Testing, marking and sneezing too

Here we are at the half way point of Term 2. Sniffles and sneezes, half yearly examinations and testing, report writing, NAPLAN testing and the never ending assessment tasks, along with the marking and reporting back to students on how they can improve and engage.

Winter too, has just arrived after some very unseasonable weather. I would be confident in saying that most teachers would just like to get back to good old teaching without the constant and regular interruptions.

At the March council meeting, delegates were asked to share their thoughts and concerns about issues that are impacting on teaching and learning at the moment. Some of these concerns are:

the collection of irrelevant data with no time allocation to collect and analyse it

reporting and the increase in workload associated with this, again with no time allocation

technology both for teachers and students, including new program’s and applications and the pressure for teachers to keep up with and use certain programs

the use of emails including parents and students unrealistic expectations

training and online courses which have now become part of teaching and expected to be completed by a certain time, usually and in most cases in your own time

meetings and increases in the number of parent teacher interviews, and

accreditation for all staff and the amount of time and work that this is causing. There is also uncertainty around this process for many of the younger teaching staff.

This is just a snapshot of concerns out there in the schools for our members. The Union is taking these concerns very seriously and is working with members through chapter meetings and recent branch meetings to address the main issues.

Teachers should be able to teach without increased interruptions and increased duties which are having an impact on their day to day teaching and learning in the classroom. The various diocesan workload agreements will be used in establishing limits and better results for teachers.

If you have concerns or feel strongly about any issues, please inform your chapter rep and bring it to the notice of your IEU officer.

I would like to thank the chapter reps who take on this role and work tirelessly in their schools. It is a rewarding job and without them it would make the role of the officers just that much more difficult.

Keep up your great work whether you are teaching, a member of the support staff or in a principal role. By working together you can accomplish good results to create a better and safe work place, and somewhere where you feel appreciated and worthwhile. Enjoy the remainder of the term as the countdown to holidays fast approaches.

Thank you for your support as I continue to work to represent each and every member of the IEU.

Chris Wilkinson