Sharing is Caring!
Being a CRT Network Coordinator has been an amazing journey! Back in 2008 I started this little local Network with the idea of just being able to get together with fellow relief teachers occasionally to talk shop and swap resources. Today I work with education departments and private businesses and even create online PL/PD for ClassCover’s Relief Teaching Association. It’s been a pretty whirlwind 8 years!
The Relief Teacher Association has been gracious enough to let me show off a little by bringing my new YouTube show to their blog so here goes!
I personally think relief teachers producing these kinds of supports are important. Relief teaching can be such a sink or swim experience, especially for grads fresh out of uni, and it’s incredibly useful for them to have access to avenues of advice and support. That’s exactly why I got involved with ClassCover’s Relief Teacher Association. I got an email out of the blue from this intense ball of enthusiasm named Ben Grozier telling me he’s started building something that relief teachers can join to be part of a thriving relief teacher community; that struck a chord with me.
What I have been exceptionally lucky to be able to do locally is bring a bunch of traditionally isolated teachers together and watch them thrive because of it. Myself included! There’s no way I could be doing the things I do without all those years of sitting in a room with truly great relief teachers on a regular basis. We’ve got fresh grads just starting their careers, people relief teaching around young families, people relief teaching as a soft entry back into classrooms after maternity leave and semi-retired teachers just looking to keep their foot in classrooms. The one thing it’s taught me? Everyone has something valuable to share!
So I obviously want to share on a larger scale than my local Network but, more importantly, I want to encourage others to share too. While I’ve got a husband able to make me some flashy intros and stuff, what I really hope to do is reach out to people who say “I can do that!” and set out to tell the world; even if it’s in another medium like a Blog. Or music teachers writing songs about relief teaching and finding some way to and share them with everyone they can. Or participating in groups on Facebook or organisations like Classcover’s Relief Teacher Association.
Not just sharing resources and activities but aiming our collective capacity as a community at taking some of the ‘sink or swim’ out of CRT work for those now and future relief teachers, supporting them to feel like they aren’t alone and there’s plenty of people out there that want to help; because we DO sometimes feel isolated from our profession. In fact isolation is a component of a larger issue with a bit of a scary name: “Relief Teacher Alienation”. Even scarier still “relief teacher alienation” is normal.
And we have more collective power to do something about that than anyone else.
As long as we simply... Share. Not only does sharing allow me to help other Relief Teachers out there and let them know people are thinking of them, it also allows me to feel more productive and closer to the teaching profession. I invite every single one of you to do the same.