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Home > News > Professional Issues > Professional Issues Volume 13 > Quality mentoring in spotlight

Quality mentoring in spotlight

mentoring.jpgIssue snapshot:

  • New IEUA-QNT mentoring pilot program is to begin in 2019.
  • Quality mentoring programmes strengthen and build the professionalism of beginning teachers, enhance job satisfaction and reduce
    teacher attrition.
  • School mentor programmes
    can be tokenistic with limited time for mentors and mentees
    to engage in the process.

Our union is to set a benchmark for quality mentoring by creating a network of members with an active interest in accessing and providing quality mentoring experiences via a union-supported mentoring programme.

The mentoring programme — to be launched next year — will pair beginning teachers with less than five years teaching experience with experienced mentors.  

While our union programme is not intended to replace existing employer-led mentoring schemes, it will provide a further layer of access to quality professional mentoring already in schools.

What is the issue?

State and federal government rhetoric around quality teaching and learning makes repeated reference to the importance of mentoring for beginning teachers. 

Many schools have responded to policy-level recommendations by implementing mentoring programmes as a strategy to combat attrition and to better support beginning teachers. 

This is evidenced in collectively bargained agreements in non-government schools containing provisions for graduate teachers to readily access mentorship programs.

In the Queensland Catholic sector collective agreements for both Diocesan and Religious Institute schools, mentor programmes are provided to a graduate teacher for a minimum period of their first 12 months of teaching.

However, formal mentoring programmes in schools alone often leave little to no time for mentors and mentees to engage in the process.

How will this mentoring programme impact on teachers?

Mentoring programmes can often morph into systems of appraisal rather than providing beginning teachers with meaningful feedback on their teaching practice.

To counter this, our union programme will help to develop specific skills and techniques to enhance the mentoring process and support for mentors and mentees.

Members are encouraged to become mentors in the IEUA-QNT programme, with formal training to be provided in preparation for their role.

The initial pilot programme is limited to teachers working and residing in southeast Queensland; however, it is anticipated that from 2020 the programme will be available to members throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Further information on registering for the programme before 31 October will soon be made available on our website.

Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.