An exciting new coaching program for early childhood professionals will kick off in Term 2. The program will be open to both teachers and educators who are already qualified and who are returning to the early childhood sector or joining the Victorian sector from other jurisdictions.
Gowrie Victoria is offering a range of coaching packages, on behalf of the Victorian Department of Education, for existing early childhood professionals who might be joining the Victorian ECE workforce from interstate or overseas, or who might be returning to the sector from extended leave, or from working in primary education.
Adult Learning Executive Manager Glyn Williams says the program is designed to complement induction and orientation at the individual’s own service, and will support teachers and educators to reflect and feel connected as they join, or re-join, the sector.
“Coaching supports an individual to clarify their own needs and goals and to develop strategies,” Glyn says. “In this program, we expect many conversations about developing confidence, reflections on professional identity and developing strategies to navigate a period of change and to manage individual wellbeing.”
Gowrie Victoria coaches are senior early childhood practitioners with current and lived experience of the Victorian sector. They can help connect with local EC networks and guide participants to become familiar with relevant Victorian EC programs and frameworks.
Early Childhood Teacher Amy was returning to the sector after eights years as a primary teacher. “One of the big things for me was structure,” Amy says. “It’s tricky when you’re so used to having bells and segregated times of day. In early childhood, you have the ability to create that structure in the program, but it’s a new way of thinking … there are so many options and you wonder if you’re making the right choices.”
Amy says coaching helped build her confidence and guide her during the early stages. “My coach helped develop those skills in understanding the planning cycle and managing a team,” she says. “They shared their wealth of knowledge and experience, offered ideas on resources and guided me, as opposed to telling me.”
Glyn says the coaching process begins by looking at the specific needs of the teacher or educator. “We provide an individualised coaching package of 10, 15 or 20 hours,” he says. “Our program includes both face-to-face and online coaching sessions.”