Each year, more than 12,000 new teachers start working in schools and early childhood centres. However, many educators sometimes lose track of their progress in the busy day-to-day responsibilities of their role.
To complement the induction support they receive from their employers, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) provides free, online resources to help new teachers do this so they can develop as professionals.
AITSL’s acting CEO, Edmund Misson, said ongoing induction is a key part of supporting professional development and retention in the profession as new teachers navigate their new environments and emerging career paths.
“The best induction programs include practice-focused mentoring, contact with school leaders, collaborative networks, targeted professional learning, observation and reflection,” said Misson.
“With ongoing induction and support, the beginning teachers of today can become the expert teachers of tomorrow. That’s a great thing for the status of teaching, and ultimately the students of Australia.”
Misson said AITSL wants to make sure beginning teachers have the resources and tools they need, to complement existing programs in their schools and help them have the “biggest possible impact in the classroom”.
‘A strong, tailored induction program’
Downloaded more than 17,000 times, the AITSL My Induction app offers expert advice on the go, provides answers to frequently asked questions, and allows new teachers to track their professional wellbeing and growth.
Beginning teacher Vicki Nguyen from Airds High School in NSW, said the induction program developed and offered at her school, and support from the app, had helped her through her first weeks in the job.
“It has been a busy time, but the staff have been great and I have definitely felt supported. It’s reassuring to know there are others going through the process with you, and others who have been through it before,” Nguyen said.
“One of the first things my mentor advised us to do was download the AITSL app, because it complements the induction program that has been developed in-school. I’ve found the resources where expert teachers answer questions useful, and I think it will be helpful as a reference for the future.”
Nguyen said the focus on teacher wellbeing cannot be understated, adding the app allows teachers to track how their day was and reflect on their practice.
“It is critical for first-year teachers to consciously reflect on performance for future improvement,” she said.
Airds High School induction and accreditation program co-ordinator and Head Teacher, English, Narelle Barker, said strong, tailored induction programs were incredibly valuable, in the short and long term.
“At Airds High School we value our beginning teachers and have developed a tailored and rigorous induction program to make sure they are supported. We meet three times each term, and it is so rewarding to see new teachers flourish in this environment,” Barker said.
“Every year we see incredible amounts of passion, commitment and enthusiasm, and with a tailored induction program we can harness this energy to ensure our new teachers are set on a career path that will ultimately benefit our students, as well as providing them with the tools to succeed.”