Teach For Australia is committed to our vision of an Australia where all children, regardless of background, attain an excellent education. We believe that high quality mentoring of early career teachers is a key component in achieving this mission.
As part of the Leadership Development Program, our partner schools commit to providing a School Mentor as on-the-ground contextual support, complementing Associates’ Teaching and Leadership Adviser and Academic Mentor.
The School Mentor is an important part of ensuring the development and effectiveness of Associates. Selected by school principals, School Mentors observe Associate teaching, provide reflective feedback and collaborate with the Associate’s broader support network.
School mentors benefit from a comprehensive two-year training program provided by Teach For Australia.
Effective mentoring practices are developed through an evidence-based professional learning curriculum. Designed to build best-practice skills and knowledge for effective mentoring, Teach For Australia’s Mentor Development Program supports mentor teachers’ professional growth through learning modules, regional professional learning communities and collaborative practice.
Mentoring helps to nurture early career teachers in the beginning stages of their professional growth. Research has consistently found that new teachers experience a range of benefits from quality mentoring relationships, including emotional support, increased confidence, improved self-reflection, problem-solving capabilities and the development of classroom management practices and norms.
These benefits provide a strong foundation for mentees to begin growing as teachers and to become increasingly effective in the classroom. The relationship is mutually beneficial, with mentors also reporting benefits to their own development and learning.
Our programs foundation is our Mentor Competency Framework which articulates the key skills and knowledge School Mentors need to be successful in their role. Our framework has been informed by the work of Hudson (2012) and consists of five domains, outlined in the graphic.
Our complete Mentor Development Program has been delivered to partner schools in four jurisdictions in 2018 (ACT, Northern Territory, Victoria and WA). Results from our evaluations demonstrate the positive impact we are having.
In an effort to understand the learning growth of our participants we have calculated effect sizes based on their self assessment of their knowledge prior to and after our training. The data indicated that mentors made mostly large gains across key program components.
Teach for Australia is open to partnership opportunities with government departments and organisations that share our mission. Get in touch to learn more about our Mentor Development Program and how our curriculum and resources can support your school, network or department.