The department’s 5C model of school-based induction

Quality induction customises support to needs. It connects teachers according to these needs and focuses on context, curriculum and the classroom. The 5C model is centred on these key components:

Beginning teacher needs are diverse and change depending on their context. Their personal dispositions and skills can vary, as can their concerns about teaching and their career aspirations. Added to this are the particular challenges that each school, student cohort or class can pose.

Quality induction programs account for beginning teachers varied, individualised needs by customising induction support. At different points throughout the school year, these programs identify the needs of each teacher, then modify, tailor, adapt or personalise support in response. The result is a better fit between teachers' individual needs, school needs, student needs and the induction support provided.

Connective induction recognises induction as a whole-school responsibility. Instead of fastening responsibility to a single teacher mentor, quality induction programs direct beginning teachers to different teachers on the basis of need. To improve specific areas of professional practice, it is critical that beginning teachers connect to in-school mentors: experts in the aspects of teaching practice that have been identified for development.

To develop beginning teachers' professional identity and wellbeing, beginning teachers can also be connected to other stakeholders: supervisors, principals, coordinators, buddy teachers, fellow beginning teachers, or professional learning networks. By using the connective approach, the beginning teacher's different needs can be targeted through support, at different points in time, by different colleagues.

Context is grounded in a school's distinctive blend of: people, practices and policies; resources, routines and relationships; norms, narratives and knowledges, needs and networks. Since most beginning teachers are likely to arrive without an understanding of the context they will be working in, quality induction programs seek to gear them with it. They provide general information about and exposure to the school: its policies, procedures and personnel; the students: their background, achievements and assessment; and the community: its composition, complexities, key stakeholders and resources. In fostering an understanding of these, quality induction shares information and strategies with beginning teachers through collaboration, cultivates their sense of belonging through collegiality, and builds their confidence by providing opportunities to demonstrate their efficacy.

When implementing the curriculum, teachers must decide: what outcomes will students attain? What experiences are likely to achieve these outcomes? How will I organise these experiences? And how will I know when these outcomes are being attained?

New teachers need considerable time and support to acquire the sophisticated knowledge and skills to make these curriculum decisions competently. Quality induction supports them to do this by building beginning teachers' understanding of pedagogy and practices. Expectations and processes can be clarified, resources are provided and their capacity is enhanced through co-planning, co-teaching, professional learning, observation and constructive feedback.

Expert teachers create a classroom where they can focus on teaching and where their students can focus on learning. They couple clear, high expectations with a safe, orderly environment; they protect teaching time from unreasonable interruptions; they build productive habits through effective routines and they resolve conflict with and among students quickly and effectively. Beginning teachers, with their developing experience and repertoire require the support of quality induction programs to create such a classroom.

Quality induction programs clarify expectations of conduct to new teachers; they connect them to evidence-based pedagogical models; and they establish the centrality of student behaviour in the layout of classroom, the planning of curriculum experiences, and the selection of instructional strategies.

Work out how balanced and comprehensive your school’s current induction program is by using the 5C Assessment Tool.

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