Melanie Soklevski has been a Mathematics and Physics teacher at Bundoora Secondary College, located in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, since the beginning of 2018. Previously she had worked at Templestowe College for six years and before that she was an Electrical Engineer.
While settling into a new school herself might be daunting enough, Melanie also mentors two first year Associates in Stephanie Brown and Liam Swift.
“I love working with my Associates to help them brainstorm and come up with solutions to problems they are facing in their classrooms,” Melanie said when asked what she loves about being a TFA school mentor.
Melanie is fortunate enough to sit at the desk adjacent to her Associates, which enables her to have lots of informal conversations about their teaching. Melanie also schedules time with her Associates separately to get on top of any pressing issues.
“I try to have a formal meeting with each Associate every second week and do an observation of at least a part of one of their classes every 3-4 weeks,” Melanie said.
During these sessions, Melanie is able to help Associates brainstorm potential problems and teaching methods and help come up with solutions to some of the issues that they may be facing in the classroom.
“I really enjoy helping them reflect on their successes, especially when a solution we have brainstormed improves their classroom,” Melanie added.
Mel’s Associates Steph and Liam, who are both in their first year of the Teach For Australia Leadership Development Program, are making great steps towards becoming accomplished teachers.
“Stephanie is an amazing scientist, and her passion for the subject is infectious and demonstrated in her classroom while Liam has been described as the Zen master of behavior management. He has had some challenging classes but has built a level of respect with the students through consistent classroom management that has led to better learning outcomes,” Melanie said when asked about her Associates.
Melanie is looking forward to continuing in her role as a mentor.
“I am finding the mentoring experience very rewarding, I am looking forward to the rest of my time being mentor to two amazing Associates.”