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Welcome to teaching Your union is here to support you as you enter the profession — starting with a fight for better pay and conditions. Mary Bluett AEU branch president


RADUATE teachers are on a steep learning curve in their first few years of teaching and should expect a high level of professional and industrial support. This is where the Australian Education Union comes in. Wages and conditions of work in government schools are the result of a certified agreement between the State Government and the AEU signed in 2008. The agreement details salaries, career structure, type of employment, probation, ­workload, leave, class sizes, consultation ­processes and much more. It gives new teachers certainty about their entitlements as new members of the profession. We are currently campaigning for a new agreement with a government and premier that have reneged on an election promise to make Victorian teachers the nation’s highest paid. In April 2008, Ted Baillieu launched the Liberal Party State Conference with a pledge that under a Baillieu Coalition government, Victorian teachers

Your organiser ANDREW CASSIDY


tudent and beginning teachers have their own dedicated organiser at the AEU — Andrew Cassidy. To find out more about what the AEU can offer or to join our New Educators ­Network, call Andrew on (03) 9417 2822 or email

would be the highest paid at their level in Australia. He was passionate about the quality of teaching in Victoria and the need to pay teachers accordingly.

He stressed that teachers were key to the economic future of this state. The Coalition maintained this position at the 2010

state election. After the election, the new Minister for the Teaching Profession, Peter Hall, reiterated his government’s commitment on pay. Fast forward to 2012 and everything has changed. The 2.5% per year on offer is an insult given the cost of living is running at 3% — it amounts to an effective pay cut. The campaign for a fair deal will commence with a statewide stopwork and meeting on June 7 at 10.30am at Hisense Arena. Student members are more than welcome to join us. So I welcome you into our profession. You can immediately gain access to our many services by joining the AEU for free while you are still a teacher education student. We know the future of our union, the t­eaching profession and public education lies in your hands. ◆



he AEU Victorian branch represents 46,000 teachers in schools, TAFE and preschools. It’s part of the federal A­ ustralian Education Union, with 190,000 members nationwide. We provide advice and assistance to members on matters including: • Salaries • Professional and curriculum matters • Leave • Legal issues • Entitlements and rights • Work problems • Conditions of work • WorkCover • Probation and registration. We also provide access to cheap loans and health insurance and great computer deals.

joining the aeu is easy just go to

A E U h e a d o f f i c e 112 Trenerr y Crescent, Abbotsford 3067 Tel: 03 9417 2822 Fax : 1300 658 078 Web : u v i c . a s n . a u

Making the

most of it S

CHOOL experience is the time when teacher education courses really come alive. It’s when you get the taste of teaching and find out if you actually like doing what teachers do. It’s also a great opportunity to relate your course theory to teaching practice and find out first hand how schools work. How do you get the most out of your school experience? A range of teachers and principals have suggested the following: • Demonstrate that you have a passionate desire to be an excellent teacher — show that you are enthusiastic about your chosen profession (look like you want to be there!) and are willing to learn (a must in the ­“learning profession”) • The best learning strategy is to ask questions • Find out why some teaching strategies work better than others — for example, how

The AEU produces a Curriculum e-Newsletter each term, keeping you up to date on issues and developments. Students who are AEU members can receive free copies by emailing John Graham at

Personal finance solutions

• • •

do you establish a classroom climate that enhances classroom management? Pay attention to students “at risk” or with special needs and ask how you can help Collect ideas, resources, strategies, handbooks, guidelines and policies Try to discover who the key players and decision-making groups are, listen and contribute whenever possible Find out how the A-E reporting s­ ystem operates in your school, and how it relates to assessment and recording p­ rocesses

• Talk to students in the yard or canteen area, on excursions or during sport and find out what they like and what they want from their schooling • Be prepared to engage in discussions about pedagogical issues. Use your time to develop networks and keep records to use later as practical examples to meet selection criteria when you apply for a job. Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy your school experience. ◆  — John Graham research officer



A variety of PD sessions have been organised for early childhood students and beginning teachers this year. Starting your career as an early childhood teacher is exciting but can be overwhelming. Where do you begin with behaviour management, curriculum and developing effective partnerships with parents? There are also many changes occurring in the sector, including the Early Years Learning and Development Framework, transition plans and new regulations. Being active in the AEU is a vital way to keep informed, and attending these sessions is a great opportunity to network with others from the sector.

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Teacher Graduate newsletter | autumn 2012

Surviving your teaching rounds School rounds are when teacher education courses really come alive — but how do you make the most of it? And what are the pitfalls? AEU federal industrial officer David Colley suggests keeping an eye on legal liability issues while John Graham offers some tips for success (left).


uccessful completion of teaching rounds is a prerequisite for determining your readiness to teach, and the experiences you enjoy during the course of your round/s set up many of the habits t­eachers carry throughout their professional lives. Few professions are as subject to public scrutiny as teaching. Student teachers are also being assessed by their students, their teaching supervisor and other teachers in the school, and by their course co-ordinators. They will soon be subject to the professional scrutiny of the Victorian Institute of Teaching, their employer/s and the public. Not only is the student teacher anxious about the ­professional skills they need to acquire in managing behaviour, controlling classrooms and getting students to learn; they face a whole host of “what ifs” as they undertake yard duty, go on school camps and excursions, and learn to deal with their colleagues and members of the community. As we live in an increasingly litigious society, it is prudent for student teachers — for all teachers throughout their careers — to find a balance between being overly cautious and enjoying the spon-

taneity of interaction with students and colleagues that is the essence of a successful teaching career. To state the obvious: be prepared, follow a conscious plan for each student and for each class and act in the knowledge that those responsible for managing you have direct knowledge of what it is you are doing. Usually this will mean informing others and also getting their permission (sometimes only written permission will do). Know what the official and unofficial rules are for your school. Student diaries are useful sources of info as are staff handbooks. Venture around the school and its grounds, know the classrooms, staff room and toilet locations. Where are the hazards? What could go wrong? Plan ahead. Student teachers will be constantly reminded of “duty of care” — an ominous and all-embracing term that means different things to different people. Teachers have many different duties — some associated with questions of professional negligence, some associated with being an employee and some associated with being a member of a profession set up and regulated by Parliament. Don’t be overawed. Ask questions of more senior members of staff, learn to relax and enjoy the most rewarding of careers and remember the AEU is there for you — use it. ◆


Why join the union? A

EU membership is FREE for students. Membership gives you access to loads of free and low cost professional development, assistance with finding a job and access to our extensive network of AEU principal class members. Keep an eye on the AEU website — www.aeuvic. — for dates and venues of activities. We also give you free legal help if you are on teaching rounds or placements and something goes wrong.

The main reason people join a union is that being a union member gives teachers the ability to affect change in their school and profession. As a union, we can advance teachers’ working condi-

tions, improve their resources and facilities, and help ensure they are treated fairly at work. There is much that is world class about our education system but there is also a lot that we could do better. People join the union because they recognise that the best way to achieve change is to act collectively. The AEU is your union. Let’s all get organised and make sure that a career in education is a career for the long term. ◆

A survival kit for

Get a head start with the AEU’s free PD in the Pub professional development program.


VER many years of teaching, experienced educators develop the skills and knowledge

needed to engage students, even in the most challenging situations.




Traralgon Berwick Moorabbin Bendigo Carlton

Tuesday May 1 Wednesday May 2 Thursday May 3 Monday May 7 Tuesday May 8

Wodonga/Albury Croydon Mildura Thornbury Caroline Springs Geelong Warrnambool Ballarat

Wednesday May 9 Monday May 14 Tuesday May 15 Thursday May 17 Monday May 21 Tuesday May 22 Monday May 28 Tuesday May 29

Grand Junction Hotel, cnr Franklin St and Princes Hwy Castello’s Berwick Springs Hotel, cnr Clyde & Greaves Rd The Sandbelt, cnr South & Bignall Road Quality Resort-All Seasons, 171 McIvor Rd Trades Hall New Council Chamber & Bella Union Bar, cnr Lygon & Victoria Streets Commercial Club, 618 Dean Street, Albury Dorset Gardens Hotel, Elm Room, 335 Dorset Rd Grand Hotel, Seventh Street The Furlan Club, 1 Matisi Street The Club, 1312 Western Hwy Lord of the Isles Tavern, 3 West Fyans St, Newtown Flying Horse, Princes Hwy and Mahoneys Rd Oscars, 18 Doveton Street South

In this workshop, Glen Pearsall takes new teachers through a number of great activities that they can use in the primary or secondary classroom. These are really practical and educationally valuable activities that participants can turn to when they need to get a group of students on task or when the time is right to mix things up. It can take years to learn this stuff, or you can come to PD in the Pub, have a drink on us and walk away with a bunch of new skills and fun ideas.

All sessions run from 4.30pm to 6pm

How to register:

Bookings are essential. Log on to and choose the event you would like to attend. Follow the prompts to reserve your spot.

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Teacher Graduate newsletter | autumn 2012

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AEU Teacher Graduate Newsletter, Term 2, 2012  

The AEU Teacher Graduate Newsletter for teacher graduates and beginning teachers for Term 2, 2012.

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