As Victoria grapples with an escalating teacher shortage that has seen vacancies spike to almost 1,000, up from 600 just six months ago, strategies to combat the crisis are becoming increasingly critical. Among them is the time-honoured tradition of a Teacher Open Day – an invaluable tool in helping principals secure ‘right fit’ staff.
This event provides a unique opportunity for schools to showcase their ethos, their community, and their commitment to education. In July, Haileybury, a leading Victorian private school, will host its own Open Day, heralding a crucial chance for prospective educators to experience first-hand the vibrant learning environment they could be part of.
“Haileybury has four campuses in Melbourne and a fifth in Victoria — the online campus, Haileybury Pangea. We also have Haileybury Rendall School in Darwin and Haileybury Senior School Tianjin, China,” Anna Sever, Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning) said.
“This means teachers have choices as to how and where they teach — on campus, hybrid [online and on campus], and 100% online working from home or anywhere in the world. So, there is an option to suit life stage and lifestyle choices.”
Discussing the advantages of the flexible work model offered by Pangea, Sever highlighted its potential appeal for employees in diverse circumstances.
“Someone who is returning from parental leave might want to work from home and so Pangea is the perfect choice. We have also found this is a great option for those who want a sea or tree change, but who still want to work for a high performing school. We have teachers in Tasmania, Queensland and Boston, for example,” she said.
“Haileybury also offers significant opportunities for learning and growth, from bespoke professional learning opportunities including the Brilliant Series, to leadership development courses, masters degrees, coaching, peer observations and graduate support.”
Sever also noted Haileybury’s ‘One School’ approach, whereby course and curriculum is centrally developed.
“Research from the Grattan Institute suggests teachers can save up to three hours per week if curriculum is managed in this way. We also provide our teachers with access to, and support with, high quality resources including technology, Corporate Services support, pastoral care and teaching and learning teams.”
Sever said Haileybury’s Teacher Open Day also offers prospective teachers an opportunity to understand the school’s cutting-edge teaching methods and future plans.
“Our Junior School teaching and learning is based on our innovative explicit instruction model. This is applied through the Junior School, providing the best possible start for students and helping them engage with, and master, the core skills of literacy and numeracy, so they thrive in all subject areas,” she said.
“The explicit instruction approach uses a research-based framework with components that include lesson Warm Ups and ‘I Do, We Do and You Do’.”
Sever said the school has also designed and developed the ‘Brilliant Series’ — a program that articulates what Brilliant Teaching looks like at Haileybury.”
“The Brilliant Series program includes 6 high impact teaching strategies built by teachers for teachers, and which are based on research and in collaboration with world leading experts,” she said.
“The program is a whole school initiative that enables us to have a shared vocabulary and understanding of what it means to be brilliant at Haileybury. In 2024, the program will extend to classroom observations for prospective staff and a review of our Professional Recognition Program.”
When touring prospective teachers, Sever said the school is clear in its pedagogy, programs and expectations and the supports available to teachers in their transition and ongoing professional learning as educators at Haileybury.
To ensure the teachers its hires not only possess quality teaching skills but also align with the school’s ethos and future direction, Haileybury has an in-house HR team that oversees recruitment, in partnership with the hiring manager.
“We advertise opportunities through multiple channels, including LinkedIn, where we share interesting work that we are doing. Following application, prospective staff are reviewed and shortlisted for interview — an interview may consist of a presentation and always includes child safety and wellbeing questions,” she said.
“All teaching staff who are progressed from this stage do an observation lesson and are assessed against our Brilliant Teaching checklist. If successful, reference checking occurs and a final round interview with the CEO and Principal, Derek Scott.”
The Haileybury Teacher Open Day is on Saturday, 29 July at 11.00 am until 1.00 pm. It will be held at Haileybury Keysborough campus – Senior School, 855 Springvale Road, Keysborough, VIC 3173