In 2021, St Andrew’s Cathedral School has welcomed back two interns, and has introduced two new interns from Alphacrucis College as part of a program that seeks to give trainee teachers first-hand experience in the classroom.
The program is part of The Teaching School Alliance – Sydney (TSAS) – a unique teacher-training partnership between Alphacrucis College and five independent Christian schools. The Alliance seeks to lift the standard of graduates by providing weekly practical classroom experience to students throughout their degree.
Elke Crosweller, Benjamin Moore (first year interns), Rachael Fletcher and Joshua Hales (second year interns) are currently learning their trade in St Andrew’s classrooms. Each intern has been assigned to an experienced teacher from whom they can learn classroom management skills, lesson planning and delivery.
First-year student Elke became interested in the program when she heard she could get practical experience in the first year of her teaching degree, “You get more experience than other students from other universities, so you’re really discovering at the beginning of your degree if you like teaching and whether it’s the right thing for you.”
The interns spend one day a week in the classroom and attend the lectures provided by AlphaCrucis College on the remaining weekdays. The mix of theory and practice is key to the development of each intern’s skills.
“It’s very affirming to get the experience, receive good feedback and then watch how seasoned teachers approach their work. It makes me feel like it’s something I can do,” Elke says, who has been learning from Year 5 teacher Harriet O’Donnell. “I have a mentor who is intentionally caring about my formation as a teacher. Not only am I seeing how students learn but I’m seeing how teachers teach.”
Josh is in his second year as an intern and working at SACS has been a highlight of his degree so far: “I’ve loved getting hands-on experience in a school context with students and other staff members. It’s really helped me develop my classroom teaching style and pedagogy.”
Elke and Josh will be at SACS for four and three years, respectively. Benjamin and Rachel are completing a Masters of Teaching and will be at the school for the next two years.
According to Kirsten Macaulay, Acting Deputy Head of School (Secondary), the program is a win-win for both the interns and SACS. “The quality of interns is fabulous. Our hope is that when the students graduate, they will be very well prepared for the classroom, and they may choose to stay on with us, already knowing the culture and our workplace practice.”