First-year teachers are embracing the opportunity to connect through online conferences
Lana Harris is among hundreds of first-year teachers to take part in the 2020 Graduate Teacher Conferences, now on across Victoria.
Delivered by Deakin University on behalf of the Department, the conferences are an opportunity for government school graduate teachers in their first year of teaching to reflect on practice, collaborate with peers, grow their professional networks and gain new ideas for the classroom.
Lana, a Grade 5 teacher at Essendon North Primary School, said the conferences were a great way to connect with other first year teachers, particularly during remote and flexible learning.
'In a year which has already brought so many new challenges for us, this year has also made it particularly difficult to feel connected with our school community, colleagues and students,' Lana said.
Lana particularly enjoyed hearing about and sharing the many ways schools were supporting wellbeing at this time.
'I have a real interest in student and staff wellbeing, so when we shared all the ways that schools have been supporting our wellbeing, it was really insightful to hear about other graduate teachers' experiences,' Lana said.
She also took away tips for problem solving.
'In terms of key learnings, going back to basics and using the HITS [approach] to problem solve some of the unique challenges this term has produced was really helpful,' Lana said.
'The practice equipped me with the skills to be able to respond to challenges and think them through in a measured and calm way, rather than reacting or letting them stress me out more.'
So far this year, more than 700 graduate teachers in their first year of teaching have taken part in the conferences, being held online in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The conferences run through to early September.
Register for remaining conferences
Visit the Starting a job in a government school (induction) web page
Find out more
Access resources on professional learning, wellbeing and more
Visit the Graduate Teacher Induction Resources web page