A welcome for exchange teachers

The IEU and Department of Education shared hosting duties at the ‘official’ welcome reception for incoming exchange teachers on 19 February at the Department’s Sydney office.

Recently arrived exchangees networked, swapped stories, asked questions and talked ‘union’ with IEU Exchange Coordinator Helen Gregory.

IEU Assistant Secretary Mark Northam gave them an introduction to the year ahead for the IEU, both industrially and professionally.

This year also saw a few ‘firsts’ for the IEU’s teacher exchange program. The very first IEU/DET double exchange – Jennifer and Todd Hammond swapped the snowy Blue Mountains of Collingwood, Ontario with the ocean shores of Skennars Head, NSW, exchanging with Emma and Marty Smith.

Natalie Ellis from Casino NSW and Tiana Harker from Red Deer Alberta exchanged last year and they were lucky enough to have their exchange extended for a second year (see story opposite page).

Here are just a few comments from this year’s exchange teachers.

Tom and Caroline Worthy, from Kingston, Ontario exchanged to Newcastle, NSW.

“I can say that our welcome has been complete and thorough! We have enjoyed unmatched support from my colleagues, school leadership, the Union and its professional development team,” Tom said.

“From the day we arrived many have gone out of their way to provide assistance and heartfelt greetings or generous offers of barbecue dinners or welcoming events in order to make our transition easier.

“Everyone is deservedly proud of their schools, communities and of their contributions to the lives of young people. It is a privilege to be given this opportunity for professional growth and personal fulfillment.

“We have endeavored to follow Carol (CEEF) and Helen’s (IEU) safe advice to say ‘yes’ to everything. So far so good.

“The IEU should be proud of their leadership and of the professionalism of their members.”

Jade Monette, hospitaly teacher at Crescent Heights High School, Alberta, said: “I teach at a high school in Alberta, Canada, and after 10 years I decided I was ready for a change. This teacher exchange to Australia has been nothing short of amazing.

“I travelled to Australia all on my own for the year and I have no regrets so far! McCauley College in Grafton has been such a welcoming and helpful environment for me to work in.

“I have developed as a teacher learning new methods and curriculum, all while being able to see the beauty of Australia.”

Applications are still being taken for next year. Keep a lookout on the IEU website www.ieu.asn.au and for exchange notices on your IEU notice board. Those members who have applications already in for next year, stay positive. Call Helen Gregory on 8202 8900 or 1800 467 943 or email helen@ieu.asn.au with an expression of interest.