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Meet Alana from The Teaching Initiative

Posted November 22, 2022

Alana and a small group of Education Support students in a Prace classroom.
Alana (pictured far left) with Prace Education Support students

Students enrolled in the Certificate III in School Based Education Support course are required to undertake a practical placement in a school based classroom. Prace has partnered with The Teaching Initiative to help manage the process of placing students in schools to help complete their studies. Over the years, the relationship has extended far beyond just placing students in schools for their courses and we sat down with Alana Talia from The Teaching Initiative to find out more.

What does The Teaching Initiative do? 

The Teaching Initiative is a recruitment agency that helps place teachers and support staff in schools. Melinda McCallion founded the Teaching Initiative after working as a teacher in different parts of the world and constantly seeing schools struggle with placing teachers and staff in their classrooms.

Alana says that because she and Melinda are both teachers, they can pass on industry knowledge of what working at a school is like. Alana is still working as a teacher herself, so she can provide insight into what work is like both as an employer and in the classroom.

How does The Teaching Initiative help Prace students in the Education Support course? 

Alana says the main service The Teaching Initiative provides Prace students is helping them find work whilst studying. Placement goes beyond just fulfilling course requirements, the Teaching Initiative also helps students find work in classrooms whilst undergoing their course and after their studies.

Alana and Melinda’s experience can help students respond to Key Selection Criteria for classroom roles, and then they can hold onto those responses after placement if students want to find work in a school. 

What are the benefits of the Prace/Teaching Initiative partnership? 

The most immediate benefit is the Teaching Initiative helps Prace students find work, and Prace supplies the Teaching Initiative with fresh talent ready to find work in the classroom.

Alana mentioned just how prepared and eager Prace students seem to be, “We’ve found even though some students have not yet had a placement, their knowledge is quite high and they show initiative. They ask questions about what to wear, what to bring, and want to get a sense of expectations on what the work is like. Their trainers are supportive and we always hear back from their trainers very quickly when we have a question or a reference check. They follow up with us as well if a student needs anything.”

The Teaching Initiative goes beyond just finding students placement for their course, “Prace students are able to find employment either whilst studying or once their course is finished. Prace provides us with a great supply of education support staff who want to get into the workplace and help teachers.”

“We’ve had 3 students gain permanent employment based on their work this year.” Some people are looking for permanent work, but the casual arrangement of education support has been a big appeal to some students.

Alana also mentioned how placement also helped students understand what part of education support they enjoyed. “One student is already working in the early childhood sector and just waiting for her certificate of completion. She wasn’t sure if she would enjoy working in a childcare centre or a primary school more, so we placed her in a childcare centre first and she enjoyed it so much she knew that’s what she wanted to do going forward. The casual work benefits also better fit the hours she wanted to work with her other commitments.”

Interested in a career in Education Support? Find out more about our courses here. Or, call us on 9462 6077.