It won’t be just the pupils that will be learning when the new session begins, Aberdeenshire’s latest intake of probationer teachers officially start their careers in the classroom soon.
Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, Director of Education and Children’s Services Laurence Findlay, and Head of Education Vincent Docherty formally welcomed the latest cohort at an event at Meldrum Academy today (Friday, August 16).
Cllr Owen said: “It is truly inspiring to see so many new teachers take their first tentative steps towards a rich and fulfilling career shaping the lives of children and young people across Aberdeenshire.
“The council’s probationer induction programme is extremely well thought of within the education sector and is considered one of the best in Scotland. The probationers will be given plenty of support and guidance.
“Those who have relocated to Aberdeenshire will be made to feel very welcome in their new surroundings. I would like to wish this latest intake the best of luck for their teaching careers.”
Committee vice chair, Cllr Mark Findlater, said: “Teaching is a highly rewarding career, so it is fantastic to see this latest group of probationer teachers take their maiden steps in what is a fulfilling journey where they will make a real difference to the lives of young people across Aberdeenshire.
“They will receive plenty of support, guidance and encouragement from their mentors as well as from senior council officers and leading councillors at this event to mark the start of their teaching careers. They will also have the opportunity to network and make new friends during some of the round table discussions and interactive games. I would like to wish all the probationers all the best as they prepare for life in the classroom.”
The council’s probation teacher programme was inspired and developed from observations made of a similar ground-breaking initiative in Santa Cruz, California. The evaluation and learning was put into the probationer programme run by Aberdeenshire, leading to widespread national recognition and acclaim.
Probationer teachers can choose to work in schools across Scotland. When a probationer comes to Aberdeenshire from other regions, they are made welcome at social events arranged by their mentors. The mentors organise friendly and informal coaching sessions where the probationers learn and share new skills and experiences. Mentors are on hand to provide support if the probationers have concerns or need advice.
Last year there were 126 probationers in schools across Aberdeenshire. Out of the 126 probationers, 123 completed their first year in teaching. This school session sees 100 at primary schools and 34 at secondary. A graduation event will be held in the summer to congratulate the probationers on the completion of their first year as teachers.