By: Kate Chinner
EDITION #10 – What am I learning & why is it important?
Published – 16th October 2019
There are a range of roles outside (or additional to) the classroom teacher role in schools
Most schools will have one or more learning specialists. These are teachers who are recognised as being highly skilled and while they continue to spend the majority of their time in the classroom, they are expected to take a leading role in supporting the work of all teachers. If you have not yet made contact with the learning specialist in your school, seek them out. They should welcome you into their classrooms to demonstrate exemplary teaching practice, and they should be available to work with you on your own practice, perhaps in the form of the observations or coaching meetings.
School Councils are made up of the Principal, and elected teachers, parents and sometimes community members who meet together regularly to contribute to the decision making process in the school. Being a teacher on School Council can be a very interesting and rewarding experience. There is an opportunity to see how other sections of the school operate, listen to feedback from parents and also contribute to whole school decisions and planning. It is a great learning experience for new teachers and something to consider in the future.
Your school is likely to have a formal parent organisation. These parent groups can play an important role in supporting your work in the school. The role of these parent groups and association is to ‘promote the welfare of, and provide support to, the school and its community. Parents are key partners in their child’s learning. By interacting with the school and other parents, parent club members can use their skills and experience to work collaboratively with others in supporting the school and its students, and build a sense of community within the school.’ (https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/community/Pages/parentclubs.aspx). The parent community can be very helpful if you have a particular project you would like to commence at the school, but require some funding.
There is also a peak body, Parents Victoria, which is ‘a statewide democratic organisation representing parents of students in Victorian government schools. Parents Victoria provides parents with a voice, presenting an organised parent perspective to State and Federal Governments, educational bureaucracies and institutions, community organisations and the media’.