Beginning early childhood teacher conferences

The Department and Semann & Slattery Pty Ltd recently delivered four beginning early childhood teacher conferences in Melbourne, Melton, Dandenong and Ballarat.

The conferences provided beginning early childhood teachers with strategies to develop their practice and create meaningful relationships with children, families, peers and other professionals. Teachers learnt how to:

  • develop their professional identity
  • move from provisional to full teacher registration
  • support their wellbeing at work.

Teachers also gained access to the latest research in early childhood pedagogy.


Wendy Shepherd | Catharine Hydon | Dr Sharryn Clarke | Kelly Goodsir | Linda Blakis | David Gilkes | Dr Carrie Hayward

Portrait photos of the speakers

Talking Teaching session overviews

Exploring early childhood professional identity

Catharine Hydon, Hydon Consulting

Our early childhood professional identity is a sophisticated dance we perform every day. As we begin to understand ourselves as professionals, we commit to practice the steps together and refine our actions in support of children, families, colleagues and the community. This presentation explores the nature of contemporary professional identity and how through our actions we can maximise the potential of early childhood education.

Relationships with educators, peers and other professionals

David Gilkes, Early Years Education Consultant

When working alongside children and families we recognise the importance of diversity, creating contexts for collaboration and listening, and approaching learning with an attitude of inquiry and research. But how often do we apply these same ideas to our relationships with our colleagues and other professionals? What are the possibilities?

Action research supporting practice

Dr Sharryn Clarke, Monash University

Understanding the impact of your teaching is crucial to further enrich your practice and make a difference to the lives of young children. But how do we know we are making a positive impact on those we teach? And what research methods can we use to truly know this?

The Power of Conversation

Kelly Goodsir, KG Learning

The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) provides a foundation for engaging and developing teacher practice through pedagogical conversations. Developing shared meaning and understanding of the VEYLDF requires ongoing conversations across three themes:

  1. A conversation that affirms practice
  2. A conversation that changes practice
  3. A conversation that awakens new practice

Wellbeing in the workplace

Dr Carrie Hayward, Psychologist and Mindfulness Teacher

Focused on understanding the meaning of resilience, and its importance for emotional wellbeing. We will explore the importance of practicing a mindful way of responding to the world and our internal experiences in order to develop our full connection, presence and meaning in our everyday living.

Relationships with children and families

Wendy Shepherd, Mia Mia Child and Family Study Centre

Relationships in early childhood programs are important and we have a professional responsibility to build these relationships with not only children, but also their families, colleagues and the community. Only through strong relationships can we create a real sense of connection and belonging to facilitate respectful exchanges of knowledge.

Supporting Teachers to Full Registration

Linda Blakis, Victorian Institute of Teaching

The Victorian Institute of Teaching plays a pivotal role ‘in building a profession that aspires to the highest standards of teaching practice and conduct.’ This is a concise presentation on the how VIT supports Teachers through the process of moving from Provisional to Full Teacher Registration, identifying where relevant resources may be found and key contact points for support along the way.

Panel discussion

Catharine Hydon, Director and Principal Consultant at Hydon Consulting
Dr Sharryn Clarke, Early Years Lecturer at Monash University
Nicole Bechaz, 2018 Victorian Early Childhood Teacher of the Year
Kristy O’Toole, Director and Experienced Mentor at Brookside Preschool
Scarlett Rodoreda, Provisionally Registered Teacher at Clare Court Early Learning Centre

Catharine and Sharryn will host a lively panel discussion bringing together the themes from the day, reflecting on the teaching experiences of our panel members and offering some on-point messages to take away.