The scene is a hotel conference room with a pleasant view. It is about 10 o’clock on a Wednesday morning in April. A side table is set with coffee and croissants. Delegates are seated around a conference table.
Jim: Right. Well, welcome everybody. As you are all aware, this new body has been constituted in order to give a voice to teachers in professional matters. Membership is open only to teachers in order to ensure that we properly represent the profession. As teachers elected to the steering committee, you have chosen to participate in the important initial stage of our development. Now, the one thing we know about all of you is that you are all teachers.
[congenial laughter ripples around the room]
Jim: However, apart from that, we don’t really know each other. So, if you will, I would like to begin by going around the table and asking each of you to introduce yourselves and give some details of your current work. Let’s start with Maria.
Maria: Hi, I’m Maria. I am a registered teacher, currently on secondment to the education department. My role there is to develop an action plan that will facilitate teachers in embracing more innovative teaching practices. We are working with the consultants Bunk and Effluenze to develop innovative pedagogical approaches involving computers and stuff.
Jim: Thank you Maria. Let’s turn to Ahmed.
Ahmed: Hi everyone. I am a consultant teacher working with fifteen schools on approaches to deliver collaborative inquiry, particularly in STEM subjects.
Jim: Important work, Jim. Now Sandy?
Sandy: I am a Principal of a primary school and I run The Principal’s Network. This gives me the opportunity to meet other Principals, many of whom are developing creative pedagogies based upon authentic learning experiences.
Jim: Great. Amrita?
Amrita: I teach beginning educators in a university education department. My research focus is Critical Literacy.
Jim: And Marcel? What’s your role?
Marcel: I am a registered teacher who has set-up an ed-tech company. We have developed an easy-to-use app that enables students to complete their homework and parents and teachers to monitor this with virtually no startup costs (it comes as a free trial initially) and it integrates seamlessly with…
Jim: Thanks, Marcel, that’ll probably do for now. Finally, Jesse?
Jesse: I am a small business owner, councillor and parent. I identify as a teacher.
Jim: Right. OK. Just thinking – are there any actual, you know, current schoolteachers in here?
Amrita: No. It’s a Wednesday. They’ll all be busy teaching.
Jim: Of course. Of course. Right then, let’s get down to our first item of business: developing a set of professional standards for teachers…