Regulus // Issue 1 // May 2023
More news for Staff
With the role of teachers becoming increasingly more challenging in today’s fast-paced world, a multi‑layered professional development programme is critical to ensure they are well-equipped to deal with the complexities of modern teaching, says Head of Secondary School (Academic), Helaina Coote. “We have over 100 teachers in the Secondary School, who are hungry for knowledge and keen to engage in their professional learning. We offer an incredibly varied professional development programme, with multiple layers in many different areas. A lot of thought goes into providing professional development which balances people’s needs, while ensuring that we are all on the same page in our approach to teaching and learning.”
Helaina says there is substantial ongoing staff professional development to prepare for the significant changes taking place at a national level to NCEA and the Curriculum. “Individual departments also have space to consider their programmes across the Secondary School as they prepare for the Curriculum refresh.”
Developing staff understanding of Mātauranga Māori, Te Reo, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, as well as New Zealand’s history under the new Aotearoa/New Zealand Histories Curriculum, is another focus.Developing staff understanding of Mātauranga Māori, Te Reo, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi, as well as New Zealand’s history under the new Aotearoa/New Zealand Histories Curriculum, is another focus.
Staff leadership training, GROWTH coaching, and professional development relating to teachers’ specific curriculum areas are also important parts of the programme, says Helaina. “Our teachers are engaged with and supported by a range of professional learning linked to their curriculum areas. They self‑organise a lot of the time, applying to the College to attend a conference or workshop relating to the subject area they are interested in. Teachers can also engage with each other on a Microsoft Teams page dedicated to professional development, and can access fantastic online platforms and webinars, including free lectures from the University of Canterbury.”
Many staff contribute voluntarily to the wider educational community as leaders or members of various professional associations, relating to their departments, she says.Many staff contribute voluntarily to the wider educational community as leaders or members of various professional associations, relating to their departments, she says.
The importance of staff well-being when working in such a highly demanding role is also a priority, with the College’s overarching well‑being philosophy providing teachers with important strategies and tools. Staff working in key areas regularly undertake development in areas like pastoral care, and health and safety, with all staff currently involved in a cybersafety programme.
Helaina says St Andrew’s doesn’t rush to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ when it comes to selecting its professional development programmes. “We are an evidence-based school, and ensure the platforms we choose deliver good practice and provide the right learning for our teachers.”
The additional pressures created by COVID-19 over the last three years, have added to the task of undertaking professional learning, however the teachers have more than met the challenge, says Helaina. “It is heartening to know teachers at St Andrew’s College continue to be committed to learning as a professional, in spite of significant disruptions and pressures they have faced in recent years.”
More news for Staff
The Rector's Address from the first edition of Regulus for 2023.
The Board Chair's Address from the first edition of Regulus for 2023.
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