SPW Teacher Internship Program

15 March 2024

Nurturing Tomorrow’s Educators: The St Peter’s Woodlands Pilot Teacher Internship Program

Bridging theoretical and practical skills
In education, the journey from theory to practice is often a transformative one. Theoretical knowledge gains its true substance when it is applied in real-world settings, especially within the multifaceted environment of a classroom. Recognising this critical aspect of teacher preparation, St Peter’s Woodlands has developed a Pilot Teacher Internship Program.

The climate of Australian education
In the broader context of Australian education, concerns regarding teacher preparation, retention, and the overall quality of the teaching workforce have been topics of ongoing discussion and debate. The challenges faced by new graduates emphasise the urgent need for innovative solutions. The SPW Teacher Internship Program represents a proactive approach to addressing these concerns. By offering mentorship, professional development opportunities, and exposure to diverse teaching contexts, programs like this aim to not only equip new graduates with the skills and confidence needed for success, but also foster a sense of belonging and purpose within the teaching profession. In doing so, they contribute to the cultivation of a empowered teaching workforce capable of meeting the evolving needs of Australian education.

The SPW Teacher Internship Program
The program is aimed at nurturing aspiring educators by providing them with hands-on experience. This initiative looks to build a link between academic learning and practical application. The program operates on the principle of immersive learning, offering interns the opportunity to engage directly with students under the guidance of experienced mentors. Through observation, active participation, and reflective practice, interns gain firsthand experience in lesson planning, classroom management and relationship development and collaboration.

One of the distinctive features of the program is its emphasis on personalised mentorship. The intern is paired with a seasoned educator who serves as a mentor, providing guidance, feedback, and support throughout the internship journey. This mentorship model aims to make interns feel empowered to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and continuously refine their teaching practices. Interns are encouraged to cultivate positive relationships with students, promote empathy and understanding, and celebrate diversity within the classroom community.

Intern Bec Fry
Bec Fry was awarded the St Peter’s Woodlands Pilot Teacher Internship for 2024. Bec’s journey at SPW began in 2023, marking the completion of her final 8-week teaching placement in Mrs Kate Gulliver’s Reception class as part of her Master of Teaching program at Flinders University. From the outset, both her mentor teacher and university liaison supervisor recognised Bec’s innate talent for teaching, her eagerness to learn, and her exceptional teaching skills. In fact, her outstanding performance led to her nomination for the Medal of Excellence in Beginning Teaching at Flinders University.

Experience across the school
For the first semester Bec will be in a Year 2 classroom and mentored by Jess Gilding and next semester will move to a Year 1 class with teacher Bianca Cirillo whilst also gaining experience in a Year 6 classroom and other year levels when the opportunity arises, giving her both a broad and specified experience of the primary years.

After five weeks in her current position Bec reflected that, “she feels so well-equipped already to be able to confidently start teaching a class of her own. She has been surprised by how much she has enjoyed teaching upper primary students in her TRT and ESO roles and would now consider working in upper primary should the opportunity arise.” Bec is so thankful for this opportunity and says she’s already reaping the benefits.

We look forward to celebrating Bec’s growth throughout the year with her ultimately securing a sought-after teaching position for 2025 either at SPW or similar schools. Towards the end of 2024 we will begin considering applicants for out 2025 SPW Teacher Internship Program.


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