I'm not the most militant unionist out there, I'll start with that mea culpa.
But, I love unionism. I love the mentality of cooperation and debate. I find it fascinating to meet colleagues nationally and internationally, and in so doing make friends, connections, and the occasional adversary along the way.
So, I'm feeling pretty privileged today to be on my way to Brighton to help represent Dartford and Swanley at the NUT Annual Conference (alongside our truly excellent Association President).
I will be there with a few hats on:
- I'm a foreigner in a foreign land! A Canadian-trained but English-tried teacher (and am therefore very much looking forward to hearing from Canadian Teachers' Federation President Dianne Woloschuk (@CTFPresident) this afternoon).
- I am Vice-President of my Association
- I am a young teacher and am part of the organising committee for the NUT's Young Teachers' Conference
- I am a Special Educational Needs teacher
I also have a keen political interest in the progress being made my LGBT people around the world; I believe the question of fundamental equality regardless of sexuality is one of our last major civil rights battles, and needs to be won for the betterment of all people.
As far as advance work goes, it is probably the best-organised conference I've ever been to. My post-woman must think I'm the NUT's most senior member, with the multitude of high-quality, high-weight envelopes that she has managed to stuff through my mail slot this weekend.
As the weekend progresses, I hope to use this space to reflect on the experience, summarise the affect it has on my mission as a teacher and an activist, and share the best aspects of the conference as it moves forward.