How the program works
Teach For Australia provides comprehensive development and support to accelerate personal and professional development. With the help of dedicated coaching and mentoring, Associates often progress into positions of leadership within schools very quickly, enabling a broadened capacity for impact.
After two intense, challenging and unbelievably rewarding years, Associates gain a set of unique and highly sought-after leadership skills.
At the end of the program, Associates may take the next step in a teaching career, striving towards having even more impact on students, school and community, and continuing to master the art and science of being a transformational teacher. Many Alumni also launch on exciting paths beyond the classroom, taking with them the invaluable skills and experience obtained through the Leadership Development Program.
The Initial Intensive
The first component of the Leadership Development Program is the Initial Intensive, which commences in the October before Associates’ first year of teaching. The thirteen-week Initial Intensive is designed to prepare participants for their first two years of teaching, during which 25 per cent of a Master’s Degree is achieved.
The Initial Intensive has four components:
- Online preparation: Associates are able to access a series of online learning modules to prepare them for the National Initial Intensive, which are expected to be completed prior to their arrival.
- National Initial Intensive: From 16th November until 20th December 2018, participants complete a residential program in Melbourne, Victoria with the entirety of the incoming cohort. Associates complete 10 to 12 hours of face to face and self-directed learning per day, five days per week, to develop in accordance with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
- Regional Initial Intensive: In January, Associates join their regional cohort in a residential orientation program in the capital city of their placement state or territory.
- Regional Inter-cohort Week: In the final week of the Initial Intensive, new participants are introduced to the previous cohort of Associates and Alumni in their placement state or territory, continuing their regional contextualisation through connection with the broader network of support in their region.
Teaching and leadership development
Associates continue to develop their teaching and leadership skills throughout the program, and connect with the broader Teach For Australia community.
Over two years, Associates partake in:
- Regional professional development: Throughout the school year, Associates complete professional development sessions which contribute to degree assessment requirements, while further developing context around the needs of students, schools and communities, as well as the broader issues that affect education equity in Australia.
- Intensive programs: Over the two years, Associates undertake three additional intensive programs during school holidays as part of their Master’s degree. These programs allow Associates to reconnect with their cohort and the broader Teach For Australia community, reflect on personal and collective growth to date and complete additional face to face professional development.
- Coaching: In addition to ongoing self-reflection and development conversations, Teaching and Leadership Advisers will conduct classroom observations throughout the program to observe Associates’ teaching practice. Following each observation, Associates will debrief with their Teaching and Leadership Adviser to discuss their progress, achievements and challenges, developing targeted strategies to continuously improve their practice.
Master of Teaching (Secondary)(Professional Practice)
Delivered in partnership with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and embedded within the program, Teach For Australia Associates complete a nationally accredited and internationally recognised Master of Teaching (Secondary)(Professional Practice).
The degree components include:
- Learning modules: Learning modules are delivered in a variety of methods, including workshops, tutorials and lectures primarily delivered face to face during intensive programs and via online learning platforms during teaching periods. Associates complete 18 core learning modules over two years, in personal leadership, learning and development, preparing purposefully, implementing effectively, engaging professionally, literacy and numeracy and promoting well-being. Associates also complete 10 learning modules in the two learning areas that they are eligible to teach.
- Assessments: Assessments are based on smaller learning increments and teaching practice in the classroom. This enables Associates to manage the demanding requirements of the program and progressively build a portfolio of evidence that successfully demonstrates the learning outcomes of each module.
Professional experience and milestones
- School practicum: During the National Initial Intensive, participants complete a ten-day school practicum over four weeks at a Teach For Australia partner school. During this time, they observe teaching while immersing themselves into a school environment, working directly with students and completing at least five teaching experiences.
- School placement: From Term 1, Associates commence teaching at a placement school in approved learning areas, with 20 per cent time release to study towards the completion of the degree. We endeavour to place Associates in clusters within the same school and schools nearby one another to increase the opportunity for impact within the community, as well as offering a network of support in the form of a regional cohort.
- Milestones: To successfully complete the program, Associates are required to
- demonstrate the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers at Graduate level in the first year and Proficient level in the second year;
- pass the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education, which assess literacy and numeracy skills;
- pass the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment, which assesses Associates’ ability to apply teaching practices that positively impact student learning; and
- deliver a Classroom Impact Initiative to raise the academic achievement of students.
Coaching and support
Teaching is not an easy profession – and the nature of the program is even more challenging. We provide Associates with a comprehensive network to support their professional development and successful completion of the program, and to maintain their health and wellbeing.
- Teaching and Leadership Adviser: An experienced teaching who provides rigorous one-on-one coaching, regular classroom observations and pastoral care to guide Associates’ development as a teacher and leader throughout the program.
- ACU academic mentor: A university professor who supports and supervises Associates’ progress throughout the degree and guides their achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
- School mentor: An experienced teacher at participants’ placement school who provides day-to-day practical support and assists with integration into life at the school and within the local community.
- Teach For Australia community: A national network of leaders that enables the sharing of best practice, emotional support and collaboration towards achieving change. Though each member of the cohort will have different passions, interests, skillsets and strengths, Associates will have a shared experience and commitment to tackling educational disadvantage.
- ACU Student Services: In addition to the unique support personnel and structures provided through Teach For Australia, Associates are able to access all student services provided by ACU, including course and assessment advice, administrative support and health and wellbeing services, regardless of placement location.
- Global network: Associates can connect with leaders around the world as part of the Teach For All network, with Alumni available to discuss international education and classroom best practice, school leadership, social innovation and policy.