As we move closer to teacher accreditation in the early childhood sector there are many questions we need to ask ourselves.
•What is it going to look like?
•What will the process be?
•Who will be the teacher accreditation authority?
•How will be able to access the required amount of BOSTES accredited professional development?
•How will our services be able to afford this?
These are just the beginning questions. As we move through the process there will be a lot more.
The IEU is looking at all these issues very closely and is representing our sector very strongly in all forums. We are so lucky to have this support and we will be guided through this very complex process.
Last month I was lucky enough to attend the Securing Our Future Conference run by the IEU.
The ongoing theme throughout the two days was mentoring and the importance of mentoring for new teachers – not just in the first couple of years while they work towards their Proficient status but ongoing. The statistics we heard about beginning teachers leaving the profession were alarming. The cost of this was even more alarming. One of the problems we will face in the early childhood sector is how will we mentor beginning teachers through the process and beyond when we will also be new to it. We also need to consider how we will do this in an already time poor environment.
We need to consider seriously how we can work this into our enterprise agreements into the future because we will not be able to do this without time allowance and money.
Current research has proven that teachers who stay in the profession and excel are those who have had strong support from their schools and services and have been involved in an ongoing mentoring program.
We need also to ask ourselves what is good mentoring? Can this be learnt? If so how? Training is imperative.
At the conference I was privileged to be able to attend a workshop run by two teachers, Maria O'Donnell and Clare Fletcher, from St Mary McKillop College in Canberra. They said they had a visionary principal who saw the absolute value in mentoring beginning teachers and supported them through training and the establishment of an amazing mentoring program. While this is in a secondary school, I believe we can learn a lot from this program and the basic philosophies behind it will cross over all sectors.
There is a lot for us to consider as we move into 2016 and beyond.