Strengthening the union one conversation at a time

As teachers, we know what face-to-face, one-on-one conversations can do to educate, inspire and engage our students. The Project Officers apply that same principle to connect early career teachers with the support, advice and services available from Federation.

Amid the hustle and bustle of their first school year many teachers forget to let the union know that they have finished their studies and have now joined the workforce.

This semester the Project Officer team of Alicia Heymel, Ashleigh Saunders and Rebecca Roth will be identifying and targeting schools with high numbers of graduates to have individual conversations with these new teachers.

“We invite them to Beginning Teacher conferences, recommend Centre for Professional Learning courses, inform of Teachers Health services and share the range of resources available from the Federation library,” Ashleigh said.

Mitchell Davis, a physical education teacher at Sydney Technical High School, joined after meeting Rebecca during her visit to the school. Mitchell’s colleagues encouraged him to join by sharing their long-time positive experiences with Federation. Like many early career teachers, Mitchell said: “I’ve been meaning to do that, thanks for reminding me.”

All teachers are encouraged to take responsibility for the strength of the union.

“The most effective recruitment tool is asking,” Ashleigh said. “Is there a colleague in your workplace just waiting to be asked?

“They may have questions about union membership that you can answer. You are the best possible person to recruit a beginning teacher co-worker to our union.

“The Project Officers may visit for a day, but your collegiality and connection will be remembered for the rest of their career.”

— Scott Coomber