Leadership Development Program

Preparing for the Leadership Development Program: Part 2

Friday, March 22nd, 2024

This is the second in a four-part series to help you prepare for our Leadership Development Program – from the moment you’re offered a place, to teaching in the classroom and everything in between. 

In case you missed it, here’s the first instalment covering what happens after you receive an offer to the program. 

We’re now delving deeper into the Summer Semester of your Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning) – where you come together with your cohort for the first time, building foundational skills and knowledge before stepping into the classroom from day one of Term 1. 

Starting the Summer Semester 

Your studies kick off in mid-to-late October, when you will complete around 25-30 hours of mandatory self-directed orientation and Masters coursework – including readings, administrative tasks and online activities.  

This is to prepare you to start the virtual National Initial Intensive (NII) alongside your entire cohort in November. As we mentioned in our previous article, NII is an intensive and demanding learning event where you’ll complete around 20 per cent of your Masters coursework. 

You should expect to dedicate at minimum 50 hours per week (including weekends) to learning during the six-week, full-time intensive. This includes live sessions, readings, reflections and assignments. 

“I’ve done some intensive learning before, and I thought I’d be ready, and [NII] is still even more than that.” – Cohort 2023 Associate, Justin Ramirez 

“It is called an intensive for a reason – expect to be working long days and exhausting your brain!” – Caitlin Conway, 2014 Cohort   

A sample week of NII

*Sample week for indicative purposes only.

In-school experience 

During NII, you will also undertake a 10-day in-person school practicum – where you will develop and practice your classroom-ready skills and apply your learning in a real school setting, under the guidance and supervision of an experienced teacher. 

You’ll also engage in about three hours of asynchronous learning each day and are encouraged to attend twice-weekly reflection sessions to support your learning.  

We suggest you start your practicum by immersing yourself in the school environment: observe lessons, attend meetings, and participate in any other activities that your Supervising Teacher believes would be beneficial to your learning.  

“Participating in the 10 days practicum during the summer semester gave me the opportunity to connect some of what I had been learning during the intensive into a real life classroom setting. I remember observing a couple of classes, reflecting with my mentor, and then leading and teaching a class on my own! Being able to do this before I started at my in program school was vital in that I was familiar with what it was like to be in front of a class full of students and had time to find the kind of teacher I wanted to strive to be.” – Sana Jamali, 2019 Cohort 

“I think no matter what, the practical is going to be a hard time for associates; it’s over-stimulating, hectic, and rushed. However, I think this is totally necessary, it is a taste of what we should expect and an amazing insight to what we need to work on before stepping into a classroom.” – Cohort 2024 Associate 

As your knowledge and skills grow, you’ll progress to teaching short lesson segments and, finally, teaching complete lessons. 

Here’s how some of our Cohort 2024 Associates found their first experience in the classroom: 

“The confidence I developed through teaching a variety of lessons, both in my own (developing) abilities and, consequently, in my decision to move into teaching. The buzz I got from seeing students click with knowledge and ideas, and from forming connections with them, was incredibly rewarding, and suggested to me that I’m well-suited to this vocation.”  

“I found myself taking notes of a phrase or technique or game a teacher would use to engage the class. I feel like there are concrete things that I will use in my own classroom.”  

“Overall, the practicum reassured my insecurities about becoming a teacher. Even though I naturally wasn’t the best at everything, the things I did well and the relationships I built with students reassured me that this is a job that I am good at and that I will find rewarding and satisfying.”  

“Being able to lead so many classes 20+ helped me get over my nerves. Gave me heaps of opportunities to challenge myself and learn as much as I could in a short space of time.”  

Local context 

After your School Practicum and a short break over the December holiday period, you will continue to engage in your Masters coursework in January through online learning and a four-day face-to-face Regional Intensive learning event held in your placement state or territory. 

The Regional Intensive is a chance to put what you’ve learned so far into local context, while connecting with other regionally based Associates who started the program the previous year, as well as graduates of the program. 

This is your last intensive learning event before you start teaching at your new school from day one of Term 1! 

Starting in the classroom 

In our next edition in this series, we’ll dive into your new career in the classroom – including the support you’ll receive and our tips for the first few weeks of teaching. 

Next: Part 3

Back: Part 1

About the program

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