and learning.

Members are not dismissive of the expanding role of a teacher but firmly believe that to not shield the classroom from excessive (often repetitive) intrusions is counter productive and will not enhance outcomes.

The multiple agendas teachers grapple with demand clarification of purpose and prioritisation. Multiple competing compliance agendas require a reduction in face to face teaching to achieve what is being expected of classroom teachers. To date, the issues emerging which members have highlighted as being inadequately addressed in enterprise agreements or work practice agreements include:

meetings in all their manifestations but in particular staff briefings and meetings being defined

data collection, analysis and discussion of same

special needs – the preparation of IEPs, associated case conferences, funding applications and challenging behaviours

programing – excessive demands (beyond that of BOSTES) and insistence (especially in primary schools) of generating a totally unique document rather than working from and contextualising/adapting an accepted model

constraining expectations in regard to email communications, and

accreditation processes – tangible support for mentoring/induction, graduate and proficient status. This is emerging but must be included in enterprise agreements.

The protection of RFF arrangements, management of overnight camps and excursions, VET and technology expectations rank highly.

The central issue is the inclusion of the expanding notion of 'what a teacher is' into existing workload patterns. Tasks that require a teacher’s professional judgement must remain the domain of a teacher. The direct teaching time of teachers must be diminished and that time utilised for collaborative planning time and professional learning opportunities which are being demanded by both state and federal governments (and supported avidly by employers). It is time to give serious consideration to a revamped industrial model which provides time blocks for teachers to meet the demands being made of them.

Mark Northam
Assistant Secretary
Facebook comments

Robin: Just connected with a 37 year old whom I used to teach and as part of our dialogue I was able to write a ‘report’ on him, which he perceived as very accurate... from his days at primary school with me. He was reading through all of his old reports at home. Teachers need to be in front of students not at endless meetings.

Emma: So glad the Union are prepared to tackle this issue. So much time wasted on collecting and analysing data. Teachers used to be able to use their gut feelings as respected professionals to determine how and what to teach. Now we waste so much time justifying what we do that it reduces the amount of valuable time spent actually teaching.

: Ditto to all the above. Thanks IEU for being our voice.