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Claiming Professional Rights and Responsibilities

In response to the erosion of the professional rights and voices of teachers by current government directions in education, the 2005 AGM passed the following motion:

That locals be encouraged to identify and organize one professional development day in 2005–06 that involves members in local and Federation discussions and activities that promote a strong leadership role for the profession.

The Federation has developed a suggested model that locals can use to implement this professional development day, and some backgrounders and discussion questions for some of the issues that might be discussed.

A model for a PD day to promote professional leadership

  1. Use “Claiming our Professional Rights and Responsibilities” as a title/theme of a district PD day.
  2. Consider having a plenary speaker or panel on the topic of professional rights and responsibilities.
  3. Do a needs assessment with members to solicit a list of professional issues that are of concern to them.
  4. Use a common framework for the discussion of professional issues to plan sessions on each of the issues identified:
    • Present background information on the issues
    • Have participants discuss:
      What are our professional rights in relation to this issue? How do we reconcile our individual professional autonomy with collaborative professional practice?
    • Have participants discuss:
      What are our professional responsibilities in relation to this issue? What is good for students and their learning? How can we provide equitable opportunities to learn? What are the ethical tensions and what is the ethical professional response to those?
    • Have participants plan for action:
      What can/should we do as individual classroom teachers? As a department? As a school staff? As an LSA? As a local union?
  5. As a PD committee and a local union, debrief and make plans to support the actions members are willing to take, and report back to the local membership.

Backgrounders and discussion questions