"An introduction to Relief Teaching for Graduate Teachers" is a free beginners course for relief teachers new to the profession in all types of schools. We've had a page up about this one for a while but there were some things going on in the background that made us hold back on posting about the release of this one for a while.
We did a LOT of research on this course over a number of years and sought input and feedback from many new sources when getting this one out became achievable.
Being a VIT CRT Network Coordinator since 2008, I have had a great deal of experience supporting new relief teachers to become desirable in the schools they work in. What we do as Relief Teachers can be challenging and supporting each other's classroom practice has been a very important part of what we have done since we began the Network.
While advice on our classroom practice is often frequently passed on and easy to find, training to become a desirable and effective relief teacher outside of our classrooms is not always easy to find leaving many struggling to find their footing in the greater educational community. This new course is a combination of professional, classroom and personal topics dealing with the specific differences Relief Teachers experience when compared to Classroom Teachers. It is intended to give new graduates important groundings in the professional aspects of Relief Teaching and answer many common questions that Relief Teachers have about our role in education.
Feedback on the course has been quite positive so we'll leave it up to a participant to show the effect this course can have for grads:
"I think the most important point is I am on the right track in my relief teaching journey. I found the course engaging and it helped to cement and expand on my learning. I have been relief teaching for a year and I think if I had watched this video right at the beginning it would have helped me so much as my uni did not talk to us about relief teaching and I had to struggle through and hope I was doing everything right. I don't think there is anything else that needs to be added. I think it is a wonderful resource for new grads to look at and I will definitely be passing it on to others."We are happy to say that, through some shoulder-rubbing by the guys over at the Relief Teacher Association, this course has begun to draw the attention of universities and some will be actively directing their students to it. We believe this is a win for graduate CRTs who will now have some access to down to earth training to help them understand how to use CRT work to launch their teaching careers.
An effect that we were also hoping for, though did not have the time in the course to build in specifically, is that Relief Teachers that have been out for a while would also find it useful in another way. An affirmation of their practices and their importance in education even if it doesn't seem that way or the stresses of the job are getting to them.
"I enjoyed the course. I'm coming back into teaching after time away and am now much more willing to view my relief work as important to the school. The information was practical and interesting and helped me determine that I'm on the right track. Thanks"
Relief teaching can sometimes be a thankless job and sometimes we need a bit of reaffirmation that what we do is vital to the ongoing education of students. Although we sometimes don't feel like we get enough time in a classroom to "make a difference", we make a difference every day simply through the role we fulfill.
"As someone who has been relieving for a couple of years, by choice, it has heightened my self esteem, renewed my desire to continue teaching and has provided me with some good new ideas. I think the information offered was helpful and relevant."
I am glad this course is also filling that role and providing my colleagues with a much-needed "pick me up".