Nurturing Our Staff
Santa Maria College’s suite of growth and development programs consists of four modules, WELCOME, NURTURE, EXCEL, and LEAD. These programs offer invaluable support to teachers at every stage of their careers.
NURTURE specifically supports early career teachers to assist them in feeling more connected to their profession. It provides them with tailored professional development opportunities, mentoring from experienced educators, and networking with other professionals.
This week, our early career teachers and their mentors gathered over breakfast and engaged in ‘WOW’ conversations. These encouraged NURTURE participants to reflect on their classroom experiences this term and seek wisdom from their mentors by focusing on their ‘wins, obstacles, and wonderings’.
For early career teachers, mentors are a valuable source of support during the often-challenging transition from graduate to classroom teacher. Mentors are a formative influence because they journey with the early career teacher encouraging self-reflection, professional growth, and a sense of belonging.
Year 6 Teacher Michele Colley said, “I chose to join the mentor program because it helps foster and develop positive relationships between staff members. Mentoring also gives you a chance to rediscover what you’re passionate about in teaching and share that excitement with someone new to the field.”
Year 5 Teacher Larisa Khoury added, “One of the best things about being part of the NURTURE program so far has been connecting and collaborating with other early career teachers. NURTURE meetings provide an environment where we share experiences and support each other. Another recent highlight of the NURTURE program has been developing a professional relationship with my mentor and receiving invaluable guidance.”
Through NURTURE, early career teachers engage in evidence-informed goal setting, learn new teaching strategies, and collaborate on shared challenges.
We are very proud of the NURTURE program and the valuable support it provides our early career teachers by fostering strong professional connections and the pursuit of excellence in teaching and learning.