Primary Conference - Your First Years of Teaching


This whole day conference will focus on the particular needs of early career teachers in primary school settings. This conference will explore some of the interests and concerns that are unique to early career teachers. Through the varied options offered on the day teachers will gain an understanding of how to address the needs of their students in English and mathematics.

There will be 3 speakers. All are experienced K-6 teachers. Mary-Ellen Betts, Jenny Williams and Sandra Rowan have worked in a number of schools in NSW as consultants, classroom teachers and in executive positions.

The day will consist of a plenary talk:

‘From inspiration to reality.’

In addition, participants will be able to select three elective sessions across the day.

Plenary: ‘From inspiration to reality’
Armed with years of study, early career teachers approach the classroom. Reality can be very different to university study. Individual school practices can look very different. How do you find a path that works for you and your students?
Presenter: Jenny Williams

Elective Sessions: (these three sessions are run twice and participants will select two sessions to attend)

A: ‘I love this book... but what will I teach?’
Reading a book and deciding on the key teaching points for your students can be tricky. This workshop examines how to unpack a text and use it as an effective teaching tool. We will look at how to discover the author’s purpose, finding the key message, unpacking useful grammar, comprehension and using books as mentor texts for writing.
Presenter: Jenny Williams

B: Fitting it all in: The English Block
An effective timetable is a good starting point in managing your day. This session shows you how to organise your English block into manageable components that match current DET requirements and appropriate teaching strategies. It also shows you how to make sense of the many competing demands on your valuable teaching time.
Presenter: Mary-Ellen Betts

C: Bringing fun to the teaching of maths.
Students can have negative attitudes to maths. Have you heard your students say, “I am not good at maths.” Attitudes to maths can change if students think they are having fun. This workshop will examine practical ways to improve student engagement during lessons.
Presenter: Sandra Rowan

Elective Sessions (these three sessions are run once and participants will select one session to attend)

D: Developing a community of learners
In order to teach successfully you and your students need to understand what learning looks like. This workshop explains the aspects of establishing a community of learners that will allow you to teach and your students to learn.
Presenter: Mary-Ellen Betts

E: Differentiation made easy
Meeting the individual needs of your students does not have to be an enormous or overwhelming task. Differentiating content, process, product and environment will be outlined in this session. Simple strategies will be explored and ideas on how to make differentiation manageable will be outlined.
Presenter: Sandra Rowan

F: The heart of the reading program:
Guided Reading K-6
Modelled, guided and independent teaching strategies remain at the heart of effective teaching practice but how do you make it work in your classroom? This workshop will provide some easy strategies for making guided reading and related group activities, (should you choose to use them) manageable and relevant to all stages.
Presenter: Jenny Williams

Closing Session: Back to reality
How can you apply the learning from this conference back in the real world tomorrow?
Presenter: Jenny Williams


Completing an Primary Conference - Your First Years of Teaching  conference will contribute 5 hours of NESA Registered PD addressing:  6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.


Target Participants

Early Career teachers, supervisors, mentor teachers. Through the varied options offered on the day teachers will gain an understanding of how to address the needs of their students in English and Mathematics.


There will be a plenary talk and a range of workshop sessions with some choice for participants. Discussion and sharing by participants will be a feature of the day.

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