Investing in our profession by joining a professional organisation makes sense.
We want increased credibility as teachers, we want the world to understand the expanding complexities of the teaching process, we want the research to back up our claims and practices, and we want ongoing support and research to guide our profession – and our students – into the future.
The recent NESA online professional development discussion was titled My Teaching Impact: Inspiring stories of teaching impact in the classroom and beyond. The ‘beyond’ indicates to everyone out there that teaching and teacher impact does not begin and end at the classroom door.
The areas brought out in this discussion included the importance of:
- mentoring ALL teachers, whether early career or experienced
- using data and evaluation to drive student progress
- the whole school owning responsibility for students.
These three elements are recognised and valued within the profession. They inform our practice daily.
It’s important to know where our work fits in the broader education context, with colleagues outside our immediate situation, and that we are constantly building our knowledge and understandings.
Membership of professional organisations have many benefits. Some of these are listed below. Membership is an active demonstration of our commitment to both the teaching profession, and to education itself.
Most the following have special membership fees for pre-service teachers, and cheaper rates for institutions. Check membership start dates to maximize your benefits.
Australian College of Educators (ACE)
ACE is a national and international network of leading professionals. It offers a range of resources, professional development and networking opportunities, and access to publications Professional Educator and all conference proceedings.
Membership is for all education professionals including pre-service teachers, and all ‘who share our commitment to ensuring that the education profession is respected and valued’.
Australian Council for Educational Leaders ACEL
This organisation advocates for excellence in educational leadership and is focused on the ‘development of educational leadership capabilities across Australia’. ACEL offers a wide range of both print and online publications, conferences, workshops and programs, all of which are available to all members.
ACEL has branches all over Australia, and across the Asia-Pacific region.
Australian Association for Research in Education AARE
AARE fosters high quality educational research in Australia and helps interaction between researchers, to ‘enhance the public good’. Their goal is to improve education for all, and is ‘intentionally inclusive of all those interested in education and education research.’
The Curriculum & Leadership Journal
AITSL’s Curriculum & Leadership Journal website provides links to State, National and international education organisations, associations and services. You can subscribe to this journal through the website.
There are other State-based organisations that support teachers and other educators across the government and independent sectors.
When you are looking for an organisations that will suit you, do some homework to make sure you will get the support and guidance you need.
I understand that there are some people who still believe that teacher works starts and ends with the classroom door. The concerns about ‘keeping the kids busy’ during school holidays, and the increasing trend towards holiday activity centres and the like, give that argument away.
For those outside, who do not understand, and who carp and critique, leave them there. They have been around for as long as there has been a teaching profession. The way the CEO of the Sydney Opera House, Louise Herron, calmly and professionally dealt with the nasty noise in an interview about advertising on the House’s sails is the ideal model of how we can best match our critics.
Our professional organisations are getting on with the work of education, with us, and on our behalf.
We just need to get on with being the best educators we can be, by investing in our profession.