PAVING the way for a successful start to a teaching career for those new to the classroom is what Lauren Roach’s role is all about.
Mrs Roach is a newly-appointed project officer for teacher support with Catholic Education in Rockhampton diocese.
It’s a new position in the diocese this year.
“My role is to assist early-career teachers in the first two years of their profession to ensure a smooth transitioning from graduation to full registration,” she said.
“Catholic Education (in Rockhampton diocese) recognises that beginning teachers face a steep learning curve and the better supported they are in their roles, the more effective they can be in the classroom.”
In recent years, studies have shown that up to 50 per cent of graduate teachers were leaving the profession within their first five years.
“The most important thing is that teachers, in the first few years of their career, feel really supported and that they have the opportunity to ask someone for that support, someone who can also work with them very much in their classrooms as well,” Mrs Roach said.
Some of the ways in which she supports new teachers include assistance with planning, modelling lessons, co-teaching and providing support with positive behavioural approaches in the classroom.
“We may also discuss the widely varying needs of different learners in their class and how to best meet those needs effectively,” she said.
Mrs Roach is also working with schools to build internal mentoring capacity and implement structures that support the professional development and growth of teachers.
“Pastoral support is also very important,” she said.
“Some young teachers may be in their first full-time employment and may have moved away from home and their established support structures, which can add to the emotional and psychological impact of being a first or second-year teacher.”
Catholic Education’s assistant director for Teaching and Learning Carmel Kriz said supporting teachers through their early years was important to help facilitate a positive experience and a desire to continue progressing their career.
“We value teachers who have a genuine love of their profession,” Mrs Kriz said.
“It’s important that we nurture and support our new teachers to give them every chance of reaching their potential.
“This enables Catholic Education to continue to grow our network of highly capable, confident teachers to staff each of our school communities.”