Supporting our newest educators and boosting their confidence and skills is something Brooke Fisher, in our People Team, has been thinking about in terms of investment in time and funding. Working alongside Brooke, Provisionally Registered Teacher (PRT) program coach-mentor Katie Berryman explains why this is so important. 

“What commonly holds a graduate teacher back from recognising their potential is a lack of confidence in their own skills. Our goal is to build their capacity to critically reflect on their strengths and build confidence to grow their skills and practice. Working as a support team, we all understand the needs of our new teachers and celebrate their achievements collectively. Knowing they have that cohesive support makes them feel like arms are wrapped around them.” 

All graduates (PRTs) must move to full registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and being fully prepared for their final assessment panel is crucial. 

Katie says the process helps PRTs understand their successes. “As educators, we are forever on a path of inquiry! My role is to put a lens on how the PRT process develops inquiry skills into the teacher’s own professional growth, as well as into the children and families they support.” 

Recently achieving her full teaching registration, ECT Seema Lal says the PRT inquiry process can be a daunting prospect for new graduates, but the support ECMS gives is outstanding. “It assures graduates that you are already doing the bulk of the work in your everyday teaching. Not having to worry about details such as finding a mentor, and understanding what is actually expected from the project was amazing.” 

Working with the supports at ECMS have deeply impacted Seema personally and professionally. “I began to understand it was not about completing an assignment, it was a journey and exploration into ways I could positively grow my teaching practices.” 

Katie agrees and says PRTs tell her the process isn’t what they expected and that it profoundly affected outcomes, their practice, and future potential. “I always say full credit to ECMS for investing in the support of its graduate teachers. When you support new teachers to achieve highly successful outcomes (though the PRT process) we see such growth in their professional identities as confident and connected teachers.” 

This approach is not standard with Seema observing “From the Early Childhood Educator social networks that I’m part of, it’s obvious that the support that ECMS provides its graduates is not a common experience for all.” 

Tripta Patiyal went through the PRT process in 2023 and says having a designated PRT team for support and workshops was incredibly helpful and a great relief. “Katie was amazing. She was always available to support us and had great expertise in her field. Her knowledge and guidance made the process much easier to navigate.” 

When asked about her ultimate goal for PRTs Katie says “The support provided by the PRT program offers a holistic view of teachers that builds a real sense of positivity towards their early childhood teaching careers. Our goal is for them to move into full teaching registration with a strong sense of professional identity.