DEMAND for teacher placements in the south-west has almost doubled, as a program attracting inspirational teachers to disadvantaged areas returns to the region.
The Teach For Australia program has sent 125 students from around Australia to Deakin University to prepare for their Master of Teaching (Secondary), after last year training 67 in Warrnambool.
The program, which fast-tracks graduates from other disciplines into a teaching career, awarded the Deakin University School of Education a tender in 2014 to train three cohorts of teachers.
The students, known as associates, will study at the Warrnambool campus and spend three weeks with teachers in south-west classrooms to prepare for work in low socio-economic communities across Australia.
Deakin University TFA academic co-ordinator, Associate Professor Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, said the joint initiative had the potential to change the way teacher education was delivered.
“The associates come from a range of backgrounds,” she said.
“Warrnambool allows them to understand the realities of working in rural and regional communities.
“They will also get to experience uni life by staying on campus, which gives us an opportunity to showcase the fabulous facilities available here.”
The associates will be based at Brauer College, Warrnambool College, Camperdown College, Terang College, Hawkesdale College, Mortlake College, Cobden Technical College and Warrnambool Primary School.
After Christmas, the associates will be based at Deakin University’s Burwood campus and then work in their home regions.
Teach For Australia aims to recruit outstanding graduates and professionals from a variety of backgrounds and transform them into exceptional teachers and inspirational leaders in disadvantaged schools.
The program is designed to meet the needs of schools in Australia’s low socio-economic communities, as well as the broader education system.