The incubator : today's students, tomorrow's teachers
How many schools can boast that teaching is the number one choice of career for their senior students? The author visited Sydney's Freeman Catholic College to find out why 100 of its students have flocked to the profession in the past six years - many of them roosting back in their old school. Freeman Catholic College is a coeducational high school of 1,260 students in Bonnyrigg in Sydney's burgeoning south-west. It faces the same worrying shortage of teachers, quality or otherwise, as many other schools, which is why principal Michael Addicoat took matters into his own hands. Addicoat, principal at Freeman for the past seven years, says the fact that teaching is now by far the most popular choice of career for his Year 12 students has not happened by accident. There is a huge shortage of quality teachers in south-west Sydney. Addicoat had to think strategically and to develop an in-house program to promote the whole notion of teaching as a career. Creating a culture, a climate or an environment in the school that is conducive to teaching as a career underlies all his thinking. The school also offers a great deal of support for new staff, with induction programs and formal mentoring. Several of the school's students, and two ex-students who are now teachers at the school, discuss their reasons for choosing teaching as a career, influenced by the school culture and the enthusiasm of their principal. [Author abstract, ed]
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