By Bernadette Walker-Gibbs

EDITION #4 – How do we care for each other?

Published – 24th April 2019

2018 saw the inaugural Graduate Teacher Conferences delivered in 16 areas across Victoria, with a combined conference offered to Inner and Outer Gippsland. The Department of Education and Training (the Department) partnered with Deakin University to design and develop the Graduate Teacher Conference program to address the needs of graduate teachers on their journey towards the proficient career stage. The first year of teaching is a critical time of adjustment, induction and learning. The conferences are designed to provide graduate teachers with the skills to access support, build on professional practice and identity, and become strong collaborators. The goal of the conferences is to build the capacity of graduate teachers and foster a graduate teacher network at the area level to improve student outcomes. 

We are very much looking forward to delivering the Graduate Teacher Conferences in 2019 between July and September. Registrations will open Term 2 2019. The Graduate Teacher Conference program aims to support graduate teachers to build professional practice, develop resilience as professionals, and establish professional identity and networks. The Graduate Teacher Conference program is one of the Department initiatives intended to support teachers from the beginning of their careers to make a difference for Victorian students. The Conferences are also an opportunity to give graduate teachers the skills and confidence to access available support and resources as they continue to develop in their careers.

The Graduate Teacher Conference program is designed as a focused program of support, through pre and post online media and through a full day face-to-face conference program. The full day face-to-face conference program provides an opportunity for graduates to come together, to share experiences, and to identify needs with the support of experienced teacher educators and Department staff.

Last year the program received fabulous feedback and was embraced enthusiastically by graduate teachers. As one graduate from Shepparton noted: ‘I’m the only graduate in my small rural school and all the other staff are very experienced. I’ve reconnected with two colleagues from University and sat next to another Foundation teacher on my table. She and I intend to keep in contact and support each other. I feel less isolated now’. Overall graduate teachers noted the excellent opportunities to network with their peers and how this provided them potential support in their teaching practice.

To register for the Graduate Teacher Conferences, please click here