A Professional Body? Bitch, Please . . .

Sunday 13 September 2015

I’m currently suffering with some horrid lurgy that’s got me unable to tell my arse from my elbow, and I want to have a bit of a whinge. The thing is, it’s pointless me having a whinge about being sick because there are people in the world who are far sicker than I am at this particular point in time, regardless of how much I’d like to think I’m incredibly and overwhelmingly ill. But don’t worry, I’ve actually got something that I do want to have a gripe about.

As a teacher, I’m forced to pay just short of $90 per year to join a professional body for teachers. Now, I’m sure that there are other professions around the world that have “professional governing bodies”, and those bodies are probably pretty good. But the professional body for teachers is expensive and well, I’m not actually really sure what it does other than take money from us, and tell us we can’t teach if we don’t fulfil registration requirements. And it’s one of those requirements that has invoked my ire.

Apparently, by the time I’m due to resubmit my qualifications for the umpteenth time because it’s not like they’d have them on a database somewhere, consent to a criminal record check because it’s not like I’ve passed that with my Working With Children card, but I also have to undertake and complete 80 hours of professional learning (PL). For a regular teacher, that’s probably very easy to do. However, I’m not a regular teacher, I’m a relief (substitute) teacher. I get called in to work when the regular teachers are away doing professional learning that is paid for by their school.

As a relief teacher, I’m still expected to complete the 80 hours of PL in my own time and paid for with my own money if I am to fulfil registration requirements. I’m not entirely sure how I’m supposed to find out about all of these PL opportunities, nor am I sure how I’m supposed to register for them because all of that sort of information is sent to schools. And tell me, what school that I’m working relief for is going to want their relief teacher out doing PL when they need them to work because the regular staff are out on PL courses?

It seems to me that the geniuses behind this professional body have probably got their heads firmly somewhere that is not reality if they believe that relief teachers can either a) arrange PL for themselves, b) afford to pay some of the exorbitant costs of PL, c) afford to say no to work because they have to clock up PL hours in order to be able to re-register with the professional body, or d) clock up 80 hours of PL this year or the 100 hours required for the next year or so.

There is a small out if one is unable to clock up the hours. A teacher can submit a request for exemption. Right, so I now have to come up with some lame ass excuse as to why I can’t clock up 80 hours of PL . . . because the fact that I’m at bloody work whilst every other teacher is doing PL isn’t an acceptable reason!

This particular professional body was legally disbanded a few years ago because of some thing to do with the fact that it was crap and not functioning in an entirely legal manner, and the newly formed version seems to me to be taking teachers’ money for little return. We’re not actually provided with anything useful . . . other than an online record/database of all the PL we’ve done. The members of the board are teachers from the city that probably only their colleagues and relatives know, and yet we’re told to vote for who we want on the board. Insane much?

It is utterly, utterly insane to think that relief teachers can be held to the same hours of PL as every other regular teacher when we’re hired to fill in for the regulars who are out on PL. Nuts. Batshit crazy. But what do I know?

Okay, whinge over. If you’re a member of a body that governs your profession, leave me a comment with some of the batshit crazy things you’re required to do in order to stay in your job.


About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
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