The energy, enthusiasm and fresh approach graduate teachers bring is vital to the renewal of the teaching profession.
However, research shows that the challenges facing early career teachers are significant:
- Whilst teachers commit to a lifetime of learning, the steepest learning curve is in the first few years. It can take up to eight years for teachers to learn all they need to learn for peak effectiveness
- The average amount of time teachers stay in the profession is five years
- The highest drop out rate for teachers is during their second year
Research also shows that if teachers receive good support during this precious early phase, these teachers stay and have long, fruitful careers.
With SCEA’s vision to be leaders in Christian education, one of the SCEA Institute’s most critical mandates is to ensure a steady supply of good Christian teachers.
“To achieve that we must invest in our early career teachers so that their talents, passion and excitement are nurtured and cultivated as they work towards their Full Registration,” said Mathilda Joubert, Principal of SCEA’s Institute of Teaching and Learning.
For this reason, the Graduate Teacher Program has been implemented from this year.
With 45 early career teachers across the SCEA schools, the program ensures these teachers receive the following:
- A school based mentor
- The opportunity to observe other experienced teachers
- Extra DOTT time in their first year of teaching
- Regular observation and feedback
- Mentoring and visits by Institute staff
- The opportunity to learn with other early careers teachers
A number of SCEA’s early careers teachers gathered at the Institute on July 14th to participate in training in areas such as assessment of student learning, partnering with parents and classroom management.
Second year teacher of English and psychology at Ellenbrook Christian College, Danielle Grisham, said, “It is hard to get excited about professional learning on the holidays, but Mathilda’s enthusiasm for learning and becoming an inspiring teacher is infectious."
“In coming together with other new graduates, not only did we nut-out issues which affect our immediate teaching such as behavior management, work-life balance and TRB registration, but we were also able to support one another with ideas and experience a camaraderie of understanding.
“Knowing there is support from leaders and other teachers alleviates some of the anxiety which comes with beginning a teaching career,” Danielle said.
“Above all, it is an opportunity for teachers to liaise and share together and for us to pour belief into them," Mathilda concluded.