This guest blog is written by Victoria Walker, one of the trustees of the Chartered College of Teaching.
I am often asked what the Chartered College of Teaching does; it is a question I find difficult to answer because the organisation, like the young people we work with, is still in its infancy. The Chartered College is currently made up of a group of committed Trustees, backed by a team and also a body of enthusiastic supporters, all driven by a vision that things should be better for those working in education. Soon, it will be our members who help us shape that vision, so that one day the Chartered College of Teaching will be an organisation that unites us all, no matter what part of the sector we work in. The Chartered College will be a platform offering access to the latest research to inform practice; it will create hubs up and down the country so that you have access to effective local support no matter where you live, and it will offer chartered teaching status to recognise those who are real experts in our profession.
The board of the Chartered College of Teaching is its governing body, led by our Chair and practising teacher, Claire Dockar, and two Vice Chairs. The rest of the board is comprised of teachers, headteachers, or individuals with the additional skills and experience required to set up and run the Chartered College successfully, such as Marcus Richards, our Treasurer. The board meets around once a month to discuss what has been achieved so far, and to plan the next steps in our overall direction. Aside from the Chair and Vice Chairs, the Trustees work on a variety of projects depending on their particular skills, experiences and interests; this might be done in person or on a conference call.
Being a Trustee of the Chartered College is like being the governor of a school; our responsibility is to support, stretch and challenge. I am not involved in the day-to-day workings of the organisation; my job is to help shape the overall direction of the Chartered College by drawing on my work as a secondary teacher in comprehensive urban schools. The Trustees on the board represent a range of school types from across the educational landscape and bring a variety of different experiences with them. Our tasks are to focus on the commonality of those experiences, to think about the ways in which we can improve the education that we provide to our students, and to implement those ideas through the Chartered College.
Teachers do not do their job for the money, the holidays, or because it is easy. Teachers become teachers because they want to bring about positive change, and we do this in a thousand small ways every day in our classrooms. I got involved in the Chartered College of Teaching because I wanted to make a meaningful contribution at a profession-wide level as well as in my school. As a teacher, I love what I do. Bettering the life chances of the young people we work with is a high-stakes responsibility and we have to give our all in order to achieve our aims. However, we know that the state of education could and should be better. My work as a Trustee is fulfilling, because I belong to a group of brilliant, passionate, and committed members all working towards this goal.
Being a trustee is not always easy. I am a full-time teacher and this year I have held the position of Head of English, which can feel like two full-time jobs on its own. In addition to meetings and conference calls, trustees are sent daily briefings and board reports to read. Overall, the work of a Trustee involves a commitment of around 20 days a year. While juggling this can be difficult, our experiences as teachers have made us experts at managing multiple demands. We are an organisation run by teachers, for teachers, and now that we're expanding we need more teachers on our board.
If you are reading this article, then the chances are you already have the skills we're looking for. The Chartered College of Teaching is in its infancy and, like our students, it is looking for someone who can see its ultimate potential and guide it there. #builditwithus