Early career teachers must continue to be supported after their first year

Researchers say mentoring programs are critical to helping teachers stay in the profession

Support for teachers beyond the first year of their career is a key solution to solving the teacher shortage crisis.

University of Southern Queensland Senior Lecturer Dr Ellen Larsen will help lead a new program to investigate how to support second and third-year students to build a career pathway.

Dr Larsen says most existing support programs focus on first-year teachers, leaving those with a year or two more in the industry with much less access to mentoring and professional guidance.

This is despite the increasing numbers of teachers choosing to leave the industry after less than three years in the classroom.

“Policies are being put in place to attempt to attract teachers to teaching, but we need to also be working to retain these great teachers once they get out there into the classroom,” Dr Larsen said.

“Without this, we are only addressing part of the problem.”

Dr Larsen said teacher attrition in the first few years of their careers was an important element in the ongoing national teacher shortage crisis.

“Mentoring should not come to a grinding halt at the end of the first year of teaching,” she said.

“It needs to continue to support these early career teachers to flourish in a highly demanding career.”

The Sustained Mentoring for Early Career Teachers will be part of the Future-Focused Mentoring Project, a research project to be conducted across Queensland and New South Wales in 2023.

The project demonstrates University of Southern Queensland’s commitment to supporting the next generation of teachers with innovative skills and solutions.

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