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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    More mentors for new teachers in 2009

    Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Rod Welford

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    More mentors for new teachers in 2009

    A mentoring program for beginning teachers is to be expanded after a successful state-wide trial.

    Announcing it on the eve of World Teachers’ Day, Education and Training Minister Rod Welford said the Different People Working Together Pilot involving 70 mentoring pairs would be increased to 100 next year.

    “The mentoring program has had many positive outcomes for the new teachers, their students and the experienced mentors,” Mr Welford said.

    “One of the success stories comes from Cairns’ Woree State School where former hairdresser, mature-age, first-year teacher Shane Johnson is being mentored by Indigenous staff member, Letitia Choppy, a teacher of 24 years experience.

    “Shane has gained confidence in his classroom management and developed a good rapport with his Year 7 students, allowing him time to focus on greater creativity in his teaching.”

    Shane said Letitia had passed on ‘hands-on’ techniques to deal with issues such as behaviour management, classroom setup and administration.

    “It’s the type of support that has dramatically improved my classroom skills,” Shane said.

    Letitia also says she had benefited as mentoring was a two-way street and the process had given her the opportunity to review and refine her own teaching practice.

    The Different People Working Together Mentor Pilot Program is part of the Flying Start induction strategy and an initiative of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Framework for Action 2007-2011.

    “In schools such as Woree State School where the majority of students are Indigenous it is important to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in the curriculum,” Mr Welford said.

    “The mentoring pilot program has been instrumental in increasing beginning teachers’ awareness and understanding of these perspectives.”

    Mr Welford said the 30 new mentors would be trained in December this year to support beginning teachers in 2009.

    Media contact: Jo Crompton or Emma Clarey on 3237 1000