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Nurturing the next generation of early childhood teachers in Victoria, Australia: the role of mentoring
chapterposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Andrea NolanAndrea Nolan
The research literature points to the fact that making the transition from preservice teacher to beginning teacher is a challenging experience. New to the profession teachers can experience self-doubt and feelings of anxiety about meeting expectations, inadequacy and disillusionment. What is valued at the start of their career is support, especially if it is ongoing and tailored to meet their needs. This chapter presents data from the first mentoring program for new to the profession early childhood teachers in Victoria, Australia - the State-wide Mentoring Program for Early Childhood Teachers (SWMP) (2011-2014). The chapter provides an overview of this mentoring program highlighting aspects considered most effective in supporting beginning early childhood teachers. It proposes that developing a mentoring program incorporating respectful, responsive, reciprocal and reflective elements, can enhance both mentor's and mentee's professional growth and professional identity. The impact of this program is evidenced by the voices of those involved - the mentors and mentees.