And find out why ATL is the fastest growing union in the education sector
My name is Paul. Iím a new primary teacher in Glasgow and the convener of the ATL Future steering group. I started out as a student member of ATL in the second year of my four year B.Ed. and decided very quickly that ATL, the education union, was for me and I wanted to become a rep.
The benefits of doing this, as I expected, have been endless. My network of other students, NQs, teachers, lecturers, support staff and leaders has sky rocketed, and this has benefited my understanding of the wider context of education and my practice in school through the numerous regular CPD opportunities and tips from other education professionals.
Iíve had the chance to attend and even lead CPD events on a range of topics, attend and get involved in the debates at ATL Conference and I quickly became involved in the ATL Future Steering Group after my first conference. This is all because I knew being an active member meant a real say in the education community.
The ATL Future steering group leads on policy and campaign development in the association related to students and NQs experiences and importantly, how we ensure the best experiences and outcomes for all children and young people.
ATL as an education union; an association, is unique. It has a powerful, considered voice in the education community and offers you, as a student, a platform to have your voice heard Ė and not just heard, but genuinely listened to, and acted upon.
The skills and abilities you will develop as a representative range from leadership, team work, collaboration, negotiation, critical analysis and how to lead change. Your knowledge of the education sector will increase dramatically, and this critical understanding helps you develop informed views of different issues relating to education. These are skills that will help you not only early on in your career, but can potentially last with you throughout a varied and exciting career.
The support from other ATL members and staff means you have all the information, support and guidance there whenever you might need it; be it to do with learning, teaching, assessment or just having to take time off for illness. This can be locally from members and representatives in your area, the organising team in each of the regions, or even the ATL website and Facebook page.
Best of all, by getting involved, you build your network of professionals from across the sector and across career stages, which contributes to gaining ideas, tips and the capacity to ensure the best experiences and outcomes for the children and young people in your care, with the support there for you when you need it.
If you're looking for an opportunity to expand your professional horizons whilst remaining focused on education issues or are keen to ensure your CV stands apart from those of your peers when applying for jobs, come to one of ATL Future's rep training sessions.
For another take on the benefits of becoming a student rep, watch this video from former ATL Future convenor, Vicky Josiah.