Gaining confidence

By midway through their first term, beginning teachers should have more confidence in their knowledge of the school and their teaching. Developing rapport with students, and establishing and managing a quality learning environment in their classroom should be a priority.

The emphasis on establishing and maintaining classroom routines and procedures can now transition to co­-teaching and lesson observations. This will be a significant ongoing focus.

The 5C model

This is an ideal time to revisit the components of the 5C model of school-based induction - customised, connections, context, curriculum and classroom.

The model can be used to monitor and revise the beginning teacher's Personal induction planner (PIP) and accommodate any emerging needs. Additionally, at this stage:

  • Early connections will have formed with all school-based induction team members, and the need for the buddy teacher may be reducing at this stage.
  • The context emphasis will have shifted from knowing the workplace, to a greater understanding the school culture, the students and the community.
  • Regular planning time with the supervisor and mentor/ coach needs to continue at this stage. In the classroom, however, there will be less emphasis on the supervisor and mentor/ coach taking the 'lead', with the beginning teacher playing a more active role in co-­teaching and lesson observations.

Gaining confidence: moving forward

Providing example strategies that support each component of the 5C model will assist beginning teachers to gain confidence as educators, and to move forward professionally.

Suggestions to customise the induction process to accommodate needs.

Schools could assist beginning teachers by:

  • scheduling regular meeting times to ‘check in’
  • monitoring progress to accommodate emerging needs as they arise and easing back in some support areas
  • continuing to organise classroom observations and co-teaching based on goals articulated in the Performance and Development Plan (PDP)
  • monitoring progress using the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers as a framework
  • encouraging reflection on developing practices
  • providing specific feedback aimed at improving practice.

Beginning teachers could assist schools by:

  • attending and engaging positively in meetings with school personnel
  • using reflective practice to improve teaching and learning
  • monitoring progress against their Performance and Development Plan (PDP)
  • suggesting school-based strategies that would best support their emerging needs
  • identifying specific areas of need to target during classroom observations and demonstrations
  • sharing and celebrating successes
  • maintaining openness to new ideas and being prepared to try new things
  • being prepared to persist with new strategies in the classroom.

Suggestions to ensure connections are available with more experienced teachers and other beginning teachers.

Schools could assist beginning teachers by:

  • ensuring that supervisors/ mentors/ coaches continue to have adequate allocated time for planning and classroom support, including co-teaching
  • being mindful of beginning teacher workload and burn out
  • ensuring that beginning teachers are included and welcomed
  • observing beginning teachers to make sure they are feeling comfortable within the school community
  • following up on networks and participation such as beginning teacher networks, subject area networks
  • encouraging collegiality and collaboration and exploring avenues within the school and beyond to provide professional support.

Beginning teachers could assist schools by:

  • maintaining a positive attitude
  • trying to maintain a positive work-life balance
  • engaging positively in school functions and activities
  • actively participating in any networks that may be available
  • actively participating in school committees, meetings and so on
  • maintaining relationships with colleagues and other beginning teachers
  • accepting offers of support from colleagues
  • treating colleagues with respect and collegiality
  • working collaboratively with colleagues.

Suggestions to ensure ongoing information about the school context is provided.

Schools could assist beginning teachers by:

  • ensuring that beginning teachers know who to approach for further support, as ongoing challenges will continue to arise
  • providing positive role models and pairing beginning teachers with colleagues who have similar teaching styles or philosophies
  • ensuring beginning teachers know the procedures for communicating with local community groups and if necessary, particular parents/ carers
  • exploring beginning teachers’ impressions of the school climate and culture, focusing on sharing and jointly addressing the problems encountered in classrooms and the school
  • providing opportunities for beginning teachers to develop a deep understanding of the school’s mission and vision statements.

Beginning teachers could assist schools by:

  • knowing who to go to for what, for example the buddy for where to find something, the supervisor and/or mentor/ coach for curriculum support
  • not engaging in negative discussions about the executive, students, colleagues, parents/ carers or the school in general
  • getting to know colleagues on a personal level which helps understand why they may act/ react in particular ways
  • seeking out support about how to engage and communicate with particular community groups in the school
  • finding out how the support personnel in the school can help to understand and engage with the local community.

Suggestions to ensure ongoing curriculum knowledge, understanding and practices are examined.

Schools could assist beginning teachers by:

  • beginning to move beyond a focus on single lesson planning or weekly planning to longer term planning such as a lesson sequence of a program or unit of work
  • outlining and explaining particular planning models used
  • describing the required components of the program that is to be submitted
  • ensuring that planning reflects ongoing student assessment, syllabus expectations and school targets
  • explaining and demonstrating how ongoing assessment information can be gathered as part of teaching and learning
  • setting up structures for monitoring student achievement
  • explaining the differences between assessment for/of/as learning
  • providing opportunities for collaborative planning
  • observing beginning teachers and providing constructive improvement feedback
  • requiring beginning teachers to reflect on their teaching strategies and techniques
  • providing opportunities for classroom observations in colleagues’ classrooms to demonstrate particular teaching strategies and techniques.

Beginning teachers could assist schools by:

  • planning learning goals for lessons/ lesson sequences
  • linking the teaching and the learning experiences to the planned learning goals
  • experimenting with a variety of student grouping structures so that students are not always sitting in ‘ability’ groups or individually
  • engaging in classroom observations and team teaching with a specific purpose
  • being observed and seeking and accepting feedback
  • using feedback as a tool for improvement
  • reflecting on planning and teaching
  • requesting demonstration lessons or co-teaching lessons to overcome areas of need
  • identifying personal areas of need in terms of planning and implementation
  • catering for differing learning modalities and styles
  • using a variety of activities and methods to actively engage students
  • providing timely and specific feedback to students.

Suggestions to ensure ongoing classroom knowledge, understanding and practices are explored.

Schools could assist beginning teachers by encouraging them to:

  • set and expect high standards of students and articulate learning intentions
  • ask students to reflect on their learning and describe where they need to go next
  • establish seating plans, desk plans and student groupings
  • pace and time lessons to keep the lesson flowing without getting bogged down
  • expect students to enter the classroom ready to engage in the coming lesson
  • organise and use materials and resources to keep students engaged and enhance learning
  • ensure consistency and fairness in terms of expectations for work and behaviour standards
  • accurately identify the source of classroom management issues
  • offer support for student behaviour that avoids sending students to a senior executive.

Beginning teachers could assist schools by:

  • assuming responsibility for the classroom and students’ success
  • speaking in an appropriate tone and volume
  • setting and expecting high standards of work and behaviour
  • ensuring students know what they are going to learn and how the lesson will proceed
  • helping students make real-world connections to new content
  • making subject matter relevant to students
  • considering how to engage and motivate students
  • observing how experienced teachers manage the classroom
  • using rewards judiciously and appropriately
  • being firm, consistent and ensuring fairness
  • reflecting on classroom management issues in terms of the teacher and the teaching
  • requesting assistance before issues escalate
  • listening to student questions, comments and concerns
  • treating students with respect and dignity, even in difficult situations
  • addressing students by name
  • displaying student work around the room/s
  • expecting students to speak respectfully to each other
  • monitoring student engagement in activities.

The Personal induction planner (PIP) can be used to begin recording and monitoring progress through the early weeks of teaching.

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