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Source: University of Auckland

Newly qualified teachers whose classroom experience was cut short because of last year’s Covid lockdowns can now apply for extra mentoring support.

All first-year registered teachers employed in a teaching role in 2021 who weren’t able to complete up to 25% of their practical requirements in 2020 are eligible for a place on the free Enhanced Induction and Mentoring programme.

The $4.7 million government programme could potentially support as many as 1700 new teachers around the country this year and will be delivered nationwide by the University of Auckland, in partnership with six universities and the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand.

After signing up, new teachers will be assigned a mentor from the university nearest to them, who will visit them in their workplace for two half days, followed up by two meetings with the teacher and their school-based mentor.

These will focus on constructive feedback, reflections and goal-setting, says Dr Camilla Highfield, Associate Dean in the University’s Faculty of Education and Social Work, who designed the programme alongside faculty colleagues.

“Many teachers who graduated in 2020 fell short of the expected time on practicum when schools were closed, so mentors will be working with teachers in a practical classroom context to give feedback and support on a range of aspects such as planning, communication and student engagement,” she says.

“This programme will give those new teachers some additional support and targeted expertise to set them up to be exceptional teachers. School and centre leaders will of course be supporting their new graduates, but this provides ‘top up’ mentoring for those first few months when they are really new to the job.”

Associate Professor Mark Barrow, Faculty Dean and Chair of the NZ Council of Education Deans, is delighted the University has been resourced to deliver this support to new teachers around Aotearoa.

“The universities are pleased to be able to work with beginning teachers and their experienced colleagues in schools and early childhood settings to continue the development of our new teaching colleagues.

“The scheme provides another avenue for universities, schools and centres to deepen the partnership we all rely on to produce excellent New Zealand teachers.”

To be eligible, beginning teachers must have completed their initial teacher education (ITE) qualification in 2020; have completed their ITE qualification using the Teaching Council’s temporary reduced practical experience requirements and be a registered teacher employed in a permanent or long-term teaching role in an early learning service, school or kura.
Find out more at: Enhanced Induction and Mentoring Programme – University of Auckland.