Welcome to Strong start, Great teachers—an induction guide for beginning teachers and schools. This resource has been designed to support beginning teachers and inform the development of local school-based induction processes.
Quality induction entails active involvement from the beginning teacher and members of the whole school community. Throughout the induction process beginning teachers can be supported by supervisors, mentors/coaches, a buddy teacher, colleagues and the Principal. Depending on school size and context, these roles may be taken by a number of colleagues or in smaller schools, one colleague may assume a number of roles.
Ideally school-based induction needs to be an ongoing process that takes place over the first two years of a beginning teacher’s teaching career. The phases of this process are illustrated on the diagram below.
Strong start, Great teachers is organised to reflect the phases of a quality school-based induction process and includes this introduction followed by induction support materials for Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4.
Induction is the experiences and professional learning provided to beginning teachers to assist them to obtain information, understandings, and skills relating to the teaching profession and teaching.
According to Hudson, Beutel, and Hudson (2008)
Wong (2005) purports that the teacher induction process needs to be coherent and sustained with support being provided for the first two to five years of a teacher’s career. The process should include long term planning for improved teaching and learning, aligned with the instructional philosophy of the school and professional standards. Opportunities for beginning teachers to receive guidance from more experienced colleagues in supportive environments with time allocated for collaboration, reflection and a gradual acculturation into the profession (Howe, 2006) also underpin quality induction processes.
Induction supports beginning teachers to stay in the profession to become capable and confident teachers whose focus is on achieving commendable and creditable outcomes for their students.
Fifty years ago, Dan Lortie said the new teacher was like Robinson Crusoe, marooned on an island and facing challenges of survival. More recent research indicates that beginning teachers are often left to 'sink or swim' and learn by 'trial and error' in their first years of teaching (Howe, 2006).
Hudson, Beutel & Hudson (2008) state that
the quality of the experience in the early years of teaching has long-term implications for teacher efficacy, job satisfaction and career length. Comprehensive school-based induction programs are crucial for successful transitions into professional practice and for retaining beginning teachers in the profession.
Effective induction makes the transition into teaching for beginning teachers as smooth and trouble-free as possible.
Induction is an ongoing process that occurs during the first two years of a teaching career.
A teacher graduating from university commences teaching with the same responsibilities as more experienced teachers in the school; yet it is widely recognised that beginning teachers need support in their first few years of teaching.
(Darling-Hammond, 2010; Le Maistre & Paré, 2010)
A thorough and supportive induction process incorporates four phases. These phases are not linked to set timeframes. It is expected that a beginning teacher will progress at their own pace through the phases of induction over the first two years of their teaching career. The induction process is shown in the diagram below (induction process—text version).
The Principal, staff and the beginning teacher share responsibility for
Depending on the size and location of the school, support for a beginning teacher may be shared between the Principal and other staff members such as a supervisor, a mentor/coach, a buddy teacher, colleagues. Sharing of roles.
Each of the stakeholders is crucial to the induction process and plays a key role in assisting a beginning teacher’s development into a capable and confident teaching professional. Wong (2005) claims the process of induction is
a highly organised and comprehensive form of staff development, involving many people and many components.
Stakeholders—roles and responsibilities
Induction includes structured, collegial programs of professional learning and support centred on the needs of a beginning teacher and the standards for Proficient. It needs to be responsive and flexible and should balance teaching experience with the demands and complexities of teaching practice and responsibilities within the school.
There are 5 components (5Cs) that are essential to quality induction (5Cs diagram—text version).