Gowrie Victoria will provide mentors for up to 150 early childhood provisionally registered teachers as part of a Victorian Government initiative to boost the early childhood education workforce.
Early Childhood and Pre-Prep Minister Ingrid Stitt visited Gowrie Carlton North recently to announce $1 million in funding for the mentoring program. Sheena Watt MP was also in attendance for this announcement.
As part of the program, the provisionally registered teachers will be matched with an experienced mentor teacher from Gowrie Victoria to support them to gain full registration from the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
More than 140 teachers have already been matched with mentors, under a previous agreement between Gowrie and the Department of Education and Training, which started in 2019.
The government has announced a raft of financial boosts to encourage people to join the sector, or upskill, to help deliver significant kindergarten reform and ensure every child has the best educational start.
Expressions of interest are being sought for immediate start with the mentoring program, which lasts around three to five months, and includes three onsite observation and reflection sessions.
Gowrie mentors provide feedback in between sessions to guide PRTs on any area they may need to further develop as they gather evidence of their professional practice. Once a PRT has completed their Inquiry Project, they are supported by their mentor to present it to a workplace recommendation panel.
The mentoring process supports new teachers to be reflective practitioners. It builds confidence, documents how a new teacher has been able to put theory into practice and enables them to gain professional recognition.
As a provisional teacher, Sarah Rawley found the process to full registration “challenging and overwhelming”.
An educator at Broadmeadows Valley, Sarah credits her Gowrie mentor with guiding her through her final project.
“This meant I was able to seek a consistent person out for support and guidance when I was struggling,” Sarah says.
“This was during the planning stages, during implementation, and they supported me all the way up to my presentation. It was really beneficial to be able to speak to the same person who was able to guide me when needed … because they were pointing me towards success.
“It meant that when those challenges arose, it wasn’t as hard or overwhelming because of that mentor.”
Expressions of interest for immediate start are now open. For more information, see the Mentoring for Early Childhood Provisionally Registered Teachers page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.