Our April Twitter chat is happening on Sunday 7th May at 8.30pm Sydney time – click here to see the time where you are. Hope to e-see you there!
If you read the #AusELT Facebook page or Twitter feed, you can see a remarkable group of professionals. The comments, questions and responses clearly show hard-working teachers (and trainers, lecturers and managers), serious about meeting students’ needs, and committed to learning and sharing in order to do ‘this’ better.
Unfortunately, in many cases their hard work, commitment and professional development do not seem to be valued, remunerated or even rewarded with something as basic as a contract. Phiona Stanley’s paper, Economy class? Lived experiences and career trajectories of private-sector English-language school teachers in Australia, captures the instability and lack of recognition that characterises ELT employment for many (you can also see slides from her related plenary at the English Australia Conference in 2016 here).
As Stanley also points out, the individual DoS or manager (who is also hard-working and professional) often has their hands tied as well in terms of balancing who they can retain and who they need to take on. These issues are systemic, and it can seem impossible for individual teachers or managers to make a difference. But there are exceptions and examples of good, ethical, practice.
In this chat we will discuss:
- what are the exceptions and how can we work to make them the rule?
- how can we help each other to advocate for ourselves?
- what are your rights and what can you do if they are not being met?
- what can individuals do to work towards change?
We are collecting useful resources on this topic, which you can access via the ‘Working in ELT‘ link above – let us know in the comments, Twitter chat or via Facebook message, if you have ideas to add. There’s also some recommended reading below. Please join us for this important discussion on Sunday. Looking forward to e-seeing you then.
- Bertone, S. (2000). Casualisation of the ESL Workforce in Australia: Background Paper No. 5. TESOL in Context, 10(1).
- Carosi, Penny (2005). Contracting Out. Australian TAFE Teacher (*), 39(3), p. 19.
- O’Connor, B.G. (2012). Life after CELTA:
A precarious transition into English Language Teaching (PhD manuscript)
- Stanley, Phiona (2016). Economy class? Lived experiences and career trajectories of private-sector English-language school teachers in Australia. In P. Haworth and C. Craig (Eds), The career trajectories of English language teachers. Oxford: Symposium Book, (pp.185-199).
- Wishart, John (2009). Being a TAFE Casual. Australian TAFE Teacher (*), 43(2), 6-7.
(* Posted with the permission of the Australian Education Union (AEU). Access more recent issues of The Australian TAFE Teacher here: http://www.aeufederal.org.au/news-media/the-australian-tafe-teacher).
Not sure about Twitter?
Why not have a go? We can help you out. Get in touch with any of the AusELT admin team on Facebook or Twitter (eg, @sophiakhan4 or @cioccas, or by leaving a comment below. Here are some posts that should also help you get started:
- Need help with Twitter?`
- #AusELT 1-page guide to Twitter
- So you have a Twitter account – now what? (from Cult of Pedagogy)
This post by @sophiakhan4