Moving from provisional to full registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching is an important step in a teacher's career.
The Department is supporting this process by working with Gowrie Victoria to provide free mentor support for provisionally registered early childhood teachers who want to move to full teacher registration.
We recently met with Kevin Fong, a provisionally registered early childhood teacher at Kinder Haven in Moonee Ponds. Kevin is moving from provisional to full teacher registration and accessed the free mentor support program. He is being mentored by Gracie Pupillo, an Educational Leader at Gowrie Victoria Clare Court. She trained to become a mentor in 2019 and is part of the Gowrie Victoria team that mentor over 50 teachers across the state.
Here's what Kevin and Grace had to say about their mentoring journey so far.
When did you start being mentored?
I started this mentoring program in June. So far, I've had two meetings with Gracie and I've nearly completed my inquiry project.
What is your inquiry project?
"How do I differentiate my teaching strategies to support the diverse learning needs of learners in my classroom?" Walking into a classroom with children with different learning needs can be challenging. My task as a teacher is to foster an inclusive learning environment, encourage and maintain that diversity. I do this by implementing creative and innovative teaching strategies to accommodate the learning needs of individual children and adopting more than one method of teaching.
What have you found helpful?
Gracie is enthusiastic about her mentoring role and is helping me to build and develop my skills and knowledge as a teacher. Gracie provides me guidance and constructive feedback. She allows me to grow by identifying my current strengths and areas for improvement and learning how to use these to make myself successful in my profession. Gracie has also provided valuable information and challenges that foster development in my knowledge and practice. More importantly, Gracie has assisted me in building my connections with other experienced teachers.
How is your mentoring journey to date?
I am very happy with the support I have received through this mentoring program. Gracie is a great mentor and I wish I knew her in my first year teaching! Gracie has used her connections to introduce me to other experienced teachers and allowed me to observe her teaching. This has supported me to reflect and inform my own teaching practice.
Mentoring provisionally registered teachers has provided me with an opportunity to use and refine my coaching and mentoring skills. A highlight for me has been meeting new graduates, learning from their diverse teaching styles and reassuring them about the process as a celebration of their learning through their inquiry project.
For more information about mentoring and accessing the free Gowrie Victoria mentor support program, visit Mentoring for Early Childhood Teachers