Droichead (the Irish word for bridge) is the model of induction for newly qualified teachers currently piloted here in Enniscorthy Vocational College (EVC). Droichead was developed following a consultation process with teachers and other stakeholders. It is designed to reflect the importance of induction for new teachers as they are formally welcomed into the most important profession in society.
It is grounded in the belief that those best placed to conduct this formal welcome are experienced colleagues who have relevant and in-depth knowledge of teaching and learning in their respective schools. These fellow professionals are themselves supported through the provision of a range of structures and resources from the National Induction Programme for Teachers (NIPT).
The Professional Support Team in EVC is made up of the following personnel
Dr. Iain Wickham, Principal
Ms. Aileen Walsh, Mentor
Ms. Jessica Doyle, Mentor
Ms. Avril Murphy, Mentor
Mr. David Lawton, Mentor
The role of the Professional Support Team is as follows:
For Principal, the process provides a structure for induction, built on professional conversations and relationships, with a specific focus on teaching and learning throughout the school.
Professional Support Team members mentor newly qualified teachers in supporting them on their continuum of professional learning within each school context. Seeking support and asking questions is central to the process.
Newly Qualified Teachers who have completed the Droichead process advise that it is important to be always open to new learning and describe the impact of their experience of Droichead on their teaching career.
Instructional Leadership: Barrie Bennett
What is Instructional Leadership?
As a model of Professional Development, Instructional Leadership provides for engagement and submersion, modelling and practice and the development of collegial networks as a means of support and encouragement.
How does it work?
The programme endeavours to initiate and facilitate change, across all levels of education, by specifically aiming to:
Encourage teachers to consciously modify their instructional actions so as to maximise student learning.
Facilitate the conscious and deliberate utilisation of teacher actions- skills, tactics and strategies.
Foster an awareness of how a teacher’s actions can impact on student learning- motivation, novelty, authenticity, accountability and safety.
Reacquaint teachers with the extent to which learning is affected by; diverse learning styles, multiple intelligences, ‘at risk environment’ etc.
Currently the following staff are being trained in Instructional Leadership which will conclude in October, 2018.
Mr. Conor Berry-Deputy Principal
Mr. Paddy Martin-Teacher
Mr. Brian Stack-Teacher
Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (Facilitators of Teaching and Learning)
Sinéad O’Hara is coordinating this initiative where teachers from within the ETB are encouraged to become facilitators of Teaching and Learning in the schools. The knock on impact of this will be the further development of professional learning communities within the school. This concept is based very much on the work of Mike Hughes and his excellent book “The Magenta Principles”.
The following is a summary of Mike’s philosophy:
The Magenta Principles is an umbrella phrase that refers to a philosophy and an approach to teaching, based upon the premise that learning should be both exciting and engaging. More specifically, the phrase represents a pedagogy underpinned by an unshakeable belief that:
Learning is the consequence of thinking …. therefore, my job is to get them to think.
Language is central to thinking ……. therefore, our job is to get them to talk.
Learning is an active process……. therefore, our job is to get them doing.
The teachers involved in this initiative are Ms. Aedin Doyle, Ms. Therese Ryan, Ms. Aileen Walsh and Ms. Fabienne Chapuis Osborne.