Mentoring programs currently exist in both our primary and secondary schools.
The mentoring program provides an opportunity for early career teachers to meet up in a small group with an experienced mentor a number of times throughout the first year of their teaching career. Over this time a relationship of trust is developed between the mentors and the early career teachers, in an informal and non-threatening context.
The aim of the program is to provide support and guidance to early career teachers as they navigate their way through the first year of their teaching career. The greatest skill a mentor can have is to be an empathic listener, providing early career teachers an opportunity to discuss their concerns and anxieties, as well as share their successes as they grow in confidence.
The mentor can best be described as a ‘critical friend’ who walks the journey with the early career teacher. The role of mentor is not to be confused with the role of supervisor who works with the early career teacher in achieving accreditation at Proficient. ‘Trust’ is at the heart of the mentoring relationship.
In the Broken Bay Diocese we currently support eight primary mentoring groups accommodating 39 early career teachers, whilst in each of our secondary schools we have a school based mentor looking after the needs of 15 early career teachers. CSO provides funded release from the classroom to facilitate regular meetings between mentors and early career teachers.