The first phase of induction is vitally important as it supports beginning teachers to:
become confident and capable teachers
remain in the teaching profession.
Research suggests that historically, induction did not proceed much beyond the initial contact and orientation visit. This kind of induction led to many beginning teachers feeling inadequate as teachers and sometimes opting out of the profession early to pursue different careers. Stansbury and Zimmerman (2000) ask:
What does it take to adequately support novice teachers? What lifelines can we offer so they will remain in the profession and develop into highly effective classroom educators?
Phase 1 is designed to provide beginning teachers in NSW public schools with the ‘lifelines’ they will need to begin their career in the teaching profession. Phase 1 is organised into 4 aspects:
In all aspects, schools and beginning teachers will work together. The beginning teacher will initiate some aspects of this phase (Initial contact, for example) and the school will initiate other aspects (Orientation, for example).
Use the Personal Induction Planner (.pdf 200kB) throughout Phase 1 to plan and record ongoing processes, reflect on experiences, celebrate successes and consider emerging needs and challenges.
It is expected that a beginning teacher will make contact with the principal of the new school on receiving advice of appointment.
The Initial contact guide (.pdf 72kB) has been designed to help the beginning teacher focus questions and conversation during this initial contact with the principal or nominated staff member.
The Rural and isolated school guide (.pdf 104kB) can be used by teachers appointed to a rural location to gain an understanding of additional information that could be useful during the initial contact with the principal and some information to be aware about when travelling to the school for the first time.
Orientation can play a critical role in the school-based induction process as it enables beginning teachers to get a feel for the new workplace and to meet some of the school-based personnel they will be working with. A familiar environment and some familiar faces go a long way towards making ‘the first day’ less stressful.
Ideally the orientation is a structured process through which beginning teachers can develop initial knowledge and understandings about the students, the community, how the school operates, school roles and responsibilities, school-based induction and accreditation processes.
Orientation and the 5C model of school-based induction
The 5C model of induction provides a framework for considering all aspects of a comprehensive and cohesive orientation to the school and to teaching. This framework assists the school and beginning teachers to work together to make orientation positive and productive.
The orientation should provide beginning teachers with enough information to make the first couple of days at school positive, while not creating a sense of information over-load.
Examples of orientation outlines (.pdf 125kB) shows the use of the components of the 5C model to varying degrees.
See Orientation – Suggestions for using the 5C model of school-based induction (.pdf 233kB) for strategies that demonstrate how to support each of the 5Cs during orientation.
The Personal Induction Planner can be used as a guide to, and a record of, the Orientation visit. (The planner is available for download in the first section of this guide).
Following an effective orientation, the scene is set for a successful first few weeks in teaching.
Throughout the first weeks in a new school there is a lot of information for beginning teachers to absorb.
The length of time spent in this part of the induction processes will vary according to the school context and individual beginning teachers. However it is assumed that most beginning teachers will feel confident to move beyond this step by about the second half of the first term.
During the first few weeks the buddy teacher, supervisor and/or mentor/coach will play key roles.
See The first weeks – suggestions for using the 5C model of school-based induction (.pdf 149kB) for strategies that demonstrate how to support each component of the 5C model during the first few weeks at the new school.
The Personal Induction Planner can be used to begin recording and monitoring progress through the early weeks of teaching. (The planner is available for download in the first section of this guide).
By this time, beginning teachers should be gaining confidence in their knowledge of the school and in their teaching.
Developing rapport with students and establishing and managing a quality learning environment in the classroom/s should be a priority.
While the emphasis on establishing and maintaining classroom routines and procedures may be diminishing, it is likely that co-teaching and lesson observations will be a significant ongoing focus.
This is an ideal time to revisit the 5C model of induction to monitor and revise personal professional learning plans and accommodate emerging needs.
At this stage, beginning CONNECTIONS will have been formed with all school-based induction team members. The buddy teacher may be called upon less frequently during this stage. The CONTEXT emphasis will have shifted from knowing the workplace, to understanding the school culture, students, and community.
Regular planning time with the supervisor and/or mentor/coach should continue, however in the classroom there will be less emphasis on the supervisor and /or mentor/coach taking the ‘lead’ with the beginning teacher playing a more active role in co-teaching and lesson observations.
Moving towards Phase 2 - suggestions for using the 5C model of school-based induction (.pdf 149kB) provides example strategies to support each component during this step.
The Personal Induction Planner can be used in an ongoing way to guide, record and monitor progress towards Phase 2. (The planner is available for download in the first section of this guide).