Maintaining a strong voice for members on the Teacher Registration Board
Longstanding IEUA-QNT appointee Elsabe Bott is stepping down from her role with the Northern Territory Teacher Registration Board (TRB) and will be replaced by member and teacher Louise Lenzo.
Representation of our union on the TRB is crucial to ensuring the voice of members is heard regarding the professional concerns they face.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said our union was incredibly grateful to Elsabe for her contribution in representing our union on the TRB for the last 15 years.
“Elsabe has shown professionalism and dedication during her time serving on the TRB, ensuring the voices of IEUA-QNT members has been heard,” Mr Burke said.
Representing the profession
When asked what her professional highlight was during her time on the TRB, Elsabe said her proudest achievement was revitalising the way teachers were required to submit evidence for continuing registration.
“At the time when the new process for continuing registration was being reviewed, there was a lot of discussion regarding the evidence teachers would need to give for each standard and the format this evidence would need to take,” Elsabe said.
“For a while it looked like teachers would have to develop and produce folders stacked with evidence against each standard, which would have been a huge workload for teachers but also for those people being asked to look through the evidence.
“Eventually discussion moved to the current situation, which is that teachers fill in and reflect using a professional development log.
“As part of the process of getting to this outcome, I submitted a ‘trial’ log to the TRB in order to show that in this way, teachers could adequately reflect on and present their learning.
“It soon became evident this more reasonable way of submitting evidence for re-registration would, and could, work effectively,” she said.
Elsabe said NT teachers were under increasing pressures and feeling time poor – a situation which must be addressed by the TRB.
“There needs to be an acknowledgement of this situation – particularly in terms of compliance to so many extraneous different groups, from mandated training around asthma to the administration of NAPLAN,” Elsabe said.
“The TRB’s requirements must not add to this workload and instead must genuinely allow teachers to be focused on classroom practice,” she said.
Continuing our strong voice
As our union’s new TRB appointee, Louise Lenzo is a highly experienced teacher and active IEUA-QNT member who believes practitioner and union representation is vital.
“It’s important to have the voice of our members on the TRB because it puts us right at the forefront of change,” Louise said.
“It means we are taking part in robust conversations at a major decision-making level,” she said.
Louise said she hopes to contribute to positive changes and improvements in the NT education system in her role on the TRB.
“My main focus will be to continue to facilitate the competency and quality of teaching, to promote equity and provide the best learning opportunities for students in our ever-changing world,” she said.
“Funding is also another important issue - wouldn’t it be great to actually have the funding needed to support the challenges teachers face and give our children the best opportunities possible?”
As an early years teacher, Louise is also looking forward to giving the early childhood education sector a greater voice through her appointment.
“Whilst it is widely known and accepted that the early years play a critical role in the development of the child and that early intervention is vital, it’s also an area which is resource-heavy both in terms of physical and human resources,” Louise said.
“Getting the foundations right at this early stage will help ensure every child is supported in their learning journey.
“Support is a major factor in ensuring that individuals are resilient.
“Mental health and wellbeing are considered equally important in a child’s development and this is especially the case in our current social and economic climate,” Louise said.
Images: Outgoing TRB representative Elsabe Bott (left) and new representative Louise Lenzo (right) have ensured our union’s voice remains strong.