Mentoring Entitlements for Provisionally Certificated/Beginning Teachers
When you apply for a teaching position, ask about the school or centre policy and procedures for supporting teachers towards full certification, and how much time you will have for professional development. This will vary in each setting but your employer should ensure a formal induction programme is available to you.
Here are some tips to help you ensure you have the help and support you need when starting out:
- Ensure you have a job description that clearly shows the role is a teaching position, and that the role will enable you to meet all of the Standards for the Teaching Profession.
- Negotiate an induction programme with your mentor teacher that meets your own learning needs and is appropriate and realistic for your setting. This will include allocating time for your professional development and support.
- Review and renegotiate your programme as your needs change.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Keep your own record of meetings and discussions with your supervising teacher, of goals set and followed up, your own reflections on your progress, observations of your teaching by your mentor teacher, and key areas of your professional learning and development. If you change jobs before becoming fully registered, make sure you take these records with you, so your progress can be built on in your new teaching position.
Making use of professional development time
Time should be available to support the professional development of newly qualified teachers. For example, through the staffing entitlement for year one and two teachers in state primary and secondary schools, or by non-contact time in ECE learning centres.
It is important that this time is regularly timetabled and available to you. While meetings with other provisionally certificated teachers are helpful, you are also entitled to personalised guidance and support tailored to your own interests and needs.
Talk to your mentor teacher and Principal or Professional Leader about how to get the most from this time.
Examples of worthwhile professional development activities include:
- observing other teachers and learners in another learning centre
- discussions with other teachers such as guidance counsellors, senior staff or with advisers or specialist education services
- becoming familiar with the library, teaching resources and records of the learning centre
- finding out about the policies and procedures in your learning centre
- studying professional material, analysing your own professional needs and development, and planning for better teaching
- going to courses and meetings that release from your teaching duties.
For each of these opportunities, reflect on the activity and apply it to your work as a teacher, and your learners.