Thursday, 17 March 2011

Support for creative writing teachers

Today, an alert on the wider world of support for creative writing teachers -- an alphabet soup: NAWE, UCU, IfL.

First, the good news. Writers in Schools Skills Sharing Day on Saturday 21 May 2011. Organised by NAWE -- National Association of Writers in Education -- for writers teaching in primary and secondary schools. Of 16 workshops you can attend 4. Some titles that call to me are Classroom Management, Working with Teachers, Maintaining Your Identity as a Writer and Digital/Interactive Writing [no suprise, that last one, as some will know -- see blogs of 16 & 23 Feb, Technologies in Teaching Creative Writing].

If you're a NAWE member already you'll have had the notice on this, and know you get a discount. If not -- what are you waiting for? Good stuff, and membership includes liability insurance. ALSO I see that if you are not there yet, but interested, that a September workshop is planned for those who want to get into the writers in schools game. Here's the link. Deadline 29 April.

Now the rest. You are probably aware that nowadays everyone who teaches/trains in government-funded further education (FE, community, prisons etc) by law must now be a member of IFL -- Institute for Learning. It's a professional body and Good Thing, the professional body offering support and information. However, the government originally paid the membership if you were teaching... but now says you have to pay it yourself: £68. You don't pay, your college/institution can't hire you. Info,

Deadline for the IfL is 1 April, BUT it's a hot topic. UCU -- University and College Union -- is the union for teachers/lecturers in further & higher education, another Good Thing, offering support and information and political clout with employers, gov't, media. And UCU is fighting hard to see that employees do not pay this... they believe this is injustice, and ask members not to pay the IfL membership until (if) the union goes to bat over this. It's rather fraught. So you may want to go to UCU's site and sign the petition or at least read more about the issue and possibly join the union.

Whew. Not usually my thing to be political, but it is wise to be aware of the wider aspects of our world of teaching creative writing.

Meanwhile... my compassion is with Japan.

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