Teach For Australia and your school How your school can benefit from employing Teach For Australia Associates
Saul Wakerman, 2011 Associate Teaching Year 11 Legal Studies at Shepparton High School
As educational and community leaders, principals aim to provide young learners with a rich and talented mix of teachers - leaders in the classroom - who will stop at nothing to see their students reach their full potential.
We believe that Teach For Australia can play a powerful role in helping you do this. Teach For Australia is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working to confront educational disadvantage in Australia. Our vision is an Australia where all children have excellent educational opportunities. At the heart of our vision is our belief in teaching as leadership, and in the power of exceptional teachers to transform the lives of their students and shape their educational destiny. To this end, we are attracting some of our countryâ€™s most outstanding young individuals - passionate and determined leaders of change who represent all degrees and career interests - and empowering them to pursue teaching as part of their career journey.
In partnership with academic institutions, the public sector and our many supporting partners, the Teach For Australia program facilitates the development of Associates through strong, evidence-based education, ongoing support in the classroom and leadership programs - all the while focusing intently on improving student outcomes in the classroom.
o Teach For Australia Associates commit to teaching for at least two years in schools where they can help impact the lives of educationally disadvantaged students o A highly selective recruitment process to attract leaders who will have an impact in the classroom o Intensive teacher education delivered over two years by the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education o Supported by an innovative leadership development program o An extensive support network of experienced teachers, teaching specialists and leadership advisers guide our Associates throughout the program
Our Associates Who are our Associates? Teach For Australia Associates come from all disciplines and backgrounds. They are well-rounded, passionate, high-achieving individuals who have the distinguished academic performance, leadership experience, and communication and empathy skills to succeed in teaching in disadvantaged schools as Teach For Australia Associates. As recent graduates and young professionals, each of our Associates has demonstrated outstanding achievement within their universities, in the workplace, across the wider community and even abroad.
So why would a young professional or non-teaching graduate choose Teach For Australia? If there is one thing all of our Associates have, it's career options; be it in business, law, engineering, government or social enterprise. Yet, each of our Associates has instead made a decision to pursue a different path, recognising the opportunity teaching provides to have a direct impact on the life trajectories of young Australians. Teach For Australia Associates hold a fundamental belief that all children can learn, and aspire to join in the conversation about eradicating educational disadvantage in Australia. They seek to learn from and work within their respective teacher networks in order to contribute to a vision that we all strongly share.
â€œThe positive things are the youth of the people that this program attracts - their vitality and their intellect - and they actually bring to the school a very refreshing approach to teaching and learning and to the relationships they build with students.â€? Peter Hilbig, Principal, Stawell Secondary College, Victoria 3 Associates (Cohort 2010)
What do Teach For Australia Associates do after the two-year program? Our Associates share a lifelong ambition to be actively involved in the education dialogue, wherever life may take them. Many will stay on in the classroom as teachers, others will pursue leadership roles in business, law, government, in establishing social enterprises and in influencing educational policy. As Teach For Australia alumni, they will become part of a lifelong movement of leaders who are competent, passionate and socially aware, and who will remain connected with the mission of improving educational outcomes for all Australians. The Teach For Australia alumni program ensures they stay involved in education, so that they can continue to make an impact both inside the classroom and beyond.
We believe in the power of passionate, dedicated and intelligent young Australians and their ability to effect significant educational gains in areas of high need. So we are engaging some of our countryâ€™s brightest young individuals who we know can make an impact, to work in educationally disadvantaged secondary schools for at least two years.
Our powerful recruitment model is one of the cornerstones of the Teach For Australia program, ensuring we are successful in attracting the most passionate, highly committed and capable recent graduates and young professionals.
“The recruitment process is really impressive. TFA are highly selective and very specific around the criteria they are looking for, so we know we are getting the best of the absolute best.” Erica Prosser, College Director, Barkly College, Northern Territory 3 Associates (Cohort 2012)
Recruitment, selection and placement A highly selective program Recognising the critical importance teacher quality plays in achieving positive student outcomes, Teach For Australia has put in place a highly rigorous selection process based around a stringent set of criteria, which are designed to ensure each aspiring applicant has the qualities to succeed as a Teach For Australia Associate. Specifically, Associates will have clearly demonstrated: • Leadership and achievement • Resilience and a relish for challenge • Strong critical thinking skills • Superior organisational and motivational ability • The ability to communicate and work with people from a variety of backgrounds • Humility and an openness to learn from others.
Leaders capable of creating change As well as seeking individuals who will make excellent teachers, we seek leaders who we know will have an impact both inside the classroom and in the broader school community. Our selection process is carefully designed and implemented to distinguish only those individuals who are highly passionate about addressing educational disadvantage and working with school communities to help address the educational challenges they may face. How we go about placement Teach For Australia Associates commit to spending two years in their placement schools, which are all at secondary level. Schools are chosen on the basis of their socio-economic indicators, level of need and ability and commitment to supporting Teach For Australia Associates as they develop into outstanding teachers and leaders.
A willingness to go anywhere One of the most impressive characteristics so many of our Associates share is their willingness to teach in any part of the country - metropolitan, rural, remote - in any state or territory. Indeed, a key motivating factor for many of our Associates is not only the willingness to go where they are most needed, but the personal challenge and growth opportunity that comes with moving into a new environment. Whilst we do try to accommodate their location preferences, we are always clear about the flexibility required if we are to make a difference where it is most needed.
To date Teach For Australia has received over 2,000 Associate applications. Less than 10% of these have been selected for participation.
Some of Teach For Australia’s Inaugural 2010 Cohort (left to right): Ben Christensen (Maths, Physics, Science & Technology); Michael Cao (Accounting, Business & Economics); Lauren Hill (English, Media Studies & Humanities); Holly Stewart (Media Studies & Legal Studies); Szuen Lim (Accounting, Business & Legal Studies); Justin Woolley (Physics & Technology); Iwan Walters (History, Media Studies & SOSE).
Compared to [first year out teachers] their classroom performance was, in the majority of cases, judged very positively. TFA ACER Evaluation, 2011
“I was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were all ready to hit the ground running – next year we'll be giving them a lot more responsibility.” Mike Kerin, Former Principal, Bayside Secondary College, Victoria
“Our TFA Associate has been a fabulous addition to our professional staff. She has added a fresh perspective to teaching practice and demonstrated a commitment to innovative pedagogy, curriculum design and implementation.” Michael Hall, Principal, Erindale College, ACT
Associates are ‘talented, energetic and committed’. TFA ACER Evaluation, 2011
“The Associates are very similar to the other first year teachers. They are willing to work very hard, and they are working enormously hard." Genevieve Simpson, Principal, Victoria University Secondary College, Victoria
Teach For Australia Associates are proving to make invaluable additions to their schools’ existing teacher teams. But it’s not just about the quality of our candidates going into the program; the underlying pedagogical and leadership development on which our program is built ensures that our Associates are adequately equipped to have the impact in the classroom that you’ll be looking for.
“I have observed their training first hand. It is a long, intense, challenging two years delivered with rigour, substantial on-going support, and incorporating best practices in teacher education.”
Training and leadership development Two years of intense, rigorous, world class training To ensure our Associates are ready for the classroom on day one, they’ll begin their two-year journey with an intensive six-week in-residence program, delivered by the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education (MGSE), in partnership with Teach For Australia.
Throughout the two-year program, Teach For Australia Associates study towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (TFA), through a combination of intense oncampus blocks of study, regular face-to-face support from University Clinical Specialists, and through selfpaced study. Their teaching load is reduced to 80 per cent over the two years to allow time for on-going study and development. Creating leaders in the classroom Through their teaching, our Associates are already building on their capacity as leaders. In a more formal sense, we support their leadership development with additional on-going training, mentoring and extensive practice. Teach For Australia's Training and Leadership Advisers work closely with the Associate to ensure that they master the foundations of leadership.
John Inverarity, Warden, St. George's College The University of Western Australia. Teach For Australia champion.
Teacher education at MGSE The Melbourne Graduate School of Education’s approach to teacher education is a significant shift away from traditional programs. Their clinical model closely links theory with practice, and prepares Associates to tailor their teaching to meet individual student needs. In-school Mentors are trained by the Graduate School to guide Associates’ development as teachers, and MGSE Clinical Specialists are on hand to provide on-going expert support for both the Mentor and the Associate.
Some Associate leadership achievements: SOSE Key Learning Area Coordinator across three campuses Running maths professional development sessions for other staff Trialling a new literacy program for Year 8s Setting up an international volunteering trip for 29 Year 9s to go to Cambodia, leading the fundraising and engaging the school community to support them
Stuart Andrews, Principal, Keilor Downs Secondary College, Victoria 2 Associates (Cohort 2010)
An extensive support network Our Associates know that what lies ahead for them will be as equally challenging as it is rewarding. Throughout the program our Associates are carefully guided by a support network of experienced teachers, teaching professionals and leadership coaches with whom they develop close working relationships. The In-school Mentor The In-school Mentor provides day-to-day support, observation and feedback, assistance with planning, and assessment of classroom delivery. They also support the Associate to integrate into the life of the school and the local community by facilitating effective induction, and through on-going mentoring throughout the two-years.
The Training & Leadership Adviser The Teach For Australia Training and Leadership Adviser (TLA) provides on-going and targeted leadership development and rigorous coaching in line with the TFA Leadership Development Framework. Working closely with In-school Mentors and MGSE Clinical Specialists, the TLA guides Associates to set and achieve ambitious student goals and outcomes.
The MGSE Clinical Specialist The MGSE Clinical Specialist provides the key link between theory, coursework and practice as well as on-going support for the Associate. Clinical Specialists support the development of Associates' professional practice in the classroom, and work with In-school Mentors and TLAs in promoting their development as practitioners.
The Leadership Coach In their second year, Associates are paired with a “Leadership Coach”- a senior leader from a preferred field (e.g. school leadership, education policy, business). Through regular dialogue, Coaches assist Associates to reflect upon their experience in the classroom and articulate their self-direction in order to grow into an authentic leader. The cohort community The cohort community is “built” by bringing Associates together for a range of mission-focused and team building activities during their Initial Intensive, on-going intensive training, regional meetings, and the web-interactive Associate Virtual Platform. This important network helps Associates increase focus and motivation for the challenging work in the classroom, share knowledge and skills as they further develop their teaching practice, and maintain well-being through peer pastoral support.
“Teach For Australia is also doing a great job of supporting the schools and the Associates. It seems to be a very well thought out and well structured program.”
Each Associate becomes part of an extensive support network of experienced teachers, teaching specialists, leadership coaches and peers, to ensure they are effectively supported over the two years.
“Teach For Australia creates an atmosphere of mentors working with teachers in what it is that they’re teaching, and that draws in other people who are skilled in those areas. It has really enhanced the atmosphere of teachers teaching teachers, working together as teams...focusing on the big things.”
The ethos of leadership development within Teach For Australia doesn’t just extend to Associates; it’s also an opportunity to foster a stronger culture of leadership within your school’s existing teaching body.
Tony Simpson, Principal, Copperfield Secondary College, Victoria 7 Associates (Cohort 2010)
Supporting a culture of leadership in your school Teachers teaching teachers As part of our commitment to ensure Associates are placed in supportive school environments, participating principals select an In-school Mentor for each Associate who has the skills and capacity to support the Associate on a day-to-day basis. Mentoring a Teach For Australia Associate provides an important leadership role for experienced teaching staff. Through their study at MGSE, Mentors receive training to support their work as pedagogical coaches, in providing pastoral care, and in developing new emerging school leaders.
Formal qualifications for In-school Mentors The In-school Mentor receives funded formal education from MGSE, requiring a commitment of five days over the two years, which when successfully completed (if undertaken in assessed-mode) will earn them a Professional Certificate in Education (Teach For Australia Mentoring) from MGSE. Mentors work closely with the Associate’s Clinical Specialist and Training and Leadership Adviser, play a role in Associate assessment, and may apply their mentor training toward a 25% equivalent of a Masters qualification (if completed in assessed-mode).
An opportunity for principals to lead from the front Participating in the Teach For Australia program offers principals the opportunity to further develop their network of like-minded leaders - across educational policy, school leadership and academic delivery - who are making an exciting contribution to the conversation on addressing educational disadvantage in Australia.
From participating in selection days and attending networking events, to speaking on leadership panels and volunteering for media engagements, our partnering principals and their senior leadership teams are invited into a number of opportunities through which they can contribute their invaluable insights and experience toward furthering a culture of leadership and innovation throughout all facets of our program. We deeply value the community of Teach For Australia principals, and regularly seek their guidance on how to improve the program to suit their needs.
"One of the staff members commented to me the other day...'I love it now that the talk about teaching is just on such a higher level and that there's so much conversation in the staff room around teaching' - and it's because the Associates are there." Trish Horner, Principal, Mill Park Secondary College, Victoria 10 Associates (Cohorts 2010 & 2011)
Is my school eligible? School eligibility is determined by the individual jurisdictions in each state and territory. To determine whether your school is eligible to participate you should contact your relevant Department of Education, Catholic Education Office or Association of Independent Schools for eligibility criteria. If you require the contact details of the appropriate individual at your relevant department please contact us on (03)Â 8640 4500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. How are Associates matched to schools? Associates are matched to schools based on their specific skill sets and subject areas, the curriculum needs of the school and the capacity of the school to support the Associate.
The program aims to ensure that the support provided to each Associate is consistent and has an impact, regardless of their placement location. As a key support mechanism, we endeavour where possible to place Associates in clusters (i.e. groups of Associates in the same school and/or schools that are nearby to each other). We commit to working with our partner organisations to ensure that schools and Associates find the most suitable matches. Where a match cannot be found, principals will be informed of this as soon as possible to allow schools to pursue other avenues to fill vacancies.
What do schools commit to? 1. A supportive environment for Associates 2. Salary equivalent to approximately 80% of a graduate teacher 3. Time release of 0.2 FTE per Associate to study and meet with the In-school Mentor, MGSE Clinical Specialist and TFA Training and Leadership Adviser. 4. Time release, or equivalent, of 0.1 FTE for each In-School Mentor (reduced to 0.05 FTE in Year 2).
Teach For Australia Level 1, 103 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC 3000 Telephone 03 8640 4500 Facsimile 03 8640 4599
In undertaking our mission we work with academic institutions, state and federal governments, industry leaders and a diversity of supporting partners: each leaders of change in their own right, who share our ambitious vision.us vision. Program Partners
Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia Australian Capital Territory Education and Training Directorate Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Catholic Education Office of Victoria Catholic Education Office of Western Australia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Victoria Department of Education Western Australia Northern Territory Department of Education and Training The University of Melbourne
Boston Consulting Group Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Supporting Partners Allens Arthur Robinson Ernst & Young Fogarty Foundation
teachforaustralia.org Cover photography by Peter Neale
This Smarter Schools National Partnership program on Improving Teacher Quality is a joint initiative of the Australian Government and Teach For Australia.