You’ve gotta hand it to the Victorian Institute of Teaching, the compulsory union you’ve got when you haven’t got a compulsory union, although unions represent their constituents, not over-regulate them.
When it was first established I was hopeful it would represent the professional voice of teachers in Victoria: advocate for teachers, put the teacher perspective in the education debate, advice and support the profession, perhaps a bit like the AMA?
That hasn’t been what’s eventuated. What’s eventuated is an institute that regulates the profession, that administers, that supervises, that over-supervises, that licenses and regulates and charges fees. An annual fee, in fact, to maintain your teaching licence.
Maybe I’m over-sensitive, but look at the language in this letter (below) Victorian teachers received this week: ‘It is important that only you complete this form’, ‘follow the instructions on the form’, ‘the Institute will not able to process an incomplete application form’, ‘registration cannot be renewed…’ etc. Does it sound like the VIT are talking to their constituents? It was accompanied by two densely printed pages of notes mainly related to what teachers need to do to remain … teachers. And of education? Not a whisper.