Feeling the warmth in the room

The sink or swim approach doesn’t work any more.

The warmth in the room was palpable when preservice teachers Kym Baird (University of Sydney), Morgan Howard (University of Notre Dame), Leah Maree Jacobs (University of Sydney), Amy Marfleet (University of Notre Dame) and Danielle White (University of Notre Dame) took to the stage.

The five final-year teaching students took part in a panel session at the IEU’s Securing Our Future, Best Practice Induction and Mentoring Conference on 21-22 May, talking about their fears, expectations and needs as they approach their first year in the profession.

Danielle, who is training in secondary Maths and History, said the support she felt from experienced teachers in the room was great and she hoped to get the “same vibe” when she started teaching.

“The big thing I’ve taken from today is that there are induction processes in place and we won’t be alone. Most teachers want to help and encourage us,” she said.

Morgan Howard, studying secondary English and History, said he had learnt how important it was to have an induction.

“Today I’ve learnt it is important to ask questions and build relationships. The sink or swim approach doesn’t work any more,” he said.

“At uni it’s about getting the best marks as an individual, but in schools it’s about working in collaboration with other staff.”

Amy Marfleet, studying early childhood education, said it was a great idea to hold a conference on induction and mentoring.

“It’s good to see that schools are trying to find out how they can improve their induction and mentoring process, and seeing what other schools and systems are doing to support students.

“Any chance teachers have to network is a good opportunity.”