I’ve been Fed Rep at my school since day one and Councillor for the Manning River Association for about 12 months now.
Federation has been a wonderful support as I’ve had to establish new networks and friends since leaving Sydney to teach. I’ve also been impressed by the support and professional learning opportunities made available to me as an early career teacher. I grabbed the opportunity to become a Project Officer in order to do my bit and give back a little to the union. I also saw the role as a way to work a bit towards the “bigger picture” in public education as I am passionate about ensuring access to quality education for all students.
Lastly, having left Sydney behind to accept a job in a beautiful school on the mid-north coast, I was excited by the prospect of a short stint back in the big smoke!
Life as a Project Officer:
In Term 1, the four Project Officers visited 109 schools, mainly Sydney-based, to recruit members and update current member details and we’re looking forward to visiting more in Term 2. We spend a lot of time doing admin work behind the scenes to ensure our school visits run smoothly and are as productive as possible. We contact student members who have indicated recent graduations to ensure they are in the correct membership category and also contact new permanent appointments shown in the Department’s Gazette to congratulate them and update their membership.
We’ve also attended Federation’s Council meetings, a Beginning Teacher Conference in Bundanoon, university and Department Expo Days for pre-service teachers, Mardi Gras and various other weekend events. Looking ahead, we have more Beginning Teacher Conferences coming up in Coonabarabran and Newcastle.
The opportunity to meet and connect with so many of our members. It is such a privilege to visit schools and be welcomed into staffrooms as a representative of the NSWTF.
Definitely the Beginning Teachers Conference in Bundanoon – it was a weekend event but we had 110 eager, enthusiastic early career teachers attend. Being only two years into teaching myself I gained a lot from the workshops over the weekend.
I’ve learned so much about the inner workings and structure of Federation and about all the incredible ways our union supports members at all stages of their careers. I’ve learned a lot from the teachers we meet each day about planning, programming and organisational structures in the various workplaces.
Anyone who asks me knows how much I’ve loved the opportunity to work “big picture” in my time as Project Officer. As a primary school teacher it’s really easy to get caught up in the drama of your own classroom, let alone your own school.
The role of Project Officer has also given me so much insight into the experiences of teachers throughout NSW and in particular, other early career teachers across the state.
Message to the troops:
If you get the chance to be a Project Officer, grab the opportunity and go for it!
I can’t wait to get back to my school and classroom – I’ve really missed the kids! The opportunity has certainly enhanced my knowledge of the union and Departmental policies, which will be of great benefit if I am again elected Fed Rep. I also look forward to continuing in my role as Councillor for the Manning River Association for the remainder of 2017 and 2018.