Articles are written by NZAPT office holders and committee members
PSYCHOLOGY TEACHER MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME
Psychology continues to grow as a modern and dynamic subject option across many schools in New Zealand. As schools show a greater willingness to embrace Psychology either as a subject in its own right or as part of an existing programme there is increasing demand for the support of teachers who are looking to implement or enhance their programmes. For the first time in New Zealand we have piloted a mentorship programme which seeks to build new connections and relationships between teachers of Psychology and increase understanding of the Psychology curriculum including ways to kickstart a Psychology course.
Tracy from Wairarapa College spent the day at Feilding High School to meet with Megan Liddy and Sarah Norman who are both members of the Psychology Network of Expertise. She was able to observe one Level 3 Psychology class and two Level 2 Psychology classes in action as well as being able to discuss existing programmes, best practice and opportunities for future growth or changes in Tracy’s Psychology courses.
In this first pilot the NZAPT has offered the following services:
1x full day visit to Feilding High School
3 x Zoom calls to discuss unit planning and assessment moderation
Email contact to easily ask questions
How did we get here - A word from Tracy:
I joined the NZAPT in Term One 2021 following a request from my school that we offer Level Two and Level Three Psychology due to student demand. I took note that they offered moderation. As I am completely new to teaching Psychology, have no other colleagues or schools in the region that offer Psychology as a subject, and had just completed marking first Level Two assessment, I utilized the service offered. Moderation was completed promptly and gave me guidance in teaching and assessment design. I decided to request more ongoing support in the form of a mentor and NZAPT came back to me with a programme. I visited Fielding High School which was invaluable. It was great to spend a day observing classes in action, discussing planning, assessment design and practices and to have those professional conversations face to face. Megan and Sarah’s depth of knowledge and experience, openness and sharing enabled me to feel confident moving forward with my own programme. What next? From here, Megan and Sarah have offered mentoring in response to needs I identify next. At this stage, planning and preparing an annual programme at each level in advance, changes coming to standards I am just beginning to work with and delving further into the breakdown of the standards and student responses are key foci.
I highly recommend approaching NZAPT for this support and am very grateful that such professional development by supportive, experienced and collegial teachers can be accessed.
Ngā mihi nui
Megan Liddy and Sarah Norman