ACE Darwin Dinner Series – 23 June 2021

Wednesday 23rd June 2021

Event Details

Members of the ACE Northern Territory Darwin Branch Committee invite you to join us for the JUNE ACE Darwin Dinner Series.

This month’s theme: “Are you a real teacher?” The importance of investing in the professional learning of Emergency Relief Teachers (ERTs)

In the Northern Territory, registered practising teachers who are employed to perform casual work are known as ‘Emergency Relief Teachers’, or ERTs. Our aim is that this informal presentation engages participants with us in a collegial discussion about the status and challenges faced by ERTs in accessing targeted, meaningful, professional learning.

Continuous professional learning is a three-pronged challenge for Territory ERTs and the profession:

  1. including ERTs in school-based networks and partnerships; 
  2. recognising the professional expertise that capable ERTs demonstrate on-the-job in schools, and
  3. access in policy and practice to supportive, multimodal system resources that are relevant, affordable, and timely irrespective whether the nature of these resources is human, material, online, or a combination of these.  

Our presenters perspectives align with AITSL conclusions based on an earlier 2018 study, where ERTs in regional and remote settings and/or who work in Early Years programs were found to be particularly vulnerable to facing challenges managing their professional learning (AITSL, 2018a, 2018b). The Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration (EducationCouncil, 2019) confirms that education partnerships are crucial to stakeholders fulfilling the national vision for improving teaching and learning. As ERTs, our relationship with local schools is one such influential. education partnership.   Without support and inclusion from within a professional community, ERTs can face frustration and isolation attempting to account for the quality of their cumulative professional learning, as is required for teacher registration renewal (TRB, 2020). Northern Territory schools depend on the availability of capable ERTs but anecdotally, ERTs can be in short supply. There is a crucial need to further empower the professional learning of ERTs by supporting them, including them, and by recognising their contributions to school improvement initiatives across the NT (NTDET, 2020).

Special Guest Speakers

Deanne Young, MACE

Deanne Young was born in the N.T. and obtained her Bachelor of Education in 1988 from CDU, previously known as Darwin Institute of Technology.   She has many years continuous teaching experience working in Darwin with student cohorts ranging from Preschool, Early Childhood through to the Upper Primary Years.  Deanne is a full time Emergency Relief Teacher by choice.  She recently joined the Australian College of Educators and is now a committee member of the Darwin ACE Branch. Deanne is an advocate for systems to do more to support employers and ERTs themselves recognise, harness, and hence further develop professional expertise to the benefit of local school improvement initiatives, and ultimately, the national agenda for quality teaching and learning.

Karen Sinclair, MACE

Karen Sinclair is a recently retired, registered Primary/Early Childhood teacher/teacher educator from the Northern Territory. Emergency Relief Teaching (ERT) is now a main vehicle for connecting with local school communities and related, collegial networks.  Karen is also Chair of the Committee overseeing a recently reactivated Darwin Branch of the Australian College of Educators (ACE). Her professional interest is inclusive education, with her post-graduate teaching and research exploring the the development of personal expertise during learners’ Early Years, the Compulsory School Years, and Initial Teacher Education courses.

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