According to the National report of Spain, novice teachers find it essential that mentoring should be carried out by practicing teachers who combine mentoring with regular teaching practice. For experienced teachers and school principals, it is important that mentors have a specific motivation. An interesting aspect is also highlighted, which is the possibility of having recently retired teachers who have a great teaching background as mentors. The mentoring programme would receive great benefit from the wisdom and experience of this group.
According to the National report of Portugal, most teachers were open to different types of activities to in include in a formal induction programme such as: implementing regular one to one meetings with a mentor and participation in workshops provided by experienced teachers. On the other hand, experienced teachers mentioned that in order to be a mentor an individual should be personally, socially and politically motivated. The majority of experienced teachers stated they would need to receive training to be a mentor.
According to the National report of Italy, new teachers suffered a major shock when they took on a role in the education system. For this matter, a training courses has been developed with a series of actions to support this training process. The actions among others are: the face-to-face training activities and workshops, observation in classrooms by the mentors and professional re-elaboration. New teachers also express the need to receive more information from the bureaucratic and administrative points of view.
Introducing LOOP: A project for empowering teachers personal, professional and social continuous development through innovative peer-induction programmes
LOOP is a policy experimentation project that aims to contribute to the shift towards a comprehensive teaching profession policy that spans all stages of the teachers’ professional careers namely by:
Structuring a peer-learning induction programme based on mentoring, to support the initiation of the teaching profession and adapting to a new workplace culture.
Creating a mentors’ programme for the development of competences to guide and support new teachers during the implementation of the induction programme.
Testing and validating the induction and mentoring programmes in the schools of the LOOP network.
Preparing policy recommendations for the integration of induction and mentoring programmes into the national policies and frameworks of teachers’ continuous professional development.
LOOPs implementation started in March 2020 under the coordination of INOVA+ from Portugal and the Directorate General School Management (Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science For the development of the results, 3 Public authorities in the educational sector, along with 6 Universities and 4 research Organisations from 7 European countries (Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Germany) are collaborating to contribute to improving teaching careers paths, in terms of rethinking career structure and guidance and also how to empower teachers to better navigate throughout the career system, creating opportunities to promote excellence in teaching at all levels, by continuing to support the professional development, causing an increase in the quality of the profession and the level of attractiveness.
Last year was dedicated to the immersion into the project topics through a detailed research phase of nearly 10 months that included desk research and fieldwork such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups with school leaders and teachers (experience and recent). Around 850 participants from the 7 countries have been involved in the identification of their needs for better personal, professional and social development. The background analysis complemented with a catalogue of good practices will be soon available on our website and will prepare the soil for the development of the induction and mentoring programmes.
The preliminary results of the desk and field research were presented in the second transnational project meeting (14th- 15th of December 2021) hosted by the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. The meeting was the first to be held face to face and the partners actually met each other after 10 months of working on this project.
During the meeting a Policy Matching Workshop took place with the participation of representatives of the public authorities from Portugal, Slovenia, Greece, Spain, Croatia, and Italy and two Teachers Word Café were organised, one with Portuguese teachers online and one with Slovenian Teachers, focusing on how the induction programmes can be adopted and put in practice.
We invite you to take part in the LOOP project and be a member of our Network, which already counts over 100 members in Europe. Our members will have the opportunity to take part in the field research activities, in the co-design sessions for the teachers’ induction programme and the mentors’ capacitation programme and participate in the field trials experimentation phase acting as first users of the new policy tools for teachers’ career.
Join our network by submitting a registration form here and be a driver for the transformation of the teaching profession and its policy for all stages of the teaching career.
According to the National report of Croatia, teachers when entering the school environment for the first time experience a reality shock. The absence of practical skills in regards to working with children is one of the main issues. 57% of experienced teachers, 51% of new teachers and 50% of school principals stated that in the initial years of their teaching careers received informal support from experienced teachers. All the target groups agreed that they would have appreciated the opportunity of having participated in a formal induction programme.
According to the National report of Greece, teachers mentioned their need to have learned more during their initial training at the university about classroom management and techniques to cater for the diversified needs of their students. A significant number of the participants of the questionnaire stated that in the initial stages of theirs career they relied on the informal advices from more experienced teachers. Most of the participants would prefer a mentors’ training programme to be organized including modules such as techniques and tools for classroom observation and principles of group work and consulting.
Regardless of your teaching experience, you can benefit from the LOOP e-CATALOGUE by finding the best practices that can inspire and motivate you!
In our e-catalogue we gathered good practices from European Countries, following specific selection and quality criteria and assessing methodology, success factors, constrains, lessons learned, impact, validation, and sustainability for ensuring their added value. By following the above criteria we selected 22 best practices for the LOOP e-catalogue Take a look at E catalogue leaflet here and learn more about the content !
The second transnational project meeting of the LOOP Partnerships took place on the 14th and 15th of December at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. The meeting was the first to be conducted face-to-face and the partners actually met each other after 10 months of working together at distance on this project!
During the meeting, the results of the desk and field research in Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Italy and Germany were presented to compare them and prepare the comparative report, which will be ready in February 2022. Also, the activities for the next 6 months were planned.
In addition, a policy workshop took place with the participation of representatives of the public authorities from Portugal, Slovenia, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Germany and Italy focusing on how the induction programmes can be adopted in their countries.
At last, two Teachers word café events were organised, one with Portuguese teachers online and another with Slovenian Teachers face-to-face to discuss how the induction programmes can be put into practice and how the teachers’ career can be more appealing in terms of motivation and professional development.
Our host, the University of Ljubljana, is the oldest and largest higher education and scientific research institution in Slovenia. We would like to extend our gratitude for the excellent organisation and hospitality during our stay in Slovenia.
We need your participation, too! We invite you to be a member of the LOOP Network by subscribing @ https://empowering-teachers.eu/loop-network/ and take part in the co-design sessions for the teachers’ induction programme and the mentors’ capacitation programme and participate in the field trials experimentation phase acting as first users of the new policy tools for teachers career!
According to Expresso newspaper, a study from the Nova School of Business and Economics University estimates that, by 2030, 40% of the 120 thousand Portuguese teachers will be retired and so, it will be necessary to hire on average 3.400 new teachers each year during this decade. The problem lies in the fact that, even though the number of students is thought to decline by 15%, the volume of teachers expected to retire is still higher than the decrease of students. In addition, in the last school year, 1.567 students graduated in education, a number that is lower than half of the new teachers’ demand. This need for new teachers will be more visible in the North of the country, mainly in pre-schools and elementary schools.
However, Diário de Notícias states that this problem of lack of teachers is not just a future scenario. There is currently a shortage of teachers in the regions of Lisboa e Vale do Tejo and Algarve, especially in the areas of Informatics, English, Portuguese (mother tongue) and Geography in secondary schools.
To address this issue, as stated by Observador, the Portuguese Ministry of Education is developing a programme to train graduates from other areas besides education, to become teachers. For that, people that want to embrace this career will need a higher education degree and will go through a process that includes a one-year internship in the school in which they will teach in the following years, as well as a theory-based training programme done at distance by a higher education institution. This process has been foreseen by the Portuguese Government since the 1980s but was never implemented.
In this sense, the LOOP Project can be beneficial as it aims to empower teachers’ personal, professional, and social continuous development, by providing an innovative peer-induction programme for new teachers initiating their careers. This programme aims to provide guidance and mentoring supporting the professional development and social-culture integration of the teachers in their hosting schools, increasing their motivation.